Deadlines: February 6, May 1, August 8, November 6, 2017 at 4:30pm MST
Applications Open: January 9, April 3, July 4, October 2, 2017 at 9:00am MST
This program invests in professional development opportunities for individual professional artists1 in Calgary2, allowing them to take advantage of short-term opportunities that will develop their careers.
Please read the following before starting your application, as the guidelines and criteria have been updated for 2017.
Who can apply?
We consider a professional artist3 to be one who:
- Has specialized training in the artistic field (not necessarily in academic institutions).
- Is recognized as a professional by their peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition).
- Is committed to devoting time to artistic activity.
- Has had at least one presentation or publication within a professional context.
What defines a professional context can be different for all disciplines; generally speaking this does not include:
- Work within a degree-granting program.
- Presentations or publications of a university or post-secondary institution.
1 This program is not intended to support amateur artists or arts administrators.
2 Applicants living outside of Calgary may apply if they can demonstrate a commitment to maintaining a majority of activities that contribute to the Calgary arts community and are accessible to Calgarians.
3 Adapted from the Canada Council for the Arts.
We welcome applications from those working in all artistic disciplines and their various cultural forms, including: Indigenous arts; circus arts; curation; dance; deaf and disability arts; digital arts; literature; film and media arts; multidisciplinary practice; music and sound; theatre; and visual arts.
Artists may apply to participate in opportunities to which their groups or collectives have been invited, but must focus on the impact to their own distinct practices and careers.
If you are seeking an opportunity directly related to your ongoing work with an arts organization, please show that the organization has also invested in your opportunity to an appropriate level.
Any single applicant may only receive one Artist Opportunity Grant per calendar year.
If you have any questions about eligibility and your practice, don’t hesitate to contact us!
What can you apply for?
This program can cover expenses related to a unique professional opportunity, to a maximum of $2,500. If the overall expenses are higher than this amount, you must show how you will cover the remainder.
Opportunities more than halfway complete by the time of a given deadline are not eligible.
What is an Opportunity?
An opportunity is a unique experience that significantly develops your artistic practice and/or career.
This program is focused on types of learning that happen outside of when you are creating, producing and practicing your art form. So rather than the output of your work itself, this program can support the development of the skills, knowledge and relationships that make it possible to do your work.
Use the following checklist to know whether your opportunity fits the program:
- You have not experienced anything similar to this in your career or practice.
- The opportunity teaches or provides something you would not be able to receive as effectively on your own.
- What you might experience could significantly transform your career or the way you practice art.
When Should You Apply?
Look at the Criteria section below. You want to submit your application when you can make the best case for it. For example, showing that you have been accepted to the opportunity and have everything you need prepared makes your case stronger. On the other hand, do not wait so long that you risk not being able to experience it.
Notifications are generally sent out within one month of the deadline, depending on the number of applications received. If your opportunity falls within this timeframe, please show how you will be able to access the opportunity regardless of funding through this program.
Contact the Community Investment Team at email@example.com or 403.476.2031 if you have specific questions about your application up to 48 hours before a deadline. In some cases staff will send a submitted application back to draft and notify the applicant if it is incomplete, both before and sometimes after the deadline.
This program is meant to help remove barriers that might make it harder to access an important opportunity.
Eligible expenses include:
- Fees for registration, or for program materials.
- Professional fees and services, except as specified below.
- Reasonably priced accommodations outside of Calgary.
- Costs to prepare existing work for presentation.
- Per diems for food, transit, transportation.
- Child care.
Please contact us if you would like to discuss any other expenses not listed above.
This program is not intended to support:
- Creation of new and ongoing work, completely self-directed opportunities, or curatorial projects.
- Professional artist fees.
- Post-secondary degree-granting programs.
- Purchase of equipment costing more than $500 and not directly related to the opportunity.
How to Apply
Applications will only be accepted online through Calgary Arts Development’s grant interface.
