Theatre 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 appreciated the variety of solid applications and were excited by, and gave priority to, proposals that they felt would have a strong impact on the audience, the artist, or the theatre ecology in Alberta. 
  • The panel appreciated and gave priority to applications where the applicant was able to clearly describe the impacts that the project would have on their own artistic development.
  • 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. 
  • They especially appreciated when the description was succinct (3-5 pages max.), with a clear main objective. Avoid superfluous detail – don’t make your reader have to work to find the relevant information.
  • When projects involved script redevelopment, expert panelists appreciated when applicants identified which elements of the project they wanted to focus on enhancing. What questions did the applicants want to explore in this new phase and how would they frame that exploration?
  • The panelists appreciated when project descriptions clearly identified the concrete steps that will make up a project’s creation process, as opposed to only summarizing the narrative’s plot. What does this project look like from a production management standpoint? A dramaturgical standpoint?
  • For applicants in the research phase of their project, panelists gave priority to those who were able to articulate the methods through which research would take place, as opposed to solely communicating the topic of their research (e.g., Why are you exploring this research? What questions will you be asking? How will you conduct your research? What will your sources be, and how will you find them?).
  • The panel appreciated when applicants gave them the entire context needed for their projects to be understandable by those who may not have been as close to your material or may not be living in your region.
  • If your work was being presented as part of a Festival or Incubator program, it was important to describe the mandates of those and what supports they would offer to your project.
  • If your work was being adapted from other work(s), summarizing that work was necessary.
  • For projects where public engagement (e.g., projects aiming to collect public feedback) was paramount to the project’s success, it was important for applicants to describe what this engagement would look like, and how they would go about promoting the project to ensure they would have these audiences.
  • For those applying for funding to support training opportunities, priority was given to applicants who were able to articulate the outcomes/impacts the program would have on their artistic development,as opposed to simply attaching a letter of confirmation or syllabus. The panel wanted to hear your own voice.


  • The panel appreciated when information in the budget section in GATE was paralleled by information in the project description.
  • The budget section should be supplemental to the information given in the project description, and new information should not be shared solely in the comments section of the budget.
  • For projects with multiple revenue sources, it was helpful when applicants identified which expense items would be covered by the AFA, and which would be supported by other revenue sources.
  • The panel highly recommends future applicants separate their subsistence costs into individual expense lines (i.e., housing, local transport, food, childcare, dependent care).
  • The panel appreciated when applicants used the comments section of the budget sheet to explain how they defined their own units for each expense line item (e.g., “Actors Fee (4 actors at $1,500 each)” — 4 Units — $1,500 = $6,000 Total).
  • For projects that relied on future ticket sales as a primary source of revenue, the panel appreciated when applicants described how they calculated that revenue (e.g., percentage representing box office cuts, a percentage of total possible sales, or a number of tickets that would need to be sold to yield that amount).
  • It was important that any large budget items were accompanied by a detailed explanation as to why it was so high in the application. What exactly is being purchased for this amount, and why do you estimate that it will cost this much?

Support material

  • The panel appreciated when applicants attached resumes for all collaborators on their project. They especially appreciated when the resumes showed evidence of past experience in the roles that these collaborators would be filling within your project.
  • Letters of support or identified mentors/team members were helpful as they gave the panel confidence in the artists’ abilities to complete their projects.
  • The panel appreciated when applicants submitted an excerpt as a writing sample, as opposed to a full script.
  • The panel appreciated when applicants included context within the project description to help the panel understand why you have attached the support materials that you did, especially in cases where the support material was of work unrelated to the project that you have submitted. What is the evidence you are hoping to convey by attaching this work?
  • For projects that involved collaborations with other organizations or public entities (e.g.: hospitals, schools, etc.), it was helpful when letters of support from those organizations were attached to show that there was an established relationship and vested interest in the project.
  • It was appreciated when artists provided PDFs of their attachments versus using Microsoft Word, as then formatting is not lost.