Date: Feb 26, 2021

A Message from AFA Board Chair Mary Rozsa de Coquet

On February 25, the Alberta government announced details of its 2021-22 budget. The government will continue to provide vital support to the arts sector by investing in the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA). The AFA’s 2021-22 budget allocation is $25.6 million.

While the AFA allocation for this year has been announced, it is important to note that spending decisions for AFA programs have not been made at this time. The next step is for the AFA Board of Directors to engage with the arts sector and develop and approve a 2021-22 spending plan based on our annual allocation. Once the plan is approved, we will communicate our funding approach to the community.

The AFA Board of Directors recognizes the fiscal pressures and stress the arts community continues to endure during the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated public health restrictions. We have heard many difficult, heart-wrenching stories from artists and cultural workers about the hardships the community has endured during the past year. COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted the arts sector, and we understand that the sector will need prolonged support, even after the pandemic ends, in order to recover.

As an agency of the Government of Alberta, the AFA supports and adheres to the advice and direction provided by government with regard to the COVID-19 crisis and any additional actions that may be taken to support Alberta’s arts sector. We are pleased the Government of Alberta continues to invest in the arts and culture in Alberta despite being in a period of fiscal restraint and trusts the AFA to deliver this support. Our board will focus on making decisions in line with our mandate and prioritize funding to continue to best support Alberta’s arts sector.

While the AFA continues to be the government’s primary means to provide support to the arts sector, we recognize and support other recent government initiatives to assist the arts and culture sector during these difficult times that fall outside the scope of our mandate. These include the Stabilize Program, the Alberta Spotlight concert series, and developing Pivot Online: A Tookit for Artists and Non-profit Organizations resource and associated webinar series. The government continues to develop an Arts Professions Act for Alberta.

The board appreciates all of the feedback we have received from the arts community of the last many months and look forward to continue to engage with you going forward to work together to best support our artists and arts organizations in the coming year.

More information:

Alberta Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women 2021-24 Business Plan (PDF)

Government of Alberta 2021-24 Entity Financial Information (PDF) - AFA Statement of Operations on page 63