There are four deadlines in 2017:
- February 6
- May 1
- August 8
- November 6
Applications must be submitted before 4:30pm MST on the day of the deadline. Late applications will not be accepted. Extensions may be provided upon request in certain circumstances in advance of a deadline. Consult the Deadline Extensions Policy below for more information.
The funding available for each intake will be $30,000, with unexpended funds rolling over to the following intake period.
If you do not receive funding the first time you apply, we encourage you to contact us for feedback so that you may apply again, provided your opportunity is still available and eligible for funding.
- Contact information.
- Resume/CV, including dates and descriptions of experiences, especially those related to training, professional presentation and those relevant to the professional development of your practice and career. Please list experiences within a professional context separately from others.
- Briefly describe your artistic practice in terms of how you make your work and what is important to you (100 words max). Alternately, you may upload an existing artist statement with the same max word count.
- Uniqueness: Describe the opportunity, when and where it takes place. Describe the relationship between your opportunity and your practice as you described it. Be specific and speak to previous experiences (300 words max).
- Growth: How might this opportunity lead to significant change in your practice or career? (300 words max).
- Timeline for opportunity. Also, if the opportunity begins before you receive the results from your AOG application, how will you access it?
- Budget for opportunity. Account for the entire scope of the opportunity. If your overall expenses exceed $2,500, explain how you will cover additional costs. Use the notes section to clarify line items and specify whether other revenue or in-kind support is confirmed or pending. Download and complete the Budget Template.
- Support Material. Attach files or links that are related to your opportunity and help strengthen your case, such as letters of invitation, documentation related to expenses, materials describing the opportunity, and so on (up to four attachments, each with a maximum size of 4MB; PDF, JPG, DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX file types only).
- Reference: Provide the name and contact information of one professional peer that can speak to your practice. No formal support letter from this individual is necessary.
The Assessment Committee will assess applications on the following non-aesthetic criteria:
- Uniqueness: Will what is experienced be unique in the context of the artist’s career? (30%)
- Growth: Can the opportunity significantly enhance the artist’s practice or career, or further their artistic goals? (40%)
- Planning: Has the opportunity been effectively planned and budgeted? (30%)
In 2017, the assessment committee will comprise of Calgary Arts Development staff and at least one external assessor. To nominate an assessor, please fill out the nomination form.
Conditions of Receiving a Grant
Successful applications will be required to sign and a return investment agreement within 30 days of notification to receive funding.
A Final Report will be due within 90 days of the end of the term of that agreement:
- How has the way you practice art changed since the opportunity? (100 words)
- Rate the change to your practice on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high).
- How has your career been enhanced since the opportunity? (100 words)
- Rate the level of career enhancement on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
- Provide an updated budget with actuals. Applicants should be prepared to submit receipts upon request.
Deadline Extension Policy
Calgary Arts Development intends its granting process to be open, fair and transparent.
Calgary Arts Development has a fiduciary responsibility to the citizens of Calgary to ensure the security and value of their investments.
- For clients who intend to submit applications but will miss the deadline, a written request for extension must be received by Calgary Arts Development before the deadline.
- Requests not received in time will result in ineligibility for that granting period. The request must state the reason(s) the application deadline cannot be met. Acceptable reasons may include:
- Personal health or family crisis
- Birth or death of a family member
- Unforeseen organizational priority
- Calgary Arts Development staff will review the request for extension. If in Calgary Arts Development’s sole discretion the reason for the extension is compelling, a deadline extension will be granted. A written notice explaining Calgary Arts Development’s decision will be sent to the applicant. Extensions will only be granted if doing so will not materially affect the planned assessment process.
- Notwithstanding the foregoing, Calgary Arts Development, in its sole discretion, may grant an extension in extenuating circumstances.
Consult the Investment Program FAQ for answers to common questions about the program.
Our team is here to support you! If you have any questions about the program contact the Community Investment team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403.476.2031.