50th Anniversary Micro-Grants for Visual Arts

Applications for this program are now closed.

In recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the AFA Art Collection (established in 1972), this program supports individual Alberta artists, ensembles, or independent curators with one-time funding of up to $2,500. This program supports specific visual arts projects that explore or engage with the history and diversity of visual arts in Alberta, or respond to our province’s visual culture and identity. 

This funding opportunity is a subsection of our Visual Arts and New Media funding opportunity.

Application Deadline
December 1, 2022

Who can apply

To be eligible for individual project funding, you must be a resident of Alberta. This means you:

  • are legally entitled to be or remain in Canada
  • are legally entitled to work in Canada
  • have had your primary residence in Alberta for at least one full year before applying

You must be in good standing with the AFA to apply.

Applicants, including ensembles or collectives, cannot be incorporated under either provincial or federal legislation.

Ensembles, collectives, and collaborations

Ensembles, collectives, and collaborations are eligible to apply to this program and must list all principal artists involved in the project activities as part of their application. All members of an ensemble, collective, or collaboration must meet the individual eligibility criteria.

What does this grant support

Please note, AFA funding is not assured for any project.

For the purposes of this funding opportunity, eligible visual arts projects include, but are not limited to, works of art in drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, fibre arts, ceramics, photography, mixed media, installation arts, and media or computer-assisted art. Eligible works also include Indigenous traditional arts such as beading, jewellery making, and quilling.

Funding is for creation and art production. This is not a purchase program. Ownership and copyright of works supported through this program remain the sole property of the artist. Artists interested in having their work acquired by the AFA Art Collection may submit completed works to the Art Acquisition by Application program.

Types of projects

You may apply for one-time project funding to support artistic activities that respond to, or engage in dialogue on:

  • the history and diversity of visual arts in Alberta
  • what it means to be an Albertan artist
  • the role of visual culture and identity in our province
  • Indigenous traditional cultural and customary arts
  • recognition, respect, and value of culturally-diverse artistic practices
  • representation of historically underserved communities within the visual arts, including Indigenous populations, racialized communities, women, artists who are Deaf and/or have a disability, and 2SLGBTQ+

Eligible expenses

You can receive up to $2,500 to support your project. You may apply for up to 100% of eligible expenses that are directly related to carrying out your proposed project.

These expenses may include, but are not limited to:

  • contracted artist and technician fees
  • commission fees
  • production, including materials and supplies that are appropriate for the development of the project
  • promotion and publicity
  • transportation and accommodation
  • royalties
  • administration and contract fees
  • basic living/subsistence expenses (housing, local transportation, food, childcare, dependent care)
  • other expenses and supplies considered by the AFA to be reasonable and necessary

Ineligible Projects

Additional expenses and activities that are ineligible for AFA project funding include:

  • Capital expenditures for the purchase of buildings or property or for capital development such as construction or renovations
  • Capital expenditures for purchase of studio furniture and/or equipment such as computers, technology, lighting, audio, etc. that can otherwise be rented and/or has a use beyond the life of your project
  • Career training, post-secondary study, or recreational training projects
  • Thesis exhibitions, graduate films, and other activities undertaken as part of a course of study
  • Applied arts such as gaming, architecture, interior design, commercial photography, graphic and commercial arts and/or fashion design
  • Media works produced for commercial and/or broadcast purposes
  • Expenses already incurred prior to the application submission, including grant writer fees

How to apply

Applications for this grant are now closed. 

We only accept applications through the Front Office Portal of the Grant Administration Tracking and Evaluation (GATE) online application system. Please apply for the this grant using the “AFA – Visual Arts and New Media Individual Project Grant” application form.

We must receive your online application through GATE no later than 11:59 pm Mountain Standard Time on the deadline date, unless the deadline falls on a statutory holiday or a weekend when it will be extended until the next working day. Please give the system time to process your application so that we receive notification of your submission before the deadline falls.

The AFA does not accept:

  • Applications received after 11:59 p.m. on the deadline date
  • Incomplete applications
  • Applications for projects or activities that commenced prior to submission
  • More than one application per deadline, either solely or as a partnership
  • Multiple applications from separate individuals for aspects of the same project; projects involving multiple principals must be consolidated and submitted by one lead individual

Applications for this program must be submitted to the Visual Arts and New Media Individual Project Grants program.

For detailed step-by-step instructions, please download the GATE user guide for this funding opportunity.

GATE username registration

First-time applicants will require a GATE username and password. Email us at registrationafa@gov.ab.ca to get your GATE login information at least five business days prior to the application deadline.

Please include:

  1. your legal name
  2. the funding opportunity to which you are applying
  3. your email address

Your GATE username and password will be sent to the email address provided.

What to include in your application

GATE online forms

  • Legal name and confirmation of your status (minor/Albertan)
  • If you are under the age of 18 years at the time of application, a parent or legal guardian must e-sign the Applicant Agreement as the designate for the funding, and be responsible for:
    • the completeness and accuracy of the application in full
    • receipt and use of funding
    • reporting on the use of funds
    • serving as contact person for any inquiries relating to the funding
  • Contact information for primary applicant
    • ensembles must designate one contact person for all requirements of the grant as the primary applicant
    • this designated individual must e-sign the Applicant Agreement
  • Street and mailing address for the primary applicant
  • Selection of “Art Production” as application category and confirmation of applicant status (individual/ensemble)
  • A brief project description (20 words) and project start and end dates
  • A listing of the principal artists involved in the project, their position or role, and confirmation of Alberta Residence
    • if you are single applicant, list yourself as artist
  • A declaration of agreement with the statement of conditions e-signed by the primary applicant or designate
  • A listing of project expenditures in Canadian dollars
  • A listing of non-AFA revenues in Canadian dollars
    • the difference between expenditures and revenues will comprise the grant request to the AFA with the funding not exceeding $2,500


The GATE attachment section indicates that not all attachments are required for submission. This is because they are only required for certain types of projects (e.g. marketing plan for a marketing project). It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure all relevant attachments to their project proposal are submitted with their application.

