Dance Individual Project Funding Expert Panel comments

March 1, 2024 deadline
General Expert Panel comments

Comments made by the panel during the assessment of applications are outlined below. Please note that these comments provide a summary of the panel's assessment and do not necessarily relate to every application submitted to this deadline. The panel does not provide individual comments.

General comments

  • The panel recognized there were more worthy applications than may receive funds and would extend encouragement to unsuccessful applicants to apply again.
  • The panel found it helpful when a project description began with a clear and concise opening summary of the project, e.g., “I am applying for funds for five months to research and create the first stage of a new work (name of work) or for ten months of training at (name of program and school).”
  • The panel appreciated a clear understanding of why the project is important to the applicant’s development and artistic vision and how the project would impact them.
  • Applicants are encouraged to provide sufficient dance background to allow the panel to fully appreciate the viability of the project and the greatest possibility for success.
  • It was helpful when training applicants provided a well-articulated rationale for the choice of study program with a clear explanation of how program, workshop, or mentorship is critical at this stage of their development leading towards stated career goals.
  • A well-written and concise grant proposal allows the panel to gain a full understanding of the nature of the project, the purpose and expected benefits and identifiable impact on the applicant. Applicants should include the following:
    • details about the applicant, their background and present situation, and future goals
    • project description that includes a plan of action the applicant now wishes to pursue progressing the applicant towards fulfilling their stated goals
    • in addition to the artist’s “vision,” a clear sequence of steps explaining the creative approach and/or process on how the applicant will be successful in realizing project objectives and impacts 
  • If applicable, it is helpful when projects take into consideration adaptive measures that may be required to address travel, environmental, and international circumstances and other restrictions.
  • Large scale art creation projects that rely on multiple resources or unconfirmed revenue, such as box office, sponsorship, donated services, and other granting agencies should be noted in the application.
  • As part of their proposal, applicants are encouraged to provide a “Plan B” on how the project may be realized should such funding or other resources not be forthcoming.
  • The panel can appreciate that a project may incorporate other artistic practices. However, research or concept based projects should be thorough in describing how project ideas, themes or stories will be expressed through movement.
  • The panel encourages applicants to make use of application writing tip sheet material available on the AFA website. Applicants are encouraged to have an objective third party proofread application content to ensure that it is concise and accurate.


  • Budgets should be as accurate and realistic as possible. Scope of project should be accurately reflected in the expense and revenue details to allow the panel to understand how the project will be realized. 
  • The panel looked favourably on projects where artists and major collaborators were properly remunerated, both in the context of industry standards, as well as the context of the project as a whole. Creation and production projects are encouraged to follow artist fees established by the professional community, i.e., CADA , and/or an explanation on how fees are calculated.
  • It is highly recommended to make use of the budget notes box to provide the panel a clear understanding of project expense and revenue line items and how expenses or revenues are calculated.
  • The panel appreciated clarification and details in terms of substantiating subsistence costs that coincided with the amount of time per week dedicated to the project. A breakdown of accommodation locally or internationally, food, and other basic living costs was additionally helpful.

Support material

  • A number of applications lacked video that would allow the panel to better appreciate the applicant’s creative ability and provide them insight into proposed new work. Video submissions demonstrate the artist’s and their collaborator's ability, is an opportunity for the applicant to introduce themselves, and clarifies how project activities and objectives will help the applicant realize their artistic vision and professional aspirations.
  • Choice of video support material should allow for a comprehensive assessment of an applicant’s creative artistic and technical ability, and should have a connection to the proposed activity or genre.
  • The panel is better able to appreciate an applicant's ability by having video material for all types of projects, including art production and career development projects. 
  • Applicants should indicate if the submission is video material of their own work, that of a collaborator, the name of the piece, year of creation, and if they are dancing in the video.
  • Most types of projects are greatly strengthened with the inclusion current reference letters that provide greater insight into the project’s impact and value to either the applicant and/or the applicant’s community.
  • Participant bios or CVs strengthen project credibility and viability of project outcomes.