COVID-19 information for AFA stakeholders

 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:

Arts sector support

The AFA recognizes that it continues to be 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. 

During this difficult time, we encourage fair compensation and reasonable accommodations be provided for individual artists and cultural workers whose contracts and gigs have been postponed or cancelled. It is important to recognize that an artist’s income can be irregular at the best of times, and it is anticipated that the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will likely be a prolonged undertaking.

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.

Alberta moves to step 2 of phased removal of health restrictions

On February 8, Premier Kenney announced that Alberta's public health measures will be lifted in three stages. Step 1 included removal of the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP). 

On March 1, Alberta has moved to step 2, which includes the following measures that could directly affect the arts sector:

  • lifting of the provincial mask mandate in most settings
  • removal of the mandatory work from home order
  • removal of any remaining school requirements
  • removal of youth screening requirements for entertainment activities
  • removal of capacity restrictions on large venues

 ​​Alberta will move to step 3, based on hospitalization levels.

The AFA encourages its stakeholders to consult with measures and restrictions outlined on Alberta.ca at COVID-19 public health actions. Alberta Health may update policies and protocols listed on this page without notifying the AFA. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

On February 24, the Alberta government announced details of its 2022-23 budget. In Budget 2022, the allocation for the AFA was maintained at $25.6 million, which represents continued vital support for Alberta’s arts sector.

The next step will be for the AFA to approve a spending plan for 2022-23. The AFA will communicate its funding approach to the community later in the spring.

  • read a message from Mary Rozsa de Coquet, Chair, Alberta Foundation for the Arts. 

Will the AFA offer any specific support for COVID-19 and/or for recovery? 

We acknowledge and recognize that it continues to be a time of extreme uncertainty for the arts sector. We continue to be committed towards being a source of stability for arts organizations and artists as best we can during these difficult times.

No spending decisions about AFA programs have been made at this time. The next step is for the AFA Board of Directors to develop and approve a 2022-23 spending plan based on our annual allocation. Once the plan is approved, we will publicly communicate our funding approach.

How is the AFA responding to COVID-19 and supporting the arts community during the pandemic?

Program decisions for 2022-23 have not yet been made.

Previous changes made to AFA programs included adjusting reporting requirements, suspending programs deemed unviable due to the pandemic (such as travel grants), and increasing eligibility criteria for arts presenting activities.

Will the AFA bring back programs that were suspended/postponed last year?

No decisions regarding AFA programs have been made at this time. The next step is for the AFA Board of Directors to develop and approve a 2022-23 spending plan based on our annual allocation. Once the plan is approved, we will publicly communicate our funding approach.

Our organization receives operational funding from the AFA. Will the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affect our grant amount in 2022-23 or future years?

The AFA is addressing the calculation of organizations’ eligible grant requests for future funding on a program-by-program basis.

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 afacontact@gov.ab.ca.)

When will information about my grant amount be available?

No spending decisions about AFA programs have been made at this time. The AFA Board of Directors will meet to approve its 2022-23 spending plan later this spring. Once the plan is approved, we will communicate our funding approach to the community.

  • The AFA’s timelines for project grant approvals have not changed. Notification timelines are published in the grant guidelines on the AFA website, under the drop down “When will I hear?”

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Useful links 

Alberta:

The government has launched the Alberta Biz Connect platform to help businesses and non-profits affected by COVID-19 operate safely and support their recovery.

Alberta has published Pivot Online: A Toolkit for Artists and Non-profit Organizations

COVID-19 supports for Albertans – The government provides a list of services available for Albertans to get help, including a list of financial supports available.

Alberta emergency financial assistance – If you are facing an unexpected emergency, visit this page to learn more about applying for emergency financial assistance.

Federal:

Government of Canada COVID-19 information – Learn more about COVID-19 in Canada and the Government of Canada’s response.

Canadian Heritage response to COVID-19 – The Government of Canada is taking immediate action to provide support measures and financial relief for the culture, heritage and sport sectors. 

  • On June 28, 2021, the federal government announced details of its plan for continued support for arts, culture, heritage and sport sector organizations. Read the news release.

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.

Municipal:

City of Calgary's Response to Coronavirus – Learn more about supports available and the city’s ongoing response to the pandemic.

City of Edmonton: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Learn more about supports available and the city’s ongoing response to the pandemic.

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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.

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