The applicant will be required to complete and upload the following attachments:

  • Artist resume of no more than four pages that includes a list of exhibitions and other relevant artistic history
  • Detailed description of the project, including an outline of the objectives, planned activities, timelines, and expected results and impact on the applicant’s artistic development
    • in keeping with oral traditions, Indigenous project descriptions are welcome as oral submissions no longer than 3 minutes in length (see format requirements below)
  • One complete file containing no more than 10 images of completed work done within the last five years
    • your file must be in PDF format and no larger than 4 MB in size
  • When applicable, media file or list of links to downloadable samples of work
    • one media file sample is also permitted when applicable to your application (see format requirements below)
  • When applicable, additional support materials relevant to your project that may assist in the assessment process

Applicants may be asked for additional information.


  • All video and audio files must be Windows compatible; MP3 and MP4 files are preferred.
  • Whenever possible, support material should be uploaded as an attachment into GATE (up to 4 MB)
    • for video and audio files too large to include as attachments in GATE, they may be submitted via email to vaAFA@gov.ab.ca as email attachments or downloadable links
    • please format your subject line: <your first initial, last name and project number>, eg. "H.Lee VIPG-56-172631"
    • ensure links are for files that can be downloaded and are not password protected
  • Alternatively, please mail a hard copy CD or USB to Alberta Foundation for the Arts,  10708 105 Ave, Edmonton, AB, T5H 0A1
    • include your first initial, last name and project number on the CD or USB
  • Support material must be submitted or postmarked no later than 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time on the deadline date

How will my application be assessed

This funding is administered at the discretion of the AFA board on a project-by-project basis.

Staff convene an expert panel to consider all eligible grant applications submitted to each grant deadline. 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:

  • Impact of the project on both the applicant and the artistic genre in Alberta
  • How the project expresses the impacts of visual arts in our community
  • Appropriateness of the project budget showing commitment from all partners as applicable
  • Ability of the applicant to carry out the proposed project

Assessment also takes into account the applicant's:

  • artistic and technical ability to carry out the proposed project
  • performance and achievements to date
  • personal objectives

All expert panel recommendations are reviewed by the AFA board and all decisions are final. Funding is not assured for any project.

Learn more about expert panels and how the AFA adjudicates funding requests for all programs.

When will I hear

Grant recommendations are made to the AFA board of directors. Successful recipients will be notified upon board approval, generally within four months from the application deadline.

We gather general comments about the applications and share them on the Expert Panel feedback archive. The expert panel does not record specific comments about individual applications.


Funding is intended for the purposes described in your application. By accepting funding, you agree to undertake the project as proposed in your original project description.

If you do not receive the full grant amount requested, you are still required to complete the project as proposed if you accept the grant:

  • you must return the grant funds if the project cannot be completed as proposed

If you require a change to your project including outcomes, location or an extension to your final report due date, you must submit a request in writing for approval by the AFA

  • the request must be submitted prior to the change being made and/or before your final report is due
  • the AFA may consider a single extension per funding opportunity

Funding recipients are responsible for informing the AFA of how funds were spent and outcomes of the project:

  • you must return funds if reporting requirements are not met
  • you must return unused portions of funding to the AFA

Any funding recipient who does not provide a report prior to the date noted in the successful notification document, or does not fulfill any conditions associated with a grant or whose report is not approved will be made delinquent and ineligible for further funding from the AFA for a period of three years from the time the delinquency is resolved.

New applications will not be accepted until your previous project is completed and the final report is received and approved by the AFA.

Previous funding recipients must have met reporting requirements in order to be eligible to receive subsequent funding from the AFA.

The AFA, or our authorized representative, may examine a funding recipient's financial and other records to ensure that the funding is being, or was, used for its intended purpose.

We require a complete and satisfactory final report submitted to GATE that demonstrates that funding was spend on the activities described in the application.

Funding acknowledgement

Whenever possible, you must acknowledge the AFA for financial support in any publicity prepared in relation to the project, including electronic, print, or visual material.

Download versions of the AFA logo and guidelines for usage.


In your final report, please include:

  • a completed project outcomes questionnaire
  • a complete and accurate financial accounting for the project based on the original budget submission
  • a copy or photograph of the work produced

And, when applicable:

  • copies of promotional materials related to the project, such as posters and programs showing funding credit to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts where appropriate
  • a copy or photograph of the work produced
  • any reviews, publications, invitations, and/or catalogues in which the project is mentioned

Helpful resources

Visit the Help and Resources section of our website to:

  • download the new Front Office User Guide
  • read application tips for individual artists that will help you write a stronger grant application
  • find tips for developing digital images to attach to your grant application

You may wish to add video support materials to your application. Make sure your materials meet AFA technical requirements:

Project grant recommendations are made by Expert Panels. Check out what they have to say: