Organization Activation Projects Funding

This grant provides funding to eligible organizations to nurture inclusive citizenship and promote pluralism through artistic projects that recognize, respect, and value difference in and through the arts. Learn more about the AFA and pluralism and find pluralism resources.

Application Deadline
December 1, 2022

Who can apply

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

  • Not-for-profit organization, registered and operating in Alberta for at least one year, and in good standing under the appropriate legislation
  • First Nation or Metis Settlement in Alberta
  • Foundation established and regulated under Alberta’s Regional Health Authorities Act
  • University, college, or institute as recognized under Alberta’s Post-Secondary Learning Act

Eligible organizations must also:

  • Have at least 50% of the organization’s board members living in Alberta.
  • Deliver public arts and cultural programming in one or more of the following areas:
    • Self-created and self-produced work for public presentation in any arts discipline
    • Artist support, development, and training
    • Artistic presentation and public participation in any arts discipline that is open and available to the general public
    • Indigenous arts, culturally diverse arts programming, and arts programming that supports traditionally underserved communities
  • 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 prior to application.

Partnership projects

Two or more organizations that satisfy the eligibility criteria may apply to collaborate on a project. Multiple applications from separate organizations for aspects of the same project will not be accepted. Projects involving multiple partners must be consolidated and submitted by one lead organization.

Applicants are encouraged to consider projects between different partners (e.g. urban and rural, established arts organizations with new or emerging organizations, arts organizations with health, social services, immigrant settlement services, or Indigenous communities.)

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 applicants are:

  • Municipalities
  • Commercial enterprises or for-profit organizations/companies
  • Schools
  • Organizations that are not arm’s length from municipalities, commercial enterprises, or schools
  • Organizations that engage primarily in competition-based activity
  • Organizations that do not meet the eligibility criteria in the section above
  • Organizations with overdue or incomplete accounting/reporting with the AFA or the Ministry of Culture and Status of Women

What does this grant support

Activities that accommodate and encourage diversity in the arts through projects that promote:

  • equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility of artists, arts administrators, and audiences
  • innovative artists practises that blend artistic practises and disciplines in novel ways
  • innovative artistic practises that bring together artists from different backgrounds

Activities that foster trust, dialogue, curiosity, and sense of belonging through the arts by projects that promote novel artistic conceptualization, creation, and curation. This includes projects that:

  • promote dialogue among different audiences about their differences
  • promote trust, sense of belonging, and empathy among their audiences
  • promote innovation and create new public value by bridging the arts with other sectors and industries

Examples include, but are not limited to, projects that:

  • Identify and address inequities in the arts sector in terms of access, participation and outcomes
  • Identify and address historical barriers or disadvantages, forms of diversity and differences such as marginalized communities, identities, abilities, gender, race, ethnicity and socio-economic status
  • Foster the artistic practices and development of Deaf and disability arts in Alberta, recognizing the diversity of identities and artistic practices within communities.
  • Include diversity and inclusion practices to build audience development, retention, and accessibility.
  • Provide innovative approaches that bring together artists and communities from different backgrounds
  • Create new public value by bridging the arts with other sectors and industries in novel ways
  • Support staff and board diversity training with a focus on artists and audiences of racial, ethnic, disability, Indigenous or other historically underserved communities

Ineligible projects

  • Activities eligible for funding, or already funded by, other AFA project grant programs
  • Activities undertaken before an application is submitted to this project grant stream; projects must not start before the application is received by the AFA
  • Projects that are part of an applicant organization’s ongoing normal operations or public programming
  • Post-secondary institution projects for curriculum-based or academic purposes
  • Programs for core delivery of education, health and wellness, and social services
  • Activities in the areas of 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
  • Cultural industry activities (for example, book and magazine publishing, sound recording activities)
  • 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

Eligible expenses

The maximum grant available will not exceed $20,000 (or $50,000 for partnerships). Applicants may apply for up to 100% of 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 the above listed activities over and above normal operations
  • Costs of audience and market development
  • Equipment rental costs
  • Costs for staff professional development
  • Costs for building organizational capacity
  • Research costs
  • External consulting fees or contract costs associated with project implementation
  • Other expenses considered by the AFA to be reasonable and necessary

Ineligible expenses

Additional expenses and activities that are ineligible for funding include:

  • Permanent or existing staff positions, including prorated salaries and/or time of existing staff allocated to project expense
  • Expenses typically associated with regular or ongoing operations or programming
  • Capital expenditures for the purchase of buildings or property or for capital development such as construction or renovations
  • Capital expenditures for purchase of office 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
  • Mortgage payments, amortization, and/or loan payments
  • Bad debt and other paper losses or debt reduction
  • Expenditures already funded through other Government of Alberta grant programs

How to apply

The AFA only accepts applications through the Front Office portal of the Grant Administration Tracking and Evaluation (GATE) online application system. The AFA must receive online applications no later than 11:59 p.m. 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 the submission so the AFA receives notification before the deadline closes.

The AFA does not accept:

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

GATE username registration

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

Please include:

  1. Organization’s legal incorporated name
  2. Funding opportunity to which the organization is applying
  3. Applicant’s email address and contact information

The organization’s GATE user name and password will be sent to the email address provided.

What to include in the application

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

GATE online forms

  • A list of primary, secondary, and signing authority contacts for the application
  • Registered name, Alberta Registration number, CRA number (if applicable) and incorporation date
  • Brief project description (20 words) indicating the nature of the work to be done and project start and end dates
  • Applicant Agreement with e-signature of signing authority designate for the organization
  • Current board list
  • 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 $20,000 (or $50,000 for partnerships)

Attachments

The GATE attachment section indicates that not all attachments are required for submission as they may only be 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 the application.

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

  • A detailed description of the project, including an outline of the objectives, planned activities, and timelines
    • An explicit explanation the benefits resulting from this funding is strongly encouraged as part of your detailed description.
  • The organization’s most recent annual financial statements with balance sheet, statement of revenues and expenditures and statement of cash flows
    • For partnership projects, the lead applicant must collate financial statements from all participating organizations. These must be uploaded as one file into the attachments.
  • Confirmation of the filing of the organization’s most recent return for Alberta Corporate Registry
  • When applicable, travel itineraries, confirmation of attendance at events, conferences or course of trainings
  • When applicable, 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
  • Additional support materials that may assist in the assessment process. These may include, but are not limited to, promotional literature, programs, or newsletters
    • Wherever possible, support material should be uploaded as an attachment into GATE (up to 4 MB)
    • All video and audio files must be Windows compatible, MP3 and MP4 files are preferred
    • If your large video or audio files cannot be uploaded directly under the Attachments page in GATE, an email including a link to a non-password protected download link must be emailed directly to the consultant responsible for this program (see contact information below). Links need to be active for at least five months post deadline. Please label all media files with organization name and project number.
    • Alternatively, organizations can mail a USB drive to 10708 – 105 Ave, Edmonton, AB, T5H 0A1. Include your organization name and project number on the USB drive.
    • Video or audio support material must be received prior to the application deadline for inclusion with the application.
  • VOID cheque or direct deposit form

How will my application be assessed

Staff convene an expert panel to consider all eligible grant applications submitted. 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 relevance of the project on the organization’s ability to support inclusive citizenship and promote pluralism in and through the arts
  • Long-term impact of the project and how it enhances the capacity of the applicant(s) to encourage diversity and promote dialogue among audiences
  • Appropriateness of the project budget, including evidence of in-kind and/or financial contributions from the applicant(s)
  • Ability of the applicant(s) to carry out the proposed project, including programming and achievements of the applicant(s) to date

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

When will I hear

Applicants will be notified in writing of the result of their application within four months of the application deadline.

Conditions

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

If the organization does not receive the full grant amount requested, it is still required to complete the project as proposed if the organizations accepts the grant.

The organization must return grant funds if the project cannot be completed as proposed.

If the organization requires a change to the project including outcomes or an extension to the final report due date:

  • It must submit a request in writing for approval by the AFA
  • The request must be submitted to the consultant responsible for this program PRIOR to the change being made and/or before the project completion date
  • 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:

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

Any grant recipient who does not fulfil any conditions associated with a grant will be made delinquent and may 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 a grant recipient's financial and other records to ensure that the grant has been used for its intended purpose.

The AFA does not provide advances for any grant.

Funding acknowledgement

Whenever possible, organizations 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 may result in the cancellation of the grant and the requirement to return all of the funding.

Reporting

The AFA requires a complete and satisfactory final report submitted to GATE that demonstrates 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, 60 days from 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. Funding credit to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts must be shown where appropriate
  • Any reviews, publications, invitations and/or catalogues in which the project is mentioned

Helpful resources

*NEW* Grant information workshops for organizations applying to OAP being held until November 28. Learn more.

Visit the Help and Resources section of our website to download the GATE Front Office User Guide.

Learn more about the AFA and pluralism: