Project Grant Program – Individuals and Collectives: Info Session

Grant Announcement Categories: Project Grant Program – Individuals and Collectives

Project Grant Program – Individuals and Collectives: Info Session

Applying to the Project Grant Program for Individuals and Collectives? You can find more information and advice in this online and on-demand information session.

This grant program is intended to provide one-time project funding to individual artists and artist collectives in Calgary (known as Mohkinsstsis in Blackfoot) working in any artistic discipline who pursue a professional practice.

The purpose of this session is to provide more context about the project grant program for individuals and collectives, and the specific goals and criteria. It will also provide some approaches, examples and questions that might be helpful to consider when determining if you will apply and how best to do so.

Be sure to read the full guidelines and apply by 4:30pm MT on May 10, 2023.

Taylor Poitras: All right, so my name is Taylor Poitras and I use she/her pronouns. I’m currently the specialist for individual and collective programs at Calgary Arts Development and I’m the primary contact person for the project grant program this year, so please feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions about this program or need support applying. Van Chu, our grants coordinator, is also available to help with any general or technical questions that you might have for the grants team. 

Van monitors our general email address, which is a really good go-to email if you’re ever unsure and have questions about our programs and you aren’t sure who to reach out to. So before we start, you know, I’d like to start and share where I’m located. I was born on Treaty 7 land in Calgary or Mohkinstssis, and I continue to live and work here. 

This is the traditional and ancestral territory of the Niitsitapi or Blackfoot nations, which include the Siksika, the Piikani and the Kainai. And I’m just going slowly for the interpreter. We acknowledge the Beaver People of the Tsuut’ina, the Bearspaw, Chiniki and Wesley Bands of the Stoney Nakoda First Nations, and the Métis people of Region 3, as well as all Indigenous people who make Treaty 7 region their home. 

And I feel it’s important to understand the long history that has brought us to reside on this land that we’re currently on and seek to help understand our own place within that history. So land acknowledgments, you know, they don’t exist in a historical or a past tense. Colonialism is still current and an ongoing process. And so my hope is that when we do pause to acknowledge the land and the original stewards and caretakers, that it inspires others to learn and really connect with the land that they’re on and that they’re inhabiting, and to learn more about their own relationship with the history and the people in the place. And also just take time to consider, you know, what actions you can take towards acknowledging truth and reconciliation and moving towards healing together as a community.  

So my goal with the land acknowledgments, because I know they’ve become very common, is really just to help people pause and maybe consider, you know, your own positionality, where you’re situated and what you can do to show up for First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities and how you might begin to contribute or help build, you know, supportive and reciprocal relationships. So if you’re ever seeking resources to kind of start that journey or continue that journey for yourself, please reach out any time. We have lots of resources that we’re happy to share that we’ve really benefited from as individuals and as a staff at CADA, so happy to share anything that we have with you around that.  

Okay, so I also wanted to take a moment to talk about CADA’s commitment to equity. This is an ongoing, never-ending commitment and learning journey here at CADA. And it’s really important to acknowledge that systems like granting and public funding are usually designed in a one-size-fits-all way, which means that they’re often designed for the dominant culture and they’re rooted in colonial Western European academic systems. And that creates barriers to access for many, many artists in our communities who are seeking and deserving of support.  

And one really obvious example of this at CADA is that we currently share our programs and accept applications online in written form and in English. And so that alone creates, you know, technological, linguistic communication and cultural barriers, just to name a few. And so we want to acknowledge that our actions, both conscious and unconscious, past and present, have really benefited some communities while limiting opportunities or outcomes for others. And that includes but it’s not limited to Indigenous communities, Black communities, persons of colour, persons with disabilities, Deaf communities, and as well as persons with diverse sexual orientation or gender identities, and so as a public funder, we have a responsibility to ensure equitable access to public funding. We really envision a city where all artists have the freedom and agency and platform to share and amplify their stories, their art, culture and experiences, and a city where all Calgarians of all backgrounds can access, create and participate in art as part of their everyday lives. 

And so to that end, we are dedicated to addressing and working to eliminate institutional inequity in our programs, our policies and our practices. Our staff are accountable to ensuring that lines of communication are welcoming, clear and open, and that our application and assessment processes are fair and deeply considerate. And so while we have been continuing to expand and improve our processes and our policies around equity and accessibility and accommodation, we still have a long way to go and we aim to build relationships with the community and continue to learn from our communities, particularly those who are most directly affected, about the specific challenges that exist within granting and working to create more equitable systems for everyone. So we have identified some equity priority groups and adopted a specific equity measure for some of our programs, including this one, which I’ll speak about a little bit more later on.  

And so how does this commitment to equity translate to you as artists, as potential applicants? Well, part of it, I think, is that when you’re applying to programs like the project grant, we really ask artists to consider concepts like ‘Nothing about us without us.’ And so that’s an idea that’s been around for a long time now. But I believe it really grew from, in the 1990s, it really grew from disability rights activists. And so in the context of granting, it’s really the idea that if you’re creating work about or for a specific community, that community needs to be actively engaged ideally from the beginning, and there needs to be a thoughtful and intentional and reciprocal relationship with that community and a clear benefit and value for that community. We value and honour lived experience and the intersectional and unique perspectives of different people and communities. So when applied to a program, it can be really helpful to pause and ask yourself why this, why now and why me? And connected to this concept, there are things that CADA won’t tolerate, obviously within our grant programs, things like hate speech, cultural appropriation, or active exclusionary behaviour. 

So please be aware that any application or project that contains anything to do with that won’t be supported by our organization. And when it comes to evaluating applications, this is something that we ask our peer committees to consider. So are artists thoughtful and considerate of the work that they make, and who they make it with and for, and how they make it. 

So I’ll expand a little bit more on that when we talk about the program criteria as well. But I just wanted to start off today’s conversation around this commitment to equity and how it applies to you, staff and assessors. All right. And in recognition of some of those barriers that I mentioned, we will work one on one with applicants to develop accommodations or approaches that suit their unique abilities or situations. So some examples of accommodations that we offer are translation of written materials into other languages, including ASL, transcription of verbal meetings or audio and video recordings into a written document. Language interpretation for phone or video meetings, video or audio applications. And so this means that if you would like to answer some of the application questions verbally, you can submit an audio or video recording of yourself for those written sections and staff can help you record those responses using a platform like Zoom, or you can do it on your own at home with a phone or any kind of camera that you have. 

We also offer a grant writing assistance, which I’ll touch a little bit more on in the next slide and then feedback. So in addition to all of these things, the program staff, so myself included, will do our best to be available to answer questions or provide feedback on draft applications before you submit to a program. So just remember to reach out early. We do get a lot of requests and we can only guarantee feedback up to 10 days before the program deadline and that can really vary depending on the volume of requests that we’re getting. And while you can obviously really benefit from getting feedback before you apply with this program, we can also offer feedback from the assessment committee after the process has ended. 

So whether or not you get a grant, you can always request feedback afterwards to hear some of the perspectives and the comments that the assessors had on your application. And we also want to recognize the limitations that our staff may have to adequately support all applicant needs. So we’ve also formalized a process for applicants to request financial assistance to help alleviate some of the costs that might be associated with preparing and submitting an application or a final report, or receiving and accepting a grant investment. 

So who can request this type of assistance? Basically, any individual or collective who identifies as an artist who is Deaf or hard of hearing or has a disability, or is living with a mental illness, or an artist facing language, geographic or cultural barriers. And just to make a quick note, when you request application assistance, you do not have to disclose any specifics or, you know, provide any type of proof or evidence of these things. We really want to trust that artists who are experiencing any kind of barrier to access are asking for what they need and they need this type of support, so you don’t have to disclose anything that you do not want to disclose. The only time where this would not be eligible is, you know, we’re not able to support application assistance for artists who are simply hiring maybe a professional grant writer to work with them for professional reasons. It has to be something related to sort of accessibility related reasons. And so this assistance applies at any stage of the process, like I said. So whether you’re reading the guidelines, trying to decide whether or not you want to apply or if you’re actually preparing a grant application or if you’re receiving and accepting a grant investment or whether you’re you’ve done the project and now you’re preparing and submitting your final report. 

So application assistance is available through every part of the grant process. And to request this kind of assistance, all you have to do is call or email at any time during the process. We do say in the policy that we prefer a couple of weeks before you submit, but really any time you can reach out earlier, the better. 

And if you’re unsure about if you’re eligible for this, reach out, we can have a chat. Once you are, you know, you’ve gotten the go ahead, all you need to do is decide who will be assisting you, and so that could be a family member or friend, an artistic peer or a professional service provider. We might be able to make recommendations for some service providers depending on the type of service, but in most cases we’ll look to the applicant to make that choice for themselves and work with who they feel comfortable working with. 

The person that is assisting tracks their hours and then sends CADA an invoice and we pay them directly through direct deposit. So Calgary Arts Development has outlined the maximum amounts that we’re able to offer or provide for application assistance, and it kind of varies based on the type of program you’re applying to and the type of service that you’re requesting. 

And so all the details are in our policy, but if you have questions, please feel free to reach out and I can definitely help clarify the process for that.  

Alright. So now let’s dive into the project grant program. And so I know this is a very wordy slide, but I just wanted to share the sort of overall goals and priorities of the project grant. And so this program really seeks to support projects that align with one or more of these three priorities. So the first one is projects that support individual and collective artistic practices, including the research, creation, development, production, presentation or dissemination of artistic work, or the experimentation or development of new or adapted approaches to practice. So the slide doesn’t include the entire thing, it’s very long, but the guidelines have the full description. 

The second one is arts-centred projects that encourage everyday creativity, including cross-sector collaboration, creative economy, neighbourhood level community initiatives, or use initiatives or projects that reflect and contribute to the vibrancy and vitality of Calgary’s art sector and create opportunities for Calgarians to access artistic experiences. So basically, all of these things are the reason we run a project grant, and these are the types of things we want to amplify within the community through the projects that we fund. 

And so this program is really intended to provide one-time project funding for a specific project, activity or initiatives, and it’s intended to support individual artists or artists collectives. Our programs are open to any professional artist at any stage of their artistic career. We don’t have standard definitions for emerging, mid-career or established artists. These definitions can be completely different based on discipline, type of practice, individual experience, etc. So we do expect what we, what we do expect is that artists applying to the program are pursuing a professional practice. 

And so what does that mean? We consider a professional artist to be an artist who’s actively pursuing a career in the arts and who has invested in the development of their artistic skills, voice and goals. So professional artists may have formal or informal training. We value all ways of knowing, learning and developing an artistic practice. Professional artists have shared or are actively striving to share their work publicly and be compensated for their work. Professional artists have a relationship with their artistic communities and peers, and artists do not need to be working professionally in the arts full time. So it’s okay if you’re a professional artist, but you have, you know, an arts administration job as well, or another day job, that is okay.  

An art collective. Just to give a more fulsome definition, we consider an artist collective to be two or more individual artists who work together in either an ongoing or an ad hoc way, who have a shared artistic practice. And that shared practice is distinct from their own individual art practices. So collectives need to define their collective practice, vision, goals and process to demonstrate that the collective members have equal and shared ownership and accountability for the vision, success and completion of the proposed project. And a majority of the collective members should be Calgary-based artists. So at least 50 per cent or more. And an artist collective does not include for-profit organizations or businesses or groups that are formally registered as nonprofit societies.  

