Summer School Project Funding

This funding supports organizations in delivering residence-based art summer schools that offer:

  • an arts intensive training experience in any discipline through technical skills workshops with professional artists and instructors
  • opportunities for young people from across the province to engage in the creative process
Application Deadline
July 15, 2025

Who can apply

To be eligible for this funding, applicants must be:

  • registered not-for-profit organizations
  • 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
  • have the authority to provide residence-based programming for minors 
  • have previous experience organizing, designing and operating residence-based art 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 to operate a summer arts school program. 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 organizations

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 summer school projects must:

  • consist of residence-based art-intensive camp programs of no less than five (5) consecutive days in length where students are provided with supervision, meals and overnight accommodation
  • take place between July 1 and August 31 
  • deliver arts programming to students ages 11-19 years 
  • provide students access to Alberta's professional artists and instructors 
  • provide a daily regime of workshops and other hands-on activities for students to learn arts skill techniques and actively engage in creative process learning 
  • provide adequate participant supervision and safety requirements 
  • deliver age-appropriate curriculum and course content 
  • encourage participants to discover and express their creative potential 
  • provide workshops and other activity in an appropriate inclusive environment 
  • encourage province-wide participation

Eligible expenses

Applicants may apply for up to 40% of eligible expenses that are directly related to carrying out the proposed project, such as:

  • administration
  • programming
  • instructor and artist fees
  • promotional costs
  • accommodation and classroom arrangements
  • equipment rental costs and related extracurricular activities
  • supervisory staff
  • course and content development
  • food and lodging
  • materials and supplies
  • other expenses considered by the AFA to be reasonable and necessary

Ineligible expenses

Expenses and activities that are ineligible for AFA funding include:

  • activities eligible for funding or already funded by AFA
  • activity undertaken before an application is submitted to this project grant stream. Projects must not start before the application is received by the AFA
  • projects or programs offered by affiliated organizations that are eligible for funding under other AFA programs 
  • expenses related to eligible projects or programs that are covered by the institution (e.g. facility costs, permanent staff salaries, overhead costs) Summer schools operated by organizations whose permanent staff contribute significantly to the administration, promotion and operation of the school can declare up to 15% of permanent staff salaries, and must include a description of the applicable work undertaken by permanent staff
  • activities by applied arts (culinary, architecture, graphic arts, commercial photography, gaming), variety acts (face painting, balloon entertainers, fireworks/pyrotechnics, hypnotism), competitive performances and activities at social events

Ineligible expenses also include, but are not limited to:

  • alcohol
  • amortization
  • GST expenses
  • fundraising expenses
  • purchases such as buildings or property, or capital development such as construction or renovations

How to apply

We only accept applications through the Grant Administration Tracking and Evaluation (GATE) Front Office online application system.

We must receive your online application through GATE Front Office no later than 11:59 p.m. 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 the AFA receives notification of your submission before the deadline falls.

GATE Front Office username registration

First-time applicants will require a GATE Front Office username and password. Requests must be received at least five business days prior to the application deadline.

Please complete the GATE Front Office Registration form and email it as an attachment to

GATE Front Office usernames and passwords will be sent to the email addresses provide on the registration form.

What to include in your application

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

First, complete the GATE Front Office Applicant Profile section with all required information.

GATE Front Office online forms

  • contact list: A listing of primary and secondary contact persons and signing authority designate for the application
  • applicant contact information: Street and mailing address 
  • organization information: the organization’s registration details, including Alberta Registration number, Canadian Charitable Registration number (if applicable) and incorporation date
  • organization applicant agreement: An Applicant Agreement with e-signature of signing authority designate for the organization 
  • summer school participation report: Number of Participants per Age Range and geographic area for the organization’s most recent residence-based art program
  • current board List: A list of all current members of the board of Directors, including names, titles, complete mailing addresses, telephone and fax numbers and e-mail addresses 
  • project expenses: Complete the online form providing a detailed budget in Canadian dollars, indicating all projected summer school expenditures
  • project budget:  The difference between expenditures and revenues will comprise the grant request to the AFA and cannot exceed 40% of the proposed budget.
  • project revenue: Complete the online form providing a detailed, budget in Canadian dollars, indicating all projected non-AFA revenues.


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 Front Office submission.

The GATE Front Officeattachment 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 in PDF format:

  • resumes of curriculum designers, instructors, and other principal organizers (no more than four pages each) outlining their professional arts background, including training and any previous experience with delivering arts training to youth, or job descriptions if positions have yet to be filled
  • a detailed description of the arts summer school program to be offered, including:
    • list of workshops and description of arts skills training and engagement in the creative process
    • detailed daily program schedule
    • materials and supplies (if applicable)
    • number of students
    • program structure, fees and registration
    • contracting instructors, technical and participant supervisory staff
    • extra-curricular activities, if applicable
    • food and lodging arrangements
    • other logistical and administrative functions required for an arts summer school operation
  • copies of promotional material and public communications materials related to the summer school 
  • a description of the organization’s history of providing arts training programs 
  • the organization’s most recent approved annual financial statement of revenue and expenditure 
  • a confirmation of filing of the most recent return from Alberta Corporate Registry 
  • a copy of the organization’s Sexual and Workplace Harassment Policy for summer school staff and participants, with confirmation that this policy has been formally adopted within the past year
  • a marketing plan detailing province wide promotion of the program
  • 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
    • 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 Front Office (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 this grant stream per arts discipline.


Applications for partnership projects must be submitted through one primary organization. The primary organization must designate the main contact for all requirements of the grant. Each organization involved in a partnership project must submit financial statements and confirmation of their corporate registries return.

How will my application be assessed

The annual AFA budget is based upon funds allocated in the annual Government of Alberta budget and funding for this grant stream is established by the AFA board of Directors.

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

  • merit of curriculum
  • merit of marketing plan
  • impact of the program on participants
  • applicant’s history of providing training programs
  • artistic and technical level of instructors
  • instructors level of experience teaching arts to youth  
  • appropriateness of summer school budget
  • the ability of the applicant to carry out the proposed project

The expert panel will be encouraged ensure support is provided to projects in a variety of arts disciplines. 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.

In addition to reporting requirements, applicants may be required to provide interim activity reports, financial reports or statements and other information deemed necessary by the AFA or its representatives. The AFA, or its authorized representative, may examine the applicant's financial and other records to ensure that the grant is being, or was used for its intended purpose.

  • the AFA will retain all materials submitted with grant applications
  • 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.

A minimum reduction of 10% will be applied to any subsequent grant of any organization that does not satisfy the AFA acknowledgement requirements.


You are required to complete and submit a satisfactory final report in GATE Front Office upon completion of the project by November 1 following the summer school.

The final report must include:

  • summer school participation report: online form that outlines the total number of participants and the number of participants categorized by age and geographic region
  • outcomes report:  a description of the results of the summer school, with an evaluation of its success in relation to the original objectives as stated in the application
  • financial report: showing project expenditures and income including AFA summer school grant funds 
  • copies of promotional materials in which AFA support is acknowledged

Helpful resources

Visit the Help and Resources section of our website to:

  • download the new Front Office User Guide
  • find additional resources for organizations

Should your organization wish to receive payment through direct deposit, please use the Direct Deposit form:

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