Alberta has declared a state of public emergency under the Public Health Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit Alberta.ca for updates and information on actions the government is taking to protect Albertans and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
On this page:
New: On May 11, the Government of Alberta released workplace guidance and supports to help businesses and non-profits affected by COVID-19 begin to reopen and resume operations safely. For the arts sector, the following resources are most applicable:
- General workplace guidance for business owners re-opening or continuing operations
- Guidance for museums and art galleries (note - for planning purposes for Stage 1 of relaunch)
- Guidance for day camps (note - for planning purposes for Stage 1 of relaunch)
Learn more about Alberta's relaunch strategy.
The AFA will update this page regularly as new information comes available. After reviewing the frequently asked questions below, if you have any additional general questions about AFA funding or support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Immediate questions or concerns regarding a pending or existing grant should be directed to your current grant consultant.
New: The AFA has compiled a list of community supports available to artists, cultural workers, and arts organizations that may be helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit our COVID-19 Community Supports page for more information.
Links to government assistance programs can be found below under our Useful Links section.
Arts sector support
The AFA recognizes this is an extremely difficult time for artists and arts organizations in our province, and we remain committed to supporting members of Alberta’s arts community who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are actively assessing options to best support artists during this time and will provide updates as available.
During this difficult time, we encourage fair compensation and reasonable accommodations be provided for individual artists and cultural workers whose contracts and gigs are being postponed or cancelled. It is so important to recognize that an artist’s income can be irregular at the best of times, and it is anticipated that the response to COVID-19 will likely be a prolonged undertaking.
Sharing information - artists and arts organizations
We are seeking information from the Alberta arts community on the impacts from COVID-19 and the response to prevent its spread.
Please use this form to tell us how COVID-19 is impacting your practice.
- If you are an AFA client who has already received a request for information from your grant consultant, you do not need to fill out this form.
- Please email your completed form to email@example.com. We encourage you to update us as things progress/change, and will continue to accept submissions to support ongoing analysis.
If you are not an AFA-funded arts organization – or are an individual artist – we are requesting that you voluntarily provide us with this information so we can use it in assessing the current and ongoing impacts to our arts community and how best to address them and provide support.
Our staff have already begun to reach out to arts organizations that receive operating funding through the AFA to assess the current state of the arts sector. We encourage these clients to continue to work with their grant consultant to provide this information.
Please note any information provided to the AFA may be shared with the Government of Alberta, and will be subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act. It will only be used to compile statistical information about potential implications for Alberta’s arts sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Working with our partners
The health and well-bring of Alberta artists and arts organizations and the public as a whole is of primary importance to the AFA. The AFA remains in close contact with our federal and municipal partners, to share information and discuss options.
As an agency of the Government of Alberta, the AFA supports and adhere to the advice and direction provided by the Government of Alberta with regard to the COVID-19 crisis and any additional actions that may be taken to support Alberta’s arts sector.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will the AFA be changing any grant deadlines?
The AFA continues to monitor and gather feedback about impacts to the arts sector and potential program applicants, and make adjustments to our response as required.
Changes to AFA programs will be made on a case-by-case basis as we seek to minimize disruptions to the organizations and individuals who rely on AFA funding.
Changes to program deadlines will be listed below as they are made:
- Arts and Education Project funding – deadline extended to May 1, 2020
All AFA funding program guidelines, including application deadline dates, can be found on our Find Funding webpage.
Will the AFA give extensions to grant reporting due dates?
The AFA will contact clients when changes are made to a reporting due date for operating programs directly.
Changes to program deadlines will be listed below as they are made:
- Public Art Galleries Interim Reporting – due date extended to May 1, 2020
- Major Arts Presenters Interim Reporting – due date extended to May 1, 2020
If you have an open project grant, and you wish to request an extension to the final report due date, you must submit a request in writing for approval by the AFA. Please email your request to your grant program consultant. (If you are unsure who that is, email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Our organization receives operational funding from the AFA. Will the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affect our grant amount in 2020-21 or in future years?
The AFA will develop an approach to addressing the calculation of organizations’ eligible grant requests for future funding for those affected by COVID-19, including reduced programming and/or fund generation.
There is no impact as a result of COVID-19 to organizations whose operating grants are currently in the assessment process as grant recommendations are based on organizations’ most recently completed fiscal years.
The AFA encourages all arts organizations that receive AFA operational funding to share information with us about current and anticipated impacts to your operations. Please email your grant program consultant for more information. (If you are unsure who that is, email email@example.com.)
Will our organization be required to pay back our current operating grant due to us not being able to carry out regular programing?
AFA project grants
I currently have a grant and cannot complete my project as described in my application due to COVID-19. What do I do?
