Organizations: Arts Project Funding

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:

  • a not-for-profit organization
  • churches
  • library boards
  • 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
  • organizations registered under the Agriculture Societies Act
  • organizations recognized under the Post-Secondary Institutions Act (by Faculty or Department)

Eligible organizations must also:

  • 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
  • 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
    • culturally diverse arts programming

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 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
  • 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 may be in one of the following areas:

  • strategic planning
  • audience development
  • administrative capacity building activities
  • one-time partnership initiatives that do not support on-going administrative practices or programming
  • organization capacity-related research

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • hiring an administrative or artistic intern for a season, as defined as a one-time opportunity, of no more than more than six months, for a recent or current student of a related course of study
  • audience development research project or survey
  • individual professional staff development
  • group training session or external consultant
  • partnership with another group to do an arts project outside of the normal scope of activity of both groups
  • partnering with one or more other arts groups to do a one off capacity project (for example, flex pass group subscription, joint marketing)
  • one-time marketing project outside normal programming (for example, anniversary)
  • database creation

Organizations that do not receive AFA operating grant support may also 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-off arts related classes/workshops (not ongoing)
  • hosting an artist in residence for a season
  • organizing a tour of a show
  • having a one-off art event to celebrate an anniversary
  • host an arts related conference

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
  • costs of audience and market development
  • equipment rental costs
  • costs for staff professional development
  • costs for building organizational capacity
  • research costs and travel related to research on a specific art project
  • other expenses considered by the AFA to be reasonable and necessary

Ineligible projects

Additional expenses and activities that are ineligible for funding 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

Ineligible project expenses include:

  • 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
  • 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 your project

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 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. Applications received after 11:59pm of the deadline date will be considered at the next deadline.

  • applicants may submit only one application to the AFA each 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. Contact us via 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

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.

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 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 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 your most recent return for 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
  • 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 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 may be asked for additional information.

Applicants may submit only one application to the AFA with each deadline. Applicants may apply to both deadlines (June 1 and December 1).


Applications for partnership projects must be submitted through one primary organization. The primary organization must designate the main contact for all requirements of the funding

Each organization involved in a partnership project must submit financial statements and confirmation of their corporate registries return.

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
  • 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
  • the project’s relevance to the three keystones of access, capacity, and excellence of The Spirit of Alberta, Alberta’s cultural policy
  • 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 grant recipient who does not fulfil any conditions associated with a grant 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 the 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 has been 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.

Failure to satisfy the AFA recognition requirements will result in the cancellation of the grant and 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. 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

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