Artists and Education Funding

This funding supports Alberta schools by subsidizing fees of professional Alberta artists of any artistic discipline that provide interactive arts residency projects for grades K-12.

Application Deadline
May 1, 2025

Who can apply

To be eligible for this funding, applicants must be:

  • an Alberta school or school jurisdiction recognized by Alberta Education 
  • operating on a full-time basis
  • for students in kindergarten through Grade 12

Two or more eligible schools may apply to collaborate on a project when school populations, locations or conditions warrant.

What does this grant support

The May deadline is for projects taking place in the next school year.

Eligible residency projects must meet the following criteria:

  • engage either an Alberta-based individual artist, or a group of artists working together in any artistic discipline who has school residency experience to deliver a program
  • provide students access to Alberta's professional artists and their work
  • provide an opportunity for students to observe and actively participate in the creative process
  • encourage students to discover and express their creative potential
  • take place on school property during school hours
  • be five hours to thirty days in duration
  • be completed within three months of its commencement date

Eligible expenses

The maximum grant will not exceed $15,000.

  • schools located in the following jurisdictions can apply for up to 50% of the artist's fee (excluding GST)
    • Edmonton
    • St. Albert
    • Sherwood Park
    • Fort Saskatchewan
    • Leduc
    • Spruce Grove
    • Stony Plain
    • Calgary
    • Airdrie
    • Okotoks
    • Strathmore
    • Chestermere
    • Cochrane
  • all other jurisdictions can apply for up to 75% of the artist's fee (excluding GST)

Artist's fee may include travel, accommodation, meal expenses and non-reusable materials required for the proposed activity (e.g. paint, paper, clay, wood, data storage).

Ineligible expenses

Expenses and activities that are ineligible for AFA funding include:

  • activity undertaken before an application is submitted to this project grant stream.
  • activities by applied arts (culinary, architecture, graphic arts, commercial photography, gaming), commercial variety acts (face painting, balloon entertainers, fireworks/pyrotechnics, hypnotism), competitive performances and activities at social events

How to apply

We only accept applications through the Grant Administration Tracking and Evaluation (GATE) Front Office online application system.  

We must receive your online application through GATE Front Office no later than 11:59 p.m. Mountain 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 the AFA receives notification of your submission before the deadline falls.

  • applicants may submit only one application to the AFA each deadline
  • previous grant recipients must have met reporting requirements in order to be eligible to receive subsequent funding
  • we do not accept incomplete applications
  • applications must be received prior to the commencement of the project
  • projects involving more than one school must be submitted by the primary applicant school; separate school applications for the same project will not be accepted

GATE Front Office username registration

First-time applicants will require a GATE Front Office username and password. Requests must be received at least five business days prior to the application deadline.

Please complete the GATE Front Office Registration form and email it as an attachment to

GATE Front Office usernames and passwords will be sent to the email addresses provide on the registration form.

What to include in your application

For detailed step-by-step instructions, please download the GATE Front Office user guide.

First, complete the GATE Front Office Applicant Profile section with all required information.

GATE Front Office online forms

  • contact list: Current, complete contact information for the primary applicant
  • applicant contact information: full name and street address
  • organization information: organization registration information
  • project description: A brief project description, indicating the nature of the work to be done and project start and end dates
  • principal artists: A listing of the principal artists involved in the project, their position or role, and their province of residence
  • organization applicant agreement:  A completed Applicant Agreement including the declaration of the primary applicant or designate
  • artist and education grant calculation: include the amount stated on line A of the Artist Fee Confirmation Form attachment


Attachments must be developed prior to application, using either original documents specific to your organization or preformatted AFA templates, and uploaded to your online GATE Front Office submission.

  • all video and audio files must be Windows compatible.
  • wherever possible, support material should be uploaded as an attachment into GATE Front Office (up to 4 MB)
  • if your support material is too large to upload, please mail a hard copy CD or USB to 10708 – 105 Ave, Edmonton, AB, T5H 0A1. Please include your first name, last name and project number on the CD or USB

The GATE Front Office 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 that all attachments noted in the guidelines are submitted with their application.

You’ll be required to complete and upload the following attachments in PDF format:

  • artist fee confirmation form attachment. Both school and artist complete must sign this form. Attach the completed artist fee confirmation form to the GATE Front Office online application.
  • a resume of the artist/company outlining their professional arts background, including training and any previous experience in school residency projects. Attach artist resume to GATE Front Office online application
  • a detailed project description developed by the school and the artist collaboratively that clearly describes the planned arts activities, including: 
    • a profile of the school, including the community it serves and any special programs or services provided
    • the nature of student involvement in the arts activities and their level of exposure to and engagement in the creative process
    • the length of time the artist will spend in the school, and a detailed schedule of the residency project
    • the number of students and grade levels involved in the residency project
    • any teacher in-services activity
    • an outline of the project objectives, including any appropriate links to the curriculum
    • expected results and benefits to students, teachers, and/or the community

Applicants may be asked for additional information.

Schools may apply for a maximum of one residency project per school year.

How will my application be assessed

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

  • artistic vision and merit of the project
  • demonstrated school commitment and involvement in the project
  • demonstrated benefits to students
  • exposure to and involvement of students in the creative process
  • demonstrated qualifications of the artist, both as a practicing professional artist and in delivering arts programming to youth
  • the appropriateness of the project expense

Other criteria that may be given priority include:

  • high-needs schools
  • schools with low enrollment
  • schools that have not previously received funding for an Artists and Education residency
  • the impact of the project on the community

All expert panel recommendations are reviewed by the AFA at their June board meeting 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 between four to six months from the application deadline.


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 grant recipient that does not provide a report will be ineligible for further funding from the AFA for a period of three years from the time the delinquency is resolved.

The AFA will retain all materials submitted with grant applications.

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

The AFA does not provide advances for any grant.

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.

A minimum reduction of 10% will be applied to the subsequent grant of any organization that does not satisfy the AFA recognition requirements.


The final report is due on the date noted in the successful notification document, as determined by the project completion date set by the school,

The final report must include:

  • project information: a summary of the residency and results in relation to the original objectives
  • participation and project outcomes: a summary of program outputs and highlights
  • experience learned

And please attach:

  • an artist invoice: proof of the school’s artist fee payment . The invoice should clearly state amount of artist fee paid plus GST (shown separately)
  • any promotional materials that recognize the funding support of the AFA or any other promotional or publicity materials, school newsletter, etc. that may have been generated from the residency project (if applicable)

Helpful resources

Schools can find a resource listing of some of Alberta's professional artists at the Arts Touring Alliance of Alberta's Young Artist directory. Schools are not required to choose an artist from this list.

Visit the Help and Resources section of our website to:

  • download the new Front Office User Guide
  • find additional resources for organizations

You may be required to download the following resources to include as attachments with your application or final report.

Project grant recommendations are made by Expert Panels. Their comments can be useful tips to help you improve your application.

Should your organization wish to receive payment through direct deposit, please use the Direct Deposit form:

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