FAQs for Organization Activation Projects

The AFA has updated its Organization Activation Projects grant program for 2022-23. Browse our FAQs to get an overview of this program and the support it can offer.

Eligible organizations can apply for project funding to nurture inclusive citizenship and promote pluralism through artistic projects that recognize, respect, and value difference in and through the arts.

  • Single organizations can apply for up to $20,000
  • Organizations can apply as a partnership for up to $50,000 to support a project

What kind of activities 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

What is pluralism and how does it relate to the arts?

Pluralism is defined as recognizing, respecting, and valuing difference (per the Global Centre for Pluralism).

The arts hold tremendous power to create positive change: to shape our public discourse for the better, to build a more pluralistic society that respects and finds strength in our differences, and to help us to better understand the universal ideals that connect us.

The AFA believes in the full and equal participation of all citizens, and intends to apply this belief to its policies and programs by implementing its Pluralism policy. Learn more about the AFA and pluralism.

Can the AFA share examples of pluralism arts projects?

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

Does the AFA have more resources to learn about pluralism?

Yes: browse pluralism learning resources.

Is my organization eligible for this program?

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

Delivery of public arts and cultural programing is a key eligibility criteria of this grant, but your organization’s mandate does necessarily need to be primarily focused on public arts programming.

  • Additional eligibility criteria is listed in the program guidelines under “Who can apply?”

Is this a permanent program?

The Organization Activation Project program is permanent; however, the program is designed so that the AFA can adapt the strategic intent of the program to adjust for future needs of the arts sector.

How will the AFA assess applications?

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

Can organizations partner for this grant?

Yes, 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.

How can we apply for this grant?

First, read the Organization Activation Projects program guidelines.

  • Make sure you are an eligible organization.

The AFA only accepts applications through the GATE Front Office online application system. First-time applicants to the AFA will require a username and password.

  • Email registrationAFA@gov.ab.ca for login information at least five business days prior to the application deadline.
  • Previous applicants for AFA funding can access the funding opportunity with their existing login information. 

After reading the guidelines, questions can be directed to Paul Reich, Arts Development Consultant responsible for this program at Paul.Reich@gov.ab.ca.

  • Please note that all our staff are working remotely. Please email any questions. Videoconferencing can be arranged to facilitate discussion.

The deadline to apply is December 1.

Can our organization apply for funding to purchase new computers, recording equipment, etc?

No, not in most cases. These expenses are usually considered capital expenditures.

  • Capital expenditures generally refer to monies spent on acquiring, maintaining or improving physical assets such as land or property.
  • They can also include the purchase or upgrade of equipment or computer hardware.  As these are also considered fixed assets, these types of expenses are ineligible for all AFA grant programs.

If you are having difficulty determining whether an expense is eligible or not for this program, please reach out and ask Paul Reich, Arts Development Consultant responsible for this program at Paul.Reich@gov.ab.ca.

  • AFA grant consultants can provide helpful information and tips about preparing your project budget

More information

Review the Organization Activation Projects program guidelines

Learn more about the AFA and pluralism: