This funding provides up to $15,000 to support the development of individual Alberta artists, arts administrators, or an ensemble of artists by providing funding for a specific music project.
Who can apply
Individual eligibility criteria
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
- ordinarily live in Alberta for a least six months of each year with the exception of attending a formal program of study
You must be in good standing with the AFA with no open or outstanding projects or reporting to apply. Previous grant recipients must ensure all final reporting has been approved by the AFA before new applications are accepted.
Applicants, including ensembles or collectives, must not 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.
Principal artists cannot apply and/or receive funding for multiple projects at the same time, whether as an individual or a member of various ensembles, collectives, or collaborations.
What does this grant support
Please note, AFA funding is not assured for any project.
Types of projects
Through this opportunity, you may apply for project funding to support artistic activities in:
- art production
- training and career development
Art Production includes the development, creation and production of any music work. Projects should be confined to a distinct phase of a work, such as:
- composition projects (including commissioned work)
- demo recording projects not intended for sale, including full production and basic press kit expenses
- commercial recording projects intended for sale, including support for pre-production and song development (basic recording)
Alberta individual artists that have been contracted by commissioners to create a specific work (such as a composition) are eligible to apply for project support through this funding opportunity.
A commercial recording officially begins with pre-production of the album in a recording studio and is completed when the final manufactured recording is submitted to the AFA. If a recording is only intended for digital release, you must clearly state this in your application.
For any recording project, the AFA gives preference to projects recorded in an Albertan recording facility.
Marketing includes a program of activity for a specific period that promotes, advertises or disseminates work created by Alberta music artists, and/or develops audiences for the artist's work.
Eligible projects include, but are not limited to:
- marketing and promotion of a commercial release
- costs associated with performances at special events by invitation
- promotional tours
Research includes a program of activity for a specific period of time that supports or results in the development of a music project.
Training and career development includes a course or program of study to develop an artist's training in music or arts administrator’s training in music administration.
Eligible projects include, but are not limited to:
- master classes
- mentorship programs
- professional courses of study in performance, recording arts, or composition
You can receive up to $15,000 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 the following:
For art production projects:
- session musician fees
- commission fees
For marketing projects:
- promotion and publicity
For training and career development projects:
- tuition or training fees
For all project categories:
- transportation and accommodation
- administration and contract fees
- basic living/ subsistence expenses (housing, local transport, food, childcare, dependent care) up to $3,000/month.
- other expenses and supplies considered by the AFA to be reasonable and necessary
Additional expenses and activities that are ineligible for AFA project funding include:
- expenses for capital purchases, such as buildings or property, or for capital development, and studio construction or renovations
- recreational training projects
- artistic activities or projects undertaken in order to fulfill credit or thesis requirements
- artist, producer and engineer fees for principal ensemble members
- recording studio rental fees for studios owned by principal ensemble members
- manufacturing expenses (CD pressing and artwork)
- contracts for ongoing activities or artists pursuing projects similar in scope to usual activities with commissioner
- expenses already incurred prior to the application submission, including grant writer fees
How to apply
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 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.
- applicants may submit only one application to the AFA each deadline across all disciplines
- the AFA does not accept incomplete applications
- applications must be received prior to the commencement of the project
- projects involving more than one artist must be submitted by one individual on behalf of the ensemble or group
We do not accept separate applications for the same project.
As a one-time exception, applicants who submitted to the March 2, 2020 deadline, and have already commenced activities, may resubmit their application to the September 1, 2020 deadline. Applicants are strongly encouraged to update and/or revise project descriptions to reflect how they are addressing COVID-19 pandemic impacts on the successful completion of their projects.
Applications must meet all other program requirements to be eligible for funding.
Applicants that did not apply to the March 2, 2020 deadline must submit applications prior to the commencement of their project.
GATE username registration
First-time applicants will require a GATE username and password. Email us at email@example.com to get your GATE login information at least five business days prior to the application deadline.
- your legal name
- the funding opportunity to which you are applying
- 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.
GATE online forms
- applicant information: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
- applicant contact information: Street and mailing address for the primary applicant
- general information: Confirmation of the application category (art production, marketing, research, or training/career development) and applicant status (individual/ensemble)
- project description: A brief project description (20 words) and project start and end dates
- principal artists: A listing of the principal artists involved in the project, their position or role, and confirmation of Alberta Residence
- if you are a single applicant, list yourself as artist
- individual applicant agreement: A declaration of agreement with the statement of conditions e-signed by the primary applicant or designate
- project expenses: A listing of project expenditures in Canadian dollars
- project revenue: 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 $15,000
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.
Please submit the following attachments:
- an artistic resume of no more than four pages
- applicants should submit music-related activities, which may include: past training, most recent performances and performance highlights, compositions, discography, and/or ensemble experience
- list activities in reverse chronological order, with most recent activity listed first
- resumes of all principle artists involved in the project
- a 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
- two musical selections such as a scratch demo from the proposed project, or high-quality demo, or past commercial recording, or or two representative past works with complete scores (optional for training and research projects)
- all video and audio files must be Windows compatible
- please see Format section below for submission instructions
- commission applicants are encouraged to submit a completed and signed contract with the commissioner and a plan for the exhibition, presentation, display publication, screening or performance of the commissioned works
- any official invitations, confirmations, or itineraries (optional for marketing projects)
- a detailed touring, marketing, and/or promotional plan (for marketing projects)
- applicants who have been accepted into a specific course must provide proof of acceptance and a detailed description, schedule and budget for the training program or course of study (for training projects)
- applicants who have not already been accepted into a course must submit a detailed description, schedule and budget for the preferred choice; two alternate program choices should be submitted, with detailed descriptions, schedules and budgets for each choice (for training projects)
- a secondary budget outlining the applicant's ability to fund manufacturing expenses (CD pressing and artwork) (for art production projects)
- additional support materials that may assist in the assessment process
- wherever possible, support material should be uploaded as an attachment into GATE (up to 4 MB)
- for files too large to include as attachments in GATE, they may be submitted via email to musicAFA@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 MIPG-56-172631"
- please ensure link contains downloadable files (MP3 or MP4 preferred)
- alternatively, please mail a hard copy CD or USB to 10708 – 105 Ave, Edmonton, AB, T5H 0A1
- please 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:
- the impact of the project on both the applicant and the artistic genre in Alberta
- the artistic, educational or promotional merit of the project
- the appropriateness of the project budget showing commitment from all partners as applicable
- the 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
- level of training, experience, and expertise
- 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.
Projects recommended for funding by the expert panel must conform to provincial and federal COVID-19 recommendations and restrictions in place at the time of approval. Recommended projects that do not meet these conditions will not be approved for funding by the AFA.
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.
We gather general comments about the applications and share them on the Adjudication page. 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 recieved 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.
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.
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
And, when applicable:
- a transcript, certificate, or official letter confirming the completion of course of study
- 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 of the work completed in accordance with the project objectives identified in the original application
- specifically or demos – a copy of the final CD (submit hard copy)
- for commercial recordings – a professionally manufactured copy of the album with recognition of AFA support through the inclusion of the AFA logo and/or AFA recognition in the liner notes (submit hard copy)
- for compositions, including commissions – a copy of the completed score recognizing AFA support through the inclusion of the AFA logo
- any reviews, publications, invitations, and/or catalogues in which the project is mentioned
- a travel itinerary, confirmation of attendance at an event, conference, or course of study