We also have opened up eligibility this year and a little bit last year to include collaborations with artists and projects from cultural workers. And so I’ll read the definition for what those are. So for collaborations with artists, this means we will consider applications from individuals working in the arts and culture sector who do not meet the definition of an individual, artist or collective as long as they can demonstrate the following, and it’s at the discretion of CADA staff.  

So if a non-artist has applied, artists need to be core collaborators or participants in the planning, development and implementation of the project, and the project and the budget provided needs to financially and non-financially support artists. And the applicant has to have a demonstrated history of working with artists and within the arts sector. 

So an example of that might be like somebody who puts on an event and hires artists, engages artists and they’re kind of core to, you know, to the project or the event in the planning, and they meet all of those sort of criteria. The second sort of new eligibility piece is cultural workers. And so for the purposes of CADA’s programs, cultural worker typically refers to individuals who make their living in the arts and culture sector, and they contribute to the success of an artist or organization’s artistic work in a creative or technical capacity. But they’re not often or necessarily leading the artistic vision of the work that’s being created. So, for example, that might include production team members like costume designers and cutters, sound designers and operators, lighting designers, set designers, etc.  

So those are examples of cultural workers, and we will consider applications from folks in those roles as long as they are the lead artist for the creative process and the artistic vision or the applicant and the application and the project should be primarily focused on their practice, vision and goals. 

So if you have questions about that, definitely reach out. We can’t accept applications from arts administrators or agents and managers or registered for-profit corporations or businesses or registered not-for-profit organizations. We do have other programs that are available for nonprofit arts organizations. And so if you do have questions about that, I can connect you with the proper program specialist who runs those. 

The Calgary-based piece, so just to add some clarity here, projects do not have to take place in Calgary, but the applicant, the person applying, must either be Calgary based or be able to demonstrate that the majority of their work is accessible to the citizens of Calgary and that they have a meaningful and ongoing relationship with the city and its artistic communities. 

We will also accept applications from Treaty 7 Nation members living within Treaty 7 southern Alberta as long as they can also demonstrate that clear connection to Mohkinsstsis. So if you’re not based in Calgary, please contact us just to discuss your relationship with Calgary and eligibility before applying. We also want to acknowledge that there are many artists who are brand new or returning to the city of Calgary and they may not be familiar with grant programs or the local arts community and they may be still developing those relationships and connections and opportunities here. And so that is okay, you’re still eligible to apply. 

If you are a newcomer, immigrant, refugee or re-emerging Calgary artist and have questions or concerns about eligibility or navigating the grant process, please note that our program staff are here and available to help support and guide you. It’s also important to note that for CADA, you do not have to be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to receive a grant, but you do need to be able to report your grant to the Canada Revenue Agency. So you’ll need a SIN (social insurance number) or a temporary insurance number, I think is what it’s called. So reach out if you have questions.  

When it comes to discipline, we accept applications from artists working in any artistic discipline and, you know, including various cultural forms of those disciplines. So this might be circus arts, craft arts, community and social practice, curation, dance, Deaf arts, digital arts, disability, arts, film, Indigenous arts, literature, media, art, multidisciplinary practice, music and sound performance, theatre and visual art. And that’s just an example list. There’s lots of different types of disciplines, and so we accept applications from all kinds. 

Individual artists may request up to $15,000 and artist collectives may apply for up to $20,000 to the program this year. And the total funding available for the program is $2 million, which is an increase of $400,000 compared to last year. So, we had $1.6 million available last year, and we bumped it up to $2 million this year. So that means we’ll be able to fund more artists, which is very exciting.  

Alright. So, some general eligibility – eligibility can vary from program to program. So always read the Guidelines and FAQs for the program you’re applying to. Some important eligibility rules for this program I’ll highlight below here. 

So, applications are, sorry, applicants may submit only one application per program deadline. We only have one deadline this year, so individual artists may be involved in more than one application, either as a participant in somebody else’s application or as a member of a collective. But if you’re involved in more than two applications to the program this year, please reach out and discuss just to make sure that you know, you’re not a part of 10 applications or, you know, five different collectives. 

There might be some, you know, some things to chat about there on how to prioritize. But you can absolutely submit an individual artist application and a collective application or maybe be hired in somebody else’s. So, you are able to access it in multiple ways. Individual artists have to apply using their individual account and artist collectives must apply using their collective account. So, we do keep those separate and distinct. You have different profiles, and we won’t accept more than one application from the same account in the grant interface. So, it’ll stop you, I think, if you try. But a project may only be submitted by one applicant per program deadline. So, for example, if a project is being undertaken by a group of artists or in partnership with an organization, only one application can be submitted for that project. 

Multiple members of the group can’t submit for the same project to the same program. A project or a distinct phase of a project can only receive one CADA grant in total regardless of calendar year. So, if you have a larger or longer-term project, make sure that you phase it out clearly ahead of time so that you can apply, for example, this year to phase one, for phase one, and then next year for phase two. 

An example might be, you know, you’re applying for pre-production and production in phase one in 2023, and then once that’s complete, then you’re applying to the, you know, 2024 CADA program for, say, post-production or touring or distribution or things like that. So, if you split it up ahead of time, then it’s eligible. But we can’t fund the same project more than once unless it’s been phased out. 

Alright. Applicants must be in good standing, which basically means that you can’t apply if you have an overdue final report for a previous grant. So that refers to a late report. So not one that, you know is outstanding because you’re still working on the project. That’s okay. It’s only if you haven’t submitted a report, it’s late and we didn’t give you an extension for it, so we’d want to wrap that up before you can apply to a program. 

As of this year, January 2023, you may not have more than four open grants with CADA at any one time, and so that includes grants for which a deadline extension has been approved. You can request an exception to this eligibility piece in writing beforehand. Just discuss it with us first. You may receive more than one [inaudible] grant in a year, as long as it’s for different programs, for different projects. 

So, for example, you as an artist could receive both an artist development microgrant and a project grant from CADA this calendar year. They just have to be for different projects or activities, it can’t be something that we’ve already funded through a different grant program. And lastly, you might, you may reapply for the same project if a previous application was unsuccessful. 

So, say you applied to the project grant last year and you were unsuccessful. If you want to reapply and kind of shift the timeline and update your application, you’re more than welcome to. You can definitely keep reapplying until you’re successful.  

Alright, so here is an overview of the program timeline for this year. The program was announced early this year and the application process opened on March 14, so about a month ago. Applications are being accepted up until the deadline of May 10, 2023, before 4:30pm MST. We are expecting many applications to the program again this year, so late applications won’t be accepted. The 4:30pm deadline is the sharp deadline, so please do not email us thinking, you know, saying that you thought the deadline was midnight. I know that for some funders it is, but CADA is always 4:30pm, so please put that in your calendars as needed. Remember, it’s the Mountain Standard Time. So, if you’re traveling or if you’re in a different time zone, just make sure that you have done the math correctly. The server gets very busy the day of the deadline, so submit early if you can, try not to wait till the last minute or even the last day if you can help it, it’s always safer to submit in advance of the deadline in case you have a technical issue, or something comes up. 

There’s no autosave feature in our grant portal, so definitely remember to save as you go. Save often. And I know a lot of artists will actually work outside of the grant portal, you know, especially on the written parts so that they can keep workshopping them and take their time. And then once they’re ready, you can kind of copy paste your answers into the grant platform. 

Some aspects are built right in like your budget, so you might want to work on that within the portal, but yeah, for the written pieces, feel free to, you know, work outside and then plop them in when you’re ready so that you don’t lose any information.  

All applications to the program will be peer-assessed between mid-May, so after the deadline all the way to late July. So it’s approximately a 10-week period. This assessment period allows me time to review the applications for completeness before I assign them to the committees, and it gives ample time for the assessors to read the applications, score them online and meet as a committee throughout July to make final recommendations. I will outline the assessment process in more detail later on and describe the peer committees on the next slide. 

Just to continue through the timeline, though, notifications will be sent out over email in early August letting applicants know if they were successful or not and confirming grant amounts. So, I always recommend adding the grants@ email address to your email contacts as well as my own, just to ensure that any emails from us aren’t ending up in your spam or your junk folder by mistake, because I know that that can happen. If you haven’t heard anything by the end of the first week of August, feel free to reach out and ask if notifications went out just to make sure we didn’t miss you or anything like that. But you should see them by early August. Successful applicants will also receive an investment agreement which outlines the terms of the grant, which, you know, folks will review, sign and return to us. 

Investment agreements are received and then we fund, so we make the grant payments through direct deposit and that processing time can take a few weeks. So, most grant payments will occur throughout the month of August, but potentially into September, depending how quickly folks send their agreements back and we process payments. This timeline is really important to consider If your project is fully reliant on receiving this grant. 

So if cash flow is a concern for you, consider the timeline for your project and maybe consider applying for something that’s going to take place after August or September of this year just because we cannot guarantee that funds will be distributed any earlier than that. So, if you need the grant funding, make sure that you know, your timeline kind of aligns with the notification and funding distribution dates. 

Also, please keep in mind that we are unable to fund fully retroactive projects, which means that your project can already be underway before you submit your application or before you receive notification, but you cannot apply for a project that will already be fully complete before the program deadline of May 10, 2023. So, if you have a project that’s started right now, it’s already underway, but it ends in June, it’s eligible, but you wouldn’t find out about the results until August. So, you’d have to really kind of consider that, that if you had a project that started in January and it’s going to wrap up on May 9, it’s ineligible because it wraps up before the deadline of May 10. So just to give you some specific examples.  

Projects funded through this program should be completed by December 31, 2024, so the end of next year, and that gives applicants at least a year and a half after notifications go out to complete their projects. 

Successful grantees will be required to complete a final report as well to share learnings in how the grant benefited their practice and final reports are usually due 90 days after your project end date. So, if you said your project ended December 31, 2024, your final report would be due three months later. If any significant changes have to occur within the program timeline, we will notify all applicants as soon as possible. 

Alright this is the last one before we take a break. So, peer assessment, as I mentioned, applications will be evaluated by a committee made up of artistic peers. And so that means individual artists or art workers who have experience and knowledge from a variety of disciplines and practices and who actively participate in and experience and advocate for the work of the local arts community. Assessment committees are chosen to represent the broad diversity of Calgary and its artistic communities. 

So that includes artistic discipline, gender, sexuality, age, religion, beliefs, nation, physical and neurological identities, etc. These peer committees help ensure that we are fairly and responsibly distributing public dollars to artists on behalf of the citizens of Calgary. The assessment committees for our programs have the same guidelines and criteria that you do. There’s no hidden criteria. This program will have five- to seven-member committees and each program stream will be assessed by a different committee, and I’ll talk about streams later on. 

But the volume of applications that we receive will help determine the number and size of the committees that we need to assess the program. We pay all of our assessors an honorarium to serve on a committee. This honorarium has been increased from past hearings and is outlined in the assessor terms of reference. And so that’s a document that’s linked within the guidelines. 

I would encourage folks to read through the assessor terms of reference to help understand the responsibilities and expectations that assessors are asked to commit to. Assessors are kept confidential and anonymous until next year, when a full list of the assessors that we use for the year is posted as part of our annual report. 

Assessors are required to declare conflicts of interest according to our policy, which means that we they will not evaluate their own application if they applied or any other applications where they might have a conflict of interest. And the membership of peer committees will be chosen through public nominations and staff expertise. So, if you or anyone know is interested in assessing any of our programs, whether it be our grant investment programs or public art programs, there is a nomination form on our website. Or you can just send an email and let us know that you’re interested.  

Okay, wonderful. Well, we’re