Investment Program FAQ

Please see below for answers to general investment questions and questions about the granting interface, as well as Operating Grant Program and Artist Opportunity Grant Program questions.

If you have a question that isn’t listed here, contact us at or 403.476.2031.

How do I know if I’m eligible for a grant?

Eligibility criteria vary by program. Please read guidelines available on each program page to determine if you are eligible. If you are still unsure, please contact us at or 403.476.2031.

Does Calgary Arts Development offer grants for individual artists?

Yes. Calgary Arts Development is currently running the Artist Opportunity Grant throughout 2017.

I just applied for a grant. What happens next?

Calgary Arts Development’s Community Investment team reviews all grant applications for completeness and clarity before they go to assessment. If there is anything missing from your application or points that need clarification, a Community Investment team member will contact you. Otherwise, your application will go directly to assessment and you will be notified about the results of your application by email and mail.

My application was successful! How will I receive funding?

Once we receive your signed funding agreement, we will issue you a cheque that will be delivered by mail or held for pick-up at our office. It will take a few weeks to prepare your cheque. Please note that Calgary Arts Development cannot send funds electronically.

After I receive funding, is there anything else I have to do?

All programs have a final reporting process. Please consult your funding agreement for report requirements. All organizations and individuals that receive funding through Calgary Arts Development must also acknowledge us on their marketing materials. Logos and usage guidelines are available at

How do I use the granting interface?

If you are a new applicant, please create an account.

If you are a returning applicant, please log in with your previous login email and password. Do not create a new account, as it will not give you access to your previous grant applications. If you need to update your account information, please contact us at or 403.476.2031.

Calgary Arts Development is happy to work with you to navigate the application process. Please contact us at or 403.476.2031 if you encounter any difficulties.

How do I start an application?

Log in to the online granting interface. Click “Apply” on the left-hand menu and then click on the program you’re applying for. Be sure to click on the paragraph heading and not the URL at the bottom, which will direct you back to the grant information page.

When I log on, it doesn’t work—what’s wrong?

First, be sure that you’ve logged in to the granting interface, rather than logged in to post classified ads. Our online granting interface works best with Google Chrome or Firefox as your browser, and is less compatible with Safari and Internet Explorer. Make sure you are using a compatible browser and that you have its most recent updates installed. If you still experience problems, try clearing all of your browser data (cookies and cache especially). If that doesn’t solve the problem, please contact us at or 403.476.2031.

How do I find my old grant applications?

You can view all of your grant applications from 2009 on by logging into the online granting interface. If you are looking for applications from before 2009, please contact us at or 403.476.2031.

Can I save a grant application and work on it later?

Yes. There is a “save” button at the bottom of each application page. Please save your work frequently. For Operating Grant Program applications, we recommend that you write Public and Artistic Impact statements using a word processor and then copy and paste into the online application.

Operating Grant Program

The goal of the Operating Grant Program is to ensure that Calgary arts organizations have the opportunity to excel and strategically achieve their mandates with a stable base of resources. Please consult the program guidelines for complete information.

Further questions can be directed to the Community Investment team at or 403.476.2031.

How should I decide how much funding to ask for?

While we do not set a maximum request amount, our grants are investments made on behalf of the citizens of Calgary, and applicants must make the case for a strong return on investment.

Generally, you should ask for what you realistically need to achieve your mandate. Note that assessors cannot recommend grants higher than an organization’s request.

Does Calgary Arts Development have a standard definition for an emerging artist?

No. The definition of ‘emerging artist’ may vary depending on artistic discipline or a given organization’s mandate. If supporting emerging artists is part of your mandate, programming or activities, please provide us with the definition you use.

Can I upload our own programming list instead of filling out the standard Programming Form?

Filling out the standard form is mandatory for all applicants. Collecting all of our applicants’ information in a consistent way allows us to tell the story of your impact most effectively. Details about your activities that are not captured in the form can be shared in the written description section and the optional programming list upload.

What information should be included in the New Works Created category in the Programming Form?

Only fill this in if your organization offers residencies, programs or workshops that lead to the production of new works. Also, include new works produced as a part of partnership activity. Do not include the presentation of existing works brought into Calgary for the first time.

How many years should our financial statements show?

Two years: one for the most recent completed fiscal year and one for the fiscal year before that. There should, therefore, be two years of figures for both the Statement of Operations and the Balance Sheet. The line items should be generally consistent across both years so that assessors can track variances in your financial information without consulting your previous applications.

What if our statements are only formatted to show a single year? Do we have to completely reformat them?

No. If your current practice is to compile statements that only show a single year, we ask that you provide the latest statements and the previous fiscal year’s statements combined in a single .pdf document.

What do Artistic and Public Impact mean?

The Operating Grant Program assumes that every organization defines and achieves Artistic and Public Impact differently. How an organization demonstrates its impact should always relate to its own mandate in an authentic way.

Do not assume that the assessors will understand why a certain activity or direction is important to your organization. Instead, take the opportunity to clearly state how it relates to achieving your impact. The Operating Grant Criteria Guide offers some examples as a starting point, but organizations are also encouraged to articulate their impact in their own way.

What can we expect from the assessor feedback?

If you request feedback, Community Investment staff will send you a summary of the notes taken at assessment meetings that captures the assessors’ perspectives on your organization, according to the program criteria. These notes are not intended to serve as direct rationale for any outcomes of the assessment, nor are they necessarily an indication of how future assessors might review an application. Applicants are encouraged to use assessor feedback to inform how to best articulate their impact as organizations.

