A $193,500 investment in Alberta’s arts sector grew 5 times to $1.25M thanks to Business for the Arts’ artsVest program

Date: Feb 28, 2018

This unique funding model leverages federal and local government funding to trigger direct, private sector contributions to small and medium arts and cultural organizations

(Edmonton, AB – February 27, 2018) - Business for the Arts, a national organization that works to strengthen arts and culture in Canada by stimulating investment in the arts through matching incentives and sponsorship training for arts organization, worked with 39 arts organizations in Calgary and Edmonton to achieve five times their funding goal. 

Starting with $193,500 in grants from the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta, Business for the Arts leveraged its artsVest model to help these organizations secure $1.06M in additional investments from Alberta’s business sector. 

Here’s how the artsVest model works: arts organizations are trained by expert coaches and mentors on how to build strong funding relationships with their local business community and given the resources and tools needed to approach the business community with strong partnership proposals. For every funding partnership secured, artsVest provides the arts organization with matching funds.

“As a recently graduated art student, I had no background in cultivating sponsorship. artsVest gave me the confidence to elevate our sponsorships, and now I have several great relationships with local businesses,” said Susan Winters, volunteer supervisor, The Works Art & Design Festival.

During the training cycle in Alberta, the 39 arts organizations participated in 1,060 hours of live hands-on, individualized support from a team of over 40 volunteer mentors from across Canada, including Albertans: Derek Fraser, Trish Matheson, Del Simon, Michèle Stanners and Dale Turri. Alberta Craft Council, Edmonton International Street Performers Festival, Fairy Tales Presentation Society, Making Treaty 7 and Sled Island are among the local organizations to have cited the benefits of the the artsVest model.

Launched in 2005, artsVest now operates in Alberta, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. To date, 1,181 organizations have participated in artsVest and formed 3,883 partnerships with businesses, which has generated $16.8M in new private sector investment from $6.6M in matching funds. The result is $23.4M to Canada’s cultural sector.

“Alberta’s arts community has shown outstanding entrepreneurialism in seizing the artsVest matching grant opportunity and putting our sponsorship training into action in building strong funding relationships with the business community.  It is exciting to see the arts flourish in communities across the province through this collaboration between government, business and the arts sector,”  said Nichole Anderson, Business for the Arts CEO

“Congratulations to Business for the Arts and Alberta’s arts organizations for the success of the artsVest program,” said Ricardo Miranda, Alberta’s Minister of Culture and Tourism. “I am pleased that the Government of Alberta was able to be a part of this program, and I look forward to what artsVest, the participating artists and businesses are able to accomplish together in the future.”


To read more on the artsVest program, please visit artsvest.com

For more information, please contact: Claire Hefferon Payne, National Program Director, artsVest
T: 416 869 3016 x 225
E: claire@businessforthearts.org