We invite you to explore the 2016-17 AFA Annual Report, which includes our accomplishments during the last fiscal year, a summary of grants awarded, financial statements, and the AFA Board’s membership and responsibilities.
Message from the AFA Board of Directors
For 25 years, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts has served as the Government of Alberta’s primary supporter of artists and arts organizations. As part of ongoing efforts to grow our province’s cultural sector, the AFA is a vital contributor to the development, accessibility, recognition, and appreciation of artistic expression across the province.
In spite of persistent economic pressures, this past fiscal year the AFA’s budget remained strong and stable at $27.1 million. This demonstrates a commitment from our government to our shared goals of greater access, excellence, and sustainability for the arts sector. Much of our funding is distributed to the arts community in the form of grants, and government protection of AFA funding allowed us to provide much needed stability to the sector. We distributed 980 grants to organizations and individuals, including a one-time funding initiative that supported the creation of five legacy art projects.
2016 was a milestone year for the AFA, as it marked a quarter century since the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Act, 1991 was proclaimed into action. It was important to us that commemorative activities to celebrate our anniversary also celebrated Alberta’s arts community. We invested in the community by creating the one-time Commemorative Arts Projects funding opportunity and by updating our website to be a more useful tool in accessing our programs.
The AFA cares for the largest provincial public art collection in Canada, valued at $15.1 Million. We acquired 125 new artworks into the AFA Art Collection this year, helping us celebrate and preserve the best examples of Albertan visual arts. We are also committed to sharing our treasure of artworks with Albertans. This year, nearly half a million visitors enjoyed curated exhibits featuring our collection through our Travelling Exhibition (TREX) program alone.
In addition to providing stability, our role is to encourage innovation and respond to the evolving needs of our community. The launch of our Major Arts Presenters operating grant stream improves our support structure for some of the largest arts festivals and event organizers in the province. This initiative is an important example of how we can evolve in response to our stakeholder’s needs.
The AFA fosters artists and artistic activity throughout our province. Four of every five Albertans considers the arts to be an important contributor to quality of life, according to the 2017 Survey of Albertans on Culture. This year, we also learned more about the important economic contributions by arts and culture ($5.7 billion in GDP), with the release of the latest figures from the Cultural Satellite Account. The Board of Directors is looking forward to expanding our reach and increasing our impact over the next 25 years, and beyond.
I am pleased to present the AFA 2016-17 Annual Report.
Liam Oddie, Chair
Alberta Foundation for the Arts