Cultural Relations Organization Project Funding

Grant programs that primarily support travel remain suspended until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch our website and other communications for updates to this and other AFA funding programs. See what other programs have changed.

Application Deadline
March 16, 2020

Who can apply

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

  • be incorporated as a not-for-profit organization
  • organizations recognized under the Post-Secondary Institutions Act (by faculty or department)

Eligible applicants also must:

  • be registered and in good standing in Alberta under the appropriate legislation for at least one year prior to the deadline
  • have been in operation for at least one full year prior to the deadline
  • have at least 50% of the organization’s board members, or ruling council, living in Alberta
  • demonstrate adherence to good governance principles, efficient administration practices and commitment to fiscal responsibility 
  • demonstrate financial stability, in the judgment of the AFA, for at least one year
  • operate as a stand-alone organization at arm’s length from municipalities, commercial enterprises or schools

Previous grant recipients must have met reporting requirements in order to be eligible to receive funding. Applicants can only receive this funding once in any two consecutive fiscal years (April 1 - March 31).

Two or more organizations that satisfy the eligibility criteria may apply to collaborate on a project. A partnership project must be submitted through one primary organization. The primary organization must designate the main contact for all requirements of the grant.

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

Ineligible applicants

Ineligible organizations are:

  • municipalities
  • commercial enterprises
  • schools
  • groups that are not arm’s length from municipalities, commercial enterprises or schools
  • organizations that engage primarily in competition-based activity

What does this grant support

Eligible projects include:

  • professional presentations (exhibitions, performances, readings and/or screenings of work) by Albertan artists that take place outside of Alberta where the artist or arts organization has been formally invited to represent Alberta or Canada that, in the opinion of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA), supports the development and promotion of Alberta art nationally or internationally

On an annual basis, the AFA may offer support, to a maximum of $50,000, for up to three individuals or organizations who meet the grant stream’s eligibility requirements, to participate in the artistic programs at the Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

Eligible expenses

Applicants may apply for up to 100% of eligible expenses that are directly related to carrying out the proposed project. Organizations may apply for eligible expenses that are verifiable and directly related to carrying out the proposed project.

These expenses may include, but are not limited to:

  • production costs
  • promotion and publicity
  • transportation and accommodation
  • subsistence
  • other expenses considered by the AFA to be reasonable and necessary

Contributions (in-kind or financial) from the applicants are strongly encouraged. These should be detailed in the project budget.

Ineligible expenses

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

  • projects that are part of an applicant organization's normal operations or normal public programming
  • curriculum-based activities
  • activity undertaken before an application is submitted to this project grant stream. Projects must not start before the application is received by the AFA
  • repeat of projects previously funded under this stream without change to project objectives, activities or location
  • hiring a permanent and/or temporary staff member, or hiring an artist to carry out duties that may be more appropriately assigned to a staff position
  • educational residencies, academic conderences, workshops or other non-presentation activities
  • 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
  • activities presented as part of primarily social events, including, but not limited to, fundraisers, rodeos, stampedes, grandstand performances, trade fairs, parades, meals, conventions, community dances, and student union cabarets
  • activities related to conferences or workshops
  • purchases such as buildings or property, or capital development such as construction or renovations

How to apply

Grant programs that primarily support travel remain suspended until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch our website and other communications for updates to this and other AFA funding programs. See what other programs have changed.

We only accept applications through Grant Administration Tracking and Evaluation (GATE) online application system. Applications for this program are accepted throughout the year and may be submitted at any time. However, applications must be received prior to the commencement of the project. We do not accept incomplete applications.

  • projects involving more than one organization must be submitted by the primary applicant organization; separate organization applications will not be accepted for the same project

GATE username registration

First-time applicants will require a GATE username and password. Contact us via email to obtain your GATE login information.

Please include:

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

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

What to include in your application

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

First, complete the GATE Applicant Profile section with all required information. Follow the step by step instructions contained in the user guide emailed to you with your username and password. Include the following information:

  • the organization’s registration details, including Alberta Registration number, Canadian Charitable Registration number (if applicable) and incorporation date
  • confirmation of the applicant status (individual/ensemble/minor) 
  • ensembles must designate one contact person for all requirements of the grant; this individual is the primary applicant and must e-sign the Applicant Agreement.