The AFA will consider changes to projects to accommodate any reasonable requests including extension or change requests after the final report due date, if you have been impacted by the effects of COVID-19
If required, please submit a request for change to your project, including for outcomes location, or extension, in writing to the Arts Development Consultant responsible for your grant program. (If you are unsure who that is, email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
I just applied for a project grant, but I don’t think I can complete it as described in my application. What do I do?
At this time, assessment of project grants will continue through regular adjudication processes.
If you do not think you will be able to complete your project at this time, you may choose to withdraw your application and submit a new project at the next program deadline. Please contact your Arts Development Consultant to withdraw an application.
If you receive notification of approval for your grant, you may request a withdrawal, extension and/or change of scope due to the impact of COVID-19 at that time.
You will be asked to submit a request for change to your project, including for outcomes location, or extension, in writing to the Arts Development Consultant responsible for your grant program. (If you are unsure who that is, email email@example.com.)
AFA Art Collection
Is the AFA Art Collection still lending artwork at this time?
AFA has suspended its artwork loans programs for the time being to comply with social distancing efforts recommended by Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer.
If you need artwork removed, AFA staff will reach out at such time when it is safe to do so. If the artwork is not in a safe or secure location, contact Manager, Art Collections to discuss making arrangements to have the artwork collected in a safe manner.
Is there staff available to care for artworks in the AFA Art Collection?
Yes. The majority of artworks from the collection is stored in a safe and secure location. Staff check in daily to ensure that it is operating at optimum effectiveness for the safe care of the artworks.
Many of the AFA’s borrowing partners have contacted us to advise of gallery, school, library, and other facility closures for which artworks have been placed while on loan. In most of these cases, facility closures only affect public traffic, while small complements of staff remain on-site to ensure artwork remains safe and sound.
How can I access the AFA Art Collection now?
The AFA Art Collection can be viewed online, at any time, through the AFA Virtual Museum. We encourage Albertans to browse through thousands of digital images of nearly every artwork in the collection.
In addition, the AFA has four curated exhibitions available for viewing on Google Arts & Culture.
New: visit our COVID-19 Community Supports page to view a list of arts-specific support programs provided by a variety of community organizations and associations.
COVID-19 supports for Albertans – Learn more about immediate financial relief being developed for Alberta’s families and vulnerable populations.
Alberta emergency financial assistance – If you are facing an unexpected emergency, visit this page to learn more about applying for emergency financial assistance.
Government of Canada COVID-19 information – Learn more about COVID-19 in Canada and the Government of Canada’s response.
- Support for Individuals - includes information on the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit
- Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers - includes frequently asked questions about this new three-month measure
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy - includes information on this program that can provide a 75 per cent subsidy for employee wages
Canadian Heritage response to COVID-19 – Information for Canadian Heritage grants and contributions recipients related to COVID-19.
- The federal government recently announced details about its rollout of its $500 million investment to establish a COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations. Funding recipients of Canadian Heritage programs, including its portfolio agencies like the Canada Council for the Arts, will be eligible to access the funding as part of Phase 1 of its rollout. Additional arts organizations will be considered as part of Phase 2.
Canada Council for the Arts information related to COVID-19 – Information and updates on how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting Canada Council's programs and services, and its response.
City of Calgary's Response to Coronavirus – The City of Calgary has declared a State of Local Emergency to support the Province of Alberta’s efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.
- Calgary Arts Development Information about COVID-19 – Information and updates on how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting Calgary Arts Development's programs and services, and its response.
City of Edmonton: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – the City of Edmonton has declared a State of Local Emergency and is taking immediate action following the direction of Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
- Edmonton Arts Council COVID-19 FAQs – Information and updates on how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting Edmonton Art Council's programs and services, and its response.
If your venue is available for COVID19 help, please enter your information into this national Google document.
Beware of online COVID-19 scams
Cyber security incidents involving malware and fraudulent activities including identity theft are being reported across Alberta in the wake of COVID-19.
Cybercriminals are sending emails and setting up fake websites designed to trick people into clicking links that install malicious software on their computers or capture credentials and other personal information.
- Please exercise caution when clicking on links or providing personal information to people/organizations that request that information, unsolicited.
- Some online resources that appear to offer help or information related to COVID-19 might actually install malware on a computer system to disrupt regular operations or steal personal information that is stored in a user’s browser.
- For example, phishing emails claiming to be from trusted organizations are using COVID-19 in the subject line, with malicious links in the email that can damage a computer system or expose personal information.
- Such emails could be claiming to offer links to new information or to buy surgical masks or sanitizers.
- Please conduct your own research by relying on trusted sources of information, starting with Alberta.ca/covid19.