Who can apply for AFA grants?

If you are or have been a current resident of Alberta for at least one full year, you can apply to the AFA for a grant of up to $15,000 to support artistic activities through our individual project grant programs. 

Grant funding is considered taxable income, and you must be legally entitled to work in Canada.

What do we mean by artistic activities?

The AFA provides individual project grants for four types of artistic activities:

  • art production (artistic and cultural creation)
  • marketing
  • research
  • training and professional development

Who are these programs for?

The AFA welcomes applications from across all of Alberta, including rural and urban areas. Albertans at any stage of their career – from emerging to established – are encouraged to apply for funding.

AFA applicants can include artists from any of Alberta’s arts sectors, Indigenous communities, diverse cultural backgrounds, and the Deaf, disability arts, and MAD communities. 

These programs support all individual Albertan artists and independent arts administrators, including those working in collaboration or as an ensemble or collective.

More about collaborations, ensembles, and collectives

To be eligible for an individual project grant, the AFA defines a collaboration, ensemble, or collective as a group of artists that partners together for a project, or that work together on an ongoing basis.

Examples of collaborations, ensembles, or collections can include:

  • bands
  • theatre or dance collectives
  • writing partnerships (co-writers)

It is important to remember that all partners or members must all meet the same criteria as “individuals” for the group to be eligible for funding. 

  • your group must select one person to be the lead and the primary contact in your application

A collaboration, ensemble, or collective – or its members – cannot operate as a for-profit business, production company, or be incorporated under either provincial or federal legislation. If you choose to incorporate as a not-for-profit organization, you can access other types of AFA grants after your organization becomes eligible.

What are “principal artists”?

For individual project grants, the AFA defines principal artists as the contributors to a project that meet one or more of the following conditions:

  • significantly share in the final artistic and creative outcome
  • maintain or share intellectual property over the project
  • may have a financial stake in the project

Even if you apply as a solo artist, you may engage principal artists that materially contribute to the outcomes of your project. You must list these artists on your application.

This is important to understand because neither you nor any principal artists on your project can have more than one open project with the AFA at any time.

  • this means you or your principals cannot submit additional projects at the same application deadline

This can also mean if you or your principals still have an open project from past deadlines, new applications will not be accepted until it is completed

It is very important you make any principal artists on your project aware of these impacts on their future applications.

  • obtain their consent to being listed as principals on your project before you apply

How do I know if I should list someone as a Principal Artist?

Principal artists can vary from project to project and across artistic genres.

Examples of principal artists most often include, directors, play- or scriptwriters, choreographers, composers, or music directors.

Although the AFA recognizes performers, stage managers, designers, and dramaturgs may enhance the quality of your project, they would not typically be considered principal artists by the AFA – unless they are also key creative leads with a stake in the project.

If you are unsure whether an artist should be listed as a Principal Artist in your application, please contact us. AFA grant consultants can provide helpful information about our criteria, and help you prepare an application with the best chance of success.

Why can I only submit one application at a time?

We appreciate artists are often working on multiple activities at any given time. This grant condition helps the AFA to support the maximum number of artists that apply each year.

Learn more