GATE online forms

  • a brief project description, indicating the nature of the work to be done and project start and end dates
  • a listing of the principal artists involved in the project, their position or role, and their province of residence
  • a completed applicant agreement including the e-signature of the primary applicant 
  • a project budget detailing expenditures and non-AFA revenues in Canadian dollars. The difference between expenditures and revenues will comprise the grant request to the AFA


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 submission.

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 that all attachments noted in the guidelines are submitted with their application.

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

  • a resume of the artist(s) or arts organization profile/ description of the organization's mandate of those representing Alberta in the project
  • a detailed description of the project, including an outline of the objectives, planned activities, timelines, and expected results and benefits
  • the organization's most recent annual audited financial statement or a financial statement approved and signed by three board members, demonstrating responsible fiscal management
  • a confirmation of filing of the organization’s most recent annual return from Alberta Corporate Registry
  • any applicable itinerary, travel confirmations, and/or justification for travel and accommodation estimates
  • official letter(s) of invitation from the host organization
  • two letters of reference from recognized peers who attest that the applicant maintains a standard of professionalism that will represent Alberta artists in a positive light
  • additional support materials that may assist in the assessment process, if applicable and appropriate, such as press clippings, invitations, reference letters, reviews, catalogues, scripts, CDs, and DVDs
  • applicants may be asked for additional information to determine eligibility, or any other program requirements when applicable
    • all video and audio files must be Windows compatible, MP3 and MP4 files are preferred
    • wherever possible, support material should be uploaded as an attachment into GATE (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

Applicants are encouraged to export a PDF of the complete application package after submission and keep it in their records. Applicants may submit only one application to the AFA with each deadline.

How will my application be assessed

This grant 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:

  • the artistic or promotional merit of the project
  • the impact of the project on both the applicant and the artistic genre in Alberta
  • how the project enhances the capacity of the applicant
  • the appropriateness of the project budget, including evidence of in-kind and/or financial contributions from the applicant. Contributions from applicant organizations are strongly encouraged
  • the ability of the applicant to carry out the proposed project
  • the performance and achievements of the applicant to date 

Preference will be given to projects that:

  • provide a significant opportunity to profile Alberta arts and artists
  • are destined for those countries designated as a priority by the Government of Alberta
  • have confirmed support from the Government of Canada and/or the Canada Council for the Arts or hosted or initiated by national organizations or facilities (e.g. National Gallery of Canada, National Arts Centre)
  • introduce Alberta artists to new audiences
  • are initiated or hosted by the Government of Alberta or other federal, provincial or regional governments or their agencies, offices, high commissions or embassies, in support of provincial cultural relations nationally or internationally
  • are official government-to-government exchange projects
  • promote the AFA collection in national or international exhibitions
  • are part of the national programs at the Confederation Centre of the Arts 

 All expert panel recommendations are reviewed by the AFA 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 funding recipient who does not fulfil any conditions associated with their funding 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 an applicant’s previous project is completed and the final report has been received and approved by the AFA.

The AFA will retain all materials submitted with grant applications

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

An applicant may receive a grant under this program only once in any two consecutive fiscal years (April 1 - March 31).

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.


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

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

The final report must include:

  • current, complete contact and registration information
  • a completed project outcomes report
  • a description of the results of the project, with an evaluation of its success in relation to the original objectives as stated in the application and project description
  • a complete and accurate financial accounting for the project based on the original budget submission 
  • a description of the results of the project, with an evaluation of its success in relation to the original objectives and outreach as stated in the application
  • copies of promotional materials related to the project, such as posters and programs. Funding credit to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts must be shown where appropriate
  • a travel itinerary, confirmation of attendance at the presentation
  • any reviews, publications, invitations, and/or catalogues in which the project is mentioned

Helpful resources

*Unless you are using Internet Explorer, this Adobe PDF will not open in your browser. Please download the fillable direct deposit form and open with either Adobe Reader or Acrobat to view and complete.