Whether you request formal feedback or not, all notification letters will indicate a grant amount that reflects the simulated competitive process, along with a confirmation of their previous grant amount.

Is it possible to lose up to 5% of our previous grant in the new process, even though our organization has maintained our level of programming from previous years?

Yes. Starting in 2016, the assessors will be asked to allocate funds to the organizations that show the strongest return on their grant investment.

That being said, the purpose of the Operating Grant Program is to provide a stable base of resources so that arts organizations can excel and strategically achieve their mandates. Assessors will always consider what it means for an organization to lose 5% of its previous grant, and weigh investment decisions against the possibility that an organization could be destabilized by a reduction. A 5% reduction is only possible once every two years, during competitive assessments.

Can I mail in my grant application?

No. In order to streamline the granting process and make it easier for both applicants and assessors, Calgary Arts Development only accepts grant applications through our online granting interface.

Artist Opportunity Grant Program

The Artist Opportunity Grant program invests in professional development opportunities for individual professional artists (adapted from the Canada Council for the Arts). Consult the program guidelines for deadlines and full program information.

Further questions can be directed to the Community Investment team at or 403.476.2031.

What is an opportunity?

An opportunity must be a unique experience that clearly contributes to meaningful professional growth and development for the applicant. It may be one of many things, for example, an invitation to exhibit at a prestigious gallery, to study with a mentor or renowned teacher or to perform at a festival out of town. An opportunity might follow from a selection jury or a competitive process. Ultimately, an opportunity can only be defined in the context of each artist’s career.

What can you apply for?

Artist Opportunity Grants can cover expenses related to a unique professional opportunity, to a maximum of $2,500. Applications will not be considered for opportunities that have already occurred or are more than halfway complete as of the deadline date. Grant decisions will be based on the assessment criteria. If you have questions about the eligibility of your opportunity, please contact us before applying.

When should you apply?

Consult the Deadlines and Assessment Criteria sections in the program guidelines. The ideal time to submit an application is when you can make the best case for your opportunity without jeopardizing your access to it. Contact the Community Investment team if you have any questions.

How many Artist Opportunity Grants may I receive?

Applicants may apply more than once in a calendar year, but may only receive one Artist Opportunity Grant per calendar year.

Can I fax, mail or email my application?

No. Apply to the Artist Opportunity Grant program by setting up an account through our online grant interface. If you manage an organization’s account, do not apply through that account; create an individual account instead.

Do I have to set up a new account on the grant interface for each new application?

No, you do not need to create new accounts for each application. Once you have an account, use that account for all future Artist Opportunity Grant applications.

Can I start my grant application and return to it later?

Yes. You can save your application as a draft by clicking the ‘Save’ button at the bottom of the screen. We encourage applicants to save often.

What if my support material will not upload to the grant interface?

Check to see if your document is too large or if it is the wrong file type. Contact our Community Investment team for further troubleshooting.

How will I know you received my application?

Once you click the submit button, the grant interface will provide a message stating that your application has been submitted. Your granting interface dashboard should then list your application as submitted, not as a draft. Please note that the Community Investment team may return your application to draft for revisions. You will be notified of this by email and given a deadline to re-submit. If your application is returned to draft, you must click the submit button again once you have made your changes.

How do I get help with my application?

If you have specific questions about your application, such as how to represent items in the budget or how something might fit into the criteria, you can contact us up to two days (48 hours) before a deadline. If needed we’ll move your application back to draft form, after which you can make changes and then resubmit before the deadline.

Sometimes we will require you to make changes to your application for clarity. In those cases we will send your application back to draft and notify you. Make sure your check your email even after the deadline in case you have to make changes and resubmit by a certain time.

When do I find out if I got my grant?

The Artist Opportunity Grant takes about a month to process, depending on how many applications we receive. We do our best to respond as quickly as possible, but cannot provide exact notification dates. Please plan to manage your cash flow for an opportunity if our review takes longer.

Can I call for my results?

No. Calgary Arts Development only releases results via email or mail, using formal notification letters.

How will I receive my grant payment?

Successful Applicants will receive a Funding Agreement with their notification. Once the Applicant signs (executes) and returns the complete funding agreement, the grant will be paid by cheque.

The grant results or my grant payment did not arrive until after my opportunity had started. How do I pay for my opportunity in the interim?

Calgary Arts Development staff will do their best to notify and deliver payment to the Applicants within a month, but depending on the number of applications for each intake, cannot commit to this. If your opportunity date (or a payment date for the opportunity) falls close to a deadline, you should be prepared to manage your cash flow in the interim. We will not award a grant for an opportunity likely to be cancelled, which would then prevent other viable opportunities from being supported.

What should I do if my opportunity has been cancelled or I can no longer attend after I have received my grant?

If for any reason you cannot participate in your opportunity, please notify Calgary Arts Development immediately. Your grant is not transferable to any other opportunity, no matter how similar. This ensures that all applicants have equal access to the same assessment rigour, and that our process is fair and transparent. You will be asked to return the cheque that we provided to you. If you have deposited your cheque, we will ask you to return the grant in the form of a personal cheque or bank draft. We do not accept e-transfers or PayPal payments.

What should I do if there is a major change to my project after it has been submitted?

If major changes are made to your opportunity after the application has been submitted, contact Calgary Arts Development immediately. The changes should be discussed with one of our Community Investment staff members and documented in your file.

I didn’t get a grant. Can I get feedback about my application?

Yes. Contact Calgary Arts Development’s Community Investment staff to request feedback, which will be emailed to you as soon as possible. You are welcome to submit another application for the same opportunity if it is still eligible in time for the next deadline.