Indigenous Arts Projects for Organizations

The Organizations: Art Projects and Indigenous Arts Projects for Organizations programs are being reviewed and are both suspended until further notice.

Application Deadline
March 16, 2020

Who can apply

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

  • Indian Bands as defined by the Indian Act R.S.C. 1985, C.1-5
  • Métis Settlements recognized under the Métis Settlements Act R.S.A. 2000, C.M14
  • an incorporated not-for-profit organization

Eligible organizations must also:

  • have a primary mandate to serve Indigenous peoples and/or communities
  • 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 governing body living in Alberta
  • demonstrate adherence to good governance principles
  • demonstrate efficient administration practices and commitment to fiscal responsibility 
  • demonstrate financial stability for at least one year
  • operate as a stand-alone organization at arm’s length from municipalities, commercial enterprises or schools
  • carry out public arts programming in one or more of the following areas:
    • self-created and self-produced work for public presentation in any arts discipline
    • artist support and development
    • artist training
    • public participation in the arts

Previous grant recipients must have met reporting requirements in order to be eligible to receive funding.

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 project could not be otherwise completed without the existence of the partnership

Ineligible applicants

Ineligible applicants are:

  • municipalities
  • commercial enterprises
  • schools
  • groups that are not arm’s length from municipalities, commercial enterprises or schools
  • organizations that receive operating funding under another AFA grant stream

What does this grant support

Organizations may apply for support for projects in the following areas:

  • art creation, production, and dissemination
  • research for art creation or production

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • creating/producing activities such as putting on a show or curating an exhibition
  • commissioning an artwork
  • running one-time arts related classes/workshops, not related to ongoing programming
  • hosting an artist in residence for a distinct period of time
  • organizing a tour of a show
  • having a one-time art event to celebrate an anniversary
  • host an arts related conference

Ineligible projects include:

  • projects of an ongoing nature
  • activities eligible for funding, or already funded by the AFA
  • 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
  • permanent or existing staff positions
  • prorated salaries and/or time of existing staff allocated to project expenses
  • activities by applied arts (culinary, architecture, interior design, graphic arts, commercial photography, gaming, fashion design, etc.), commercial variety acts (face painting, balloon entertainers, fireworks/pyrotechnics, hypnotism, etc.), 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
  • capital purchases such as buildings or property, or capital development such as construction or renovations
  • expenses for equipment, such as computers, software, cameras, lighting, audio equipment, etc. that can otherwise be rented and/or have a use beyond the life of the project
  • projects that receive substantial funding from any other program of the Government of Alberta

Eligible Expenses

The maximum grant available will not exceed $25,000.  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.

Eligible project expenses include any combination of the following:

  • costs associated with art creation and production
  • artists’ fees (including transportation, accommodation and subsistence) for presentations
  • costs for dissemination
  • equipment rental costs
  • research costs and travel related to research on a specific art project
  • other expenses considered by the AFA to be reasonable and necessary

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

How to apply

The Organizations: Art Projects and Indigenous Arts Projects for Organizations programs are being reviewed and are both suspended until further notice.

We only accept applications through the Grant Administration Tracking and Evaluation (GATE) online application system. We must receive your online application through GATE no later than 11:59 pm Mountain Time on the deadline date, unless the deadline falls on a statutory holiday or 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. Applications received after 11:59pm of the deadline date may be considered at the next deadline.

  • the AFA does not accept incomplete applications
  • applications must be received prior to the commencement of the project
  • projects involving more than one organization must be submitted by the primary organization applicant; separate organization applications will not be accepted for the same project

GATE username registration

First-time applicants will require a GATE username and password. Email to obtain 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

What to include in your application:

First, complete the GATE Applicant Profile section with all required information. Step by step instructions will be outlined in a GATE user guide (available for download soon).

GATE Online forms

  • a listing of primary and secondary contact persons and signing authority designate for the application
  • the organization’s registration details, including Alberta Registration number, Canadian Charitable Registration number (if applicable) and incorporation date
  • a brief project description (20 words) indicating the nature of the work to be done and project start and end dates
  • an Applicant Agreement with e-signature of signing authority designate for the organization
  • 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 and cannot exceed $25,000


The GATE attachments section indicates that not all attachments are required for submission. This is because they are only required for certain types of projects. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all attachments noted in the guidelines are submitted with their application.

You will be required to complete and upload the following attachments:

  • 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 financial statements with balance sheet, statement of revenues and expenditures and statement of cash flows
  • a confirmation of the filing of the organization’s most recent return with Alberta Corporate Registry
  • a travel itinerary, confirmation of attendance at an event, conference, or course of study
  • for marketing, a detailed marketing plan
  • for partnership projects, a copy of the contract or letter of agreement that indicates the responsibilities of each partner, and the knowledge, resources and experience that each will contribute
  • for internship projects, a detailed learning plan and schedule of activity for the proposed project, including the named mentor(s) overseeing the learning opportunity
  • documentation and/or letter of support from Indigenous communities, leaders, or Elders
  • additional support materials that may assist in the assessment process. These may include but are not limited to, promotional literature, programs, or newsletters:
    • 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 to 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 Avenue, Edmonton, AB, T5H 0A1. Please include your first name, last name, and project number on the CD or USB

Applicants may be asked for additional information.

Applicants may submit only one application to the AFA with each deadline. Applicants may apply to either or both deadlines (May 1 and November 1) provided they have completed prior projects and have met all outstanding reporting requirements.

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:

  • The impact of the project for Indigenous Peoples and communities in Alberta
  • How the project enhances the capacity of the applicant
  • The artistic or promotional merit of the project
  • 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
  • The project’s relevance to the three keystones of access, capacity, and excellence of Alberta’s cultural policy “The Spirit of Alberta”
  • The long term impact and legacy of the project once the project has been finished. An explicit explanation and outline of the benefits resulting from this funding is strongly encouraged

All expert panel recommendations are reviewed by the AFA at their September and March board meetings 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 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, under any other AFA grant stream, 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.

Failure to satisfy the AFA recognition requirements will result in the cancellation of the grant the requirement to return all of the funding.


We require a completed and satisfactory final report submitted to GATE that demonstrates that 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:

  • a completed statistical information form, containing information about the project
  • a completed project outcomes report
  • 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, with funding credit to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts shown where appropriate
  • any reviews, publications, invitations and/or catalogues in which the project is mentioned

Helpful resources

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