50th Anniversary of the AFA Art Collection

On September 29, 2022, we marked the 50th Anniversary of the AFA Art Collection. We are continuing our celebrations in 2023 by promoting the collection's history and the Albertan art and artists within...

Documentary video series

Watch how the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Art Collection is curated to help tell the stories and perspectives of Alberta's art community. Appearing in this video are Adrian Stimson, Tanya Harnett, Gail Lint, and Autumn Whiteway (Night Singing Woman).

This is the fifth and final episode of a five-part series about the AFA Art Collection.

Previous episodes 

Episode 1: Building a Collection

Inspiring, insightful and nostalgic, Building a Collection shares the story of the AFA Art Collection, a time capsule of Albertan creativity. See how the Alberta Art Foundation, created to purchase Albertan art with a budget of $50, 000, transformed into a foundation that supports Alberta’s ever-growing art community with one of the strongest, most active provincial art collections in Canada.

Episode 2: Caring for the Collection

Watch how the AFA cares for an exquisite new acquisition by Métis Cree visual artist, Sharon Rose Kootenay, and the different steps we take to document, catalogue and preserve her work for the benefit of all Albertans. 

Episode 3: Sharing the Collection

We can only tell Alberta's stories if we are able to share our artworks with Albertans. Watch how the AFA shares its artistic treasures by providing access to the AFA Art Collection, as well as through innovative exhibition programming.

Episode 4: Diversifying the Collection

The AFA Art Collection is evolving to include more artistic practices and artists from Alberta's many unique backgrounds and communities. Diversifying the Collection is one reason why the AFA established its pluralism policy to meet Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility (EDIA) goals. Learn more about how the AFA is expanding who (and what!) is represented in the collection.

The videos were produced by Hidden Story Productions, which worked closely with AFA staff throughout the production process. Watch the teaser trailer for the series.

TREX exhibitions

The AFA is pleased to have worked with its Travelling Exhibitions (TREX) partners to support the curation of special 50th Anniversary themed exhibitions, which will tour across Alberta until 2025.

  • TREX Southwest (Alberta Society of Artists) – “Montageries”
  • TREX Southeast (Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre) – “Party On!”

Find out whether an AFA Travelling Exhibition is in your community by connecting with our regional TREX providers

Learn about the history of the AFA Art Collection

Established in 1972, the AFA Art Collection is a unique representation of the history, development and achievements of our provincial visual arts community. Today, the AFA is proud to manage one of the strongest, most active provincial art collections in Canada

  1. The history of the AFA Art Collection
    Read about how it all began in 1972 with a small investment, which continues to have a ripple effect today...
  2. Discovering lost cultural treasures
    A look back at that one time AFA staff were treasure hunters!
  3. It's about time
    Learn more about the iconic mural commissioned from Sandra Bromley in 2006 that defines the AFA's offices in downtown Edmonton.
  4. The art of giving
    Donations have been foundational building blocks to establishing the AFA Art Collection. In this post we share a few notable (incredible!) examples.
  5. The legacy of Dr. Joane Cardinal-Schubert - Part 1
    We look back at the tremendous impact Dr. Joane Cardinal-Schubert has had on the AFA Art Collection, starting with the Narrative Quest exhibition.
  6. A ceramic legacy lives on
    The evolution of studio ceramics in Alberta, the significance of one small central gallery, and the connection to the AFA Art Collection.
  7. The legacy of Dr. Joane Cardinal-Schubert - Part 2 
    Part 2 of our look back on the impact Dr. Joane Cardinal-Schubert has had on the AFA Art Collection, including the Fellowship for Indigenous Curators.
  8. Have art... will travel
    From High Level in the North, to the Milk River in the South, and virtually everywhere in between, the AFA's Travelling Exhibition Program (TREX) works to bring Albertan art to all corners of the province, one crate at a time.

50th Anniversary Micro-Grants for Visual Arts

The AFA established a one-time funding opportunity for artists to support art projects that engage in dialogue on visual culture in our province.

  • the program provided micro-grants of up to $2,500 per applicant for successful project applications

Share and support

AFA clients and supporters are encouraged to share information and raise awareness about the 50th Anniversary of the AFA Art Collection. 

View the AFA Art Collection

Digital images of nearly every AFA artwork are available to view online for free on the AFA Virtual Museum. More than 9,000 artworks are available to view. 

Browse the collection now!