September 1, 2023 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.
- The panel recognized there were more worthy applications than may receive funds and would extend encouragement to unsuccessful applicants to apply again.
- 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 as an artist going forward.
- Training applicants are encouraged to provide 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 impact
- Projects that may have a connection to an organization should provide sufficient information identifying all partners as well as outlining details of shared project activity where applicable.
- 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.
- Research projectsare better appreciated when a more detailed approach to research methodology is clearly outlined.
- The panel encourages applicants to make use of AFA grant information online workshops and 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.
The panel noted that it was important that project budgets:
- Are 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. Overstated or understated expenses or revenues detract from the merit of the proposed budget.
- Budgets should reflect amounts in Canadian dollars. Budget notes should clarify where currency conversion has been made.
- 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. 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.
- 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 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.
- An applicant should indicate if the submission is video material of their own work, 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.