What are eligible expenses?

Did you know that child care and other living expenses could be an eligible project expense? Costs associated with cultural protocols? Learn more about what generally can be included as an eligible expense in your project application.

Eligible expenses

Eligible expenses are simply activities or items that you are allowed to spend AFA funding on through a certain grant program.

Eligible expenses are listed in the grant guidelines, under the section “What does this grant support” for each program. Here you can find some highlights of some eligible expenses that we have received questions about in the past.

Living expenses and child care

Basic living or subsistence expenses—including child care—are eligible expenses under all AFA individual artist project grants. Subsistence expenses could also include:

  • housing
  • food
  • local transportation
  • dependent care

You can claim up to $3,000/month for these expenses.

Please note that these expenses must be directly related to carrying out your proposed project.

Application tip - subsistence expenses

You can apply for subsistence expenses, along with all other eligible expenses, as part of the budget you submit in your online application.

We recommend you prepare your project budget before beginning your online application.

  • use a spreadsheet
  • break down subsistence expenses into units appropriate to your project.

Breaking down these expenses into units is the system that the GATE Front Office online form requires.

For example:

  • If you are requesting rent in the amount of $800/month over six months, you would claim six units of $800 on your budget expenses.
  • If you are attending a residency for five weeks, and accommodation will cost $250/week, you would claim five units of $250 on your budget expenses. 
  • In the notes section of your expense type, specify what your unit is.

Cultural and other expenses related to protocols and gift giving

These expenses too can be considered eligible expenses for AFA's individual artist project grants.

The Indigenous Arts Individual Project Funding opportunity lists specific cultural expenses for your project that you may wish to consider, such as:

  • mentorship costs, such as honoraria and protocol
  • fees for mentors or Elders
  • associated travel and accommodation and living costs for mentors

These expenses must be directly related to carrying out your proposed project.

Can I apply for funding to purchase a new computer, recording equipment, etc.?

Not in most cases. These expenses are usually considered capital expenditures.

  • Capital expenditures generally refer to monies spent on acquiring, maintaining or improving physical assets such as land or property.
  • They can also include the purchase or upgrade of equipment or computer hardware.  As these are also considered fixed assets, these types of expenses are ineligible for all AFA grant programs.

What kinds of purchases can I make? 

There is a difference between:

  • expenses for materials (which are eligible) and
  • capital expenditures (which are not)

So, yes, you can use AFA funding to purchase items, but they must be directly related to carrying out your proposed project and could typically be considered “consumable” items.

How can I tell the difference?

It’s important to remember that all AFA grants for individuals are project grants:

  • A good rule of thumb is that if an item you want to purchase has a lifespan that extends beyond the term of your project, it’s probably a capital expenditure and ineligible for funding.

If you are having difficulty determining whether an expense is eligible or not, please contact us. AFA grant consultants can provide helpful information and tips about preparing your project budget.

Application tip - digital technologies

Applicants seeking to enhance or increase their digital footprint or technological capacity can apply for eligible expenses for costs associated with professional and/or skill development in the use and implementation of new technologies.

Learn more

After you have reviewed general information about project funding opportunities for individuals, you may be ready to start preparing a grant applicantion. If so, check out our application writing tips for individual artists