FAQs for Organization Activation Projects

The AFA has updated its Organization Activation Projects grant program for 2023-24. Browse our FAQs to get an overview of this program and the support it can offer. Please note that the deadline for this opportunity has passed. 

Eligible organizations can apply for project funding to nurture and promote Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility through arts-related programming by Indigenous, visible minorities, or D/deaf and disability artists to engage audiences in and through the arts.

  • Single organizations can apply for up to $20,000.
  • Two or more organizations can apply for up to $50,000 to collaborate on a project.

What kind of activities does this grant support?

Projects for creative development and artistic presentation that accommodate and encourage diversity in the arts through projects that promote:

  • equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (EDIA) of artists and audiences
  • innovative artists practises that blend artistic practises and disciplines in novel ways
  • innovative artistic practises that bring together artists from different backgrounds

Activities that foster trust, dialogue, curiosity, and sense of belonging through the arts by projects that promote novel artistic presentation. This includes projects that:

  • promote dialogue, trust, sense of belonging, and empathy among audiences
  • promote opportunities for Indigenous, visible minorities, or deaf and disability artists to be the primary voice engaging audiences through artistic presentation
  • identify and address inequities in the arts sector in terms of access, participation and outcomes

Are there examples of potential eligible projects?

Examples include, but are not limited to, projects that:

  • Create a theatre production that explores the experiences of marginalized communities.
  • Create a dance performance that celebrates diversity and promotes understanding.
  • Host a visual arts exhibition that highlights the work of underrepresented artists.
  • Create a concert series that showcases diverse musical genres and artists.
  • Host a writing workshop that focuses on the voices of historically marginalized communities.
  • Commission a visible minority artist to create a new piece of work.
  • Contract ASL or audio description services for live/streamed performances, for language translation services.

Read about a successful project funded in 2022-23 through this program.

Is my organization eligible for this program?

To be eligible for funding, applicants must be one of the following:

  • Not-for-profit organization, registered and operating in Alberta for at least one year, and in good standing under the appropriate legislation.
  • First Nation or Metis Settlement in Alberta.
  • Foundation established and regulated under Alberta’s Regional Health Authorities Act.
  • University, college, or institute as recognized under Alberta’s Post-Secondary Learning Act.

Delivery of public arts and cultural programing is a key eligibility criteria of this grant, but your organization’s mandate does necessarily need to be primarily focused on public arts programming.

  • Additional eligibility criteria is listed in the program guidelines under “Who can apply?”

Is this a permanent program?

The Organization Activation Project program is permanent; however, the program is designed so that the AFA can adapt the strategic intent of the program to adjust for future needs of the arts sector.

How will the AFA assess applications?

Staff convene an expert panel to consider all eligible grant applications submitted. The expert panel assesses the merit of each application both on its own terms and in relation to all other applications received for a given deadline.

Assessment of a project is based on the following general criteria:

  • The relevance of the project on the organization’s ability to support equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in and through the arts.
  • Long-term impact of the project and how it enhances the capacity of the applicant(s) to encourage diversity and promote dialogue among audiences.
  • Appropriateness of the project budget, including evidence of in-kind and/or financial contributions from the applicant(s).
  • Ability of the applicant(s) to carry out the proposed project, including programming and achievements of the applicant(s) to date.

Can organizations partner for this grant?

Yes, two or more organizations that satisfy the eligibility criteria may apply to collaborate on a project and apply for up to $50,000 in project funding.

  • Multiple applications from separate organizations for aspects of the same project will not be accepted.
  • Projects involving multiple partners must be consolidated and submitted by one lead organization.

Applicants are encouraged to consider projects between different partners (e.g., urban and rural, established arts organizations with new or emerging organizations, arts organizations with health, social services, immigrant settlement services, or Indigenous communities.)

Partnership projects must demonstrate that:

  • Control and responsibilities in the partnership are shared equally amongst all partners.
  • Knowledge and practices will be shared and exchanged for the benefit of all project partners.
  • The partnership results in activity that is beyond the normal programming of partnering organizations.
  • The project could not be otherwise completed without the existence of the partnership.

How can we apply for this grant?

First, read the Organization Activation Projects program guidelines.

  • Make sure you are an eligible organization(s).

The AFA only accepts applications through the GATE Front Office online application system. First-time applicants to the AFA will require a username and password.

  • Please complete the GATE Front Office Registration form and email it as an attachment to registrationAFA@gov.ab.ca, quoting the funding opportunity or grant program to which you are applying.
  • Previous applicants for AFA funding can access the funding opportunity with their existing login information. 

After reading the guidelines, questions can be directed to Kari McQueen, Arts Development Consultant responsible for this program at kari.mcqueen@gov.ab.ca.

The deadline to apply was December 1, 2023.

Can our organization apply for funding to purchase new computers, recording equipment, etc.?

No, not in most cases. These expenses are usually considered capital expenditures.

  • Capital expenditures generally refer to monies spent on acquiring, maintaining or improving physical assets such as land or property.
  • They can also include the purchase or upgrade of equipment or computer hardware.  As these are also considered fixed assets, these types of expenses are ineligible for all AFA grant programs.

If you are having difficulty determining whether an expense is eligible or not for this program, please reach out and ask Kari McQueen, Arts Development Consultant responsible for this program at kari.mcqueen@gov.ab.ca.

  • AFA grant consultants can provide helpful information and tips about preparing your project budget.

More information

Review the Organization Activation Projects program guidelines

Learn more about how the AFA is actively addressing issues of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in and through the arts.