Indigenous Arts Individual Project Funding Expert Panel comments

March 1, 2024 deadline
General Expert Panel comments

Comments made by the panel during the assessment of applications are outlined below. Please note that these comments provide a summary of the panel's assessment and do not necessarily relate to every application submitted to this deadline. The panel does not provide individual comments.

General comments

  • The panel read through many proposals and appreciated those where the applicants took the time to lay out their project description in sections and in a concise and precise manner.
  • The panel appreciated when applicants provided specifics about how they were going to complete their project, including the steps needed to complete their goals, with timelines.
  • Applications were strengthened when applicants shared details of their cultural background and/or included the names of those participating in their project, including Elders, knowledge-keepers, or other artists.
  • The panel prioritized projects which showed that Elders, knowledge holders, community and other artists would be adequately consulted and compensated for their work.
  • While the panel appreciated that some applicants may be trying to remain humble, they found it more helpful when applicants were able to succinctly showcase or describe their accomplishments to date, including past projects, potential accolades, publicity, and the motivation behind why they create the type of work they do.
  • In some cases, the panelists may not have been experts in the particular artistic discipline that the applicants were applying for, as the Indigenous Arts grant supports several artistic disciplines. Panelists appreciated when applicants ensured enough information was given to help understand the art form and what its impacts might be.
  • The panelists appreciated when applicants explained what they intended to do with their work once projects were completed. They especially appreciated when applicants described how the finished project would impact their own artistic development in the long term.
  • The panel prioritized projects where a clear connection to Indigenous culture was made explicit. If the project itself was not cultural in nature, the panel appreciated when applicants described their own connection to Indigenous culture.
  • When projects involved travel, panelists appreciated specificity on which locations would be traveled to, why they were chosen, and the impacts that traveling to those locations would have on the project. 


  • The panel was more likely to prioritize applications where it was made clear that all artists, Elders, collaborators, and/or participants in the project would be compensated with industry standard rates or a living wage.
  • The panel appreciated when budgets had enough detail to give the panel the information they need to evaluate the potential of a project. If the budget is too vague, it made it more difficult for the panel to gauge ability to do the project.
  • The panel appreciated when details were provided for how applicants came to their calculations for each one of their expense line items. Providing quotes where possible was helpful (e.g., web screenshots, email confirmations, etc.).
  • The panel appreciated when subsistence was broken out into the distinct eligible expense types (food, housing, childcare, dependent care and/or local transportation), as opposed to recording subsistence as one large expense.

Support material

  • The panel found it was very important for applicants to include support materials that demonstrated what the completed art was going to look like. Photographs of past work, drafts for anticipated work, or vision boards were appreciated.
  • The panel preferred when applicants included attachments to previous work within the application itself (or as emailed support material), as opposed to providing a link to a portfolio on an external website.
  • For emerging artists, letters of support or identified mentors were especially important as they gave the panel confidence in the artists’ abilities to complete their projects.
  • The panel appreciated when applicants provided an artistic statement or information that contextualized their practice. The panel wanted to understand how the proposed projects fit within the artists’ ongoing work/larger practice.
  • The panel appreciated when letters of confirmation were provided for projects that included other collaborators or communities.
  • For artists applying with a writing project, writing samples were important as they allowed the panel to assess writing ability. It was especially important that writing samples be relevant to the proposed project.
  • It was appreciated when artists provided PDFs of their attachments versus using Microsoft Word, as then formatting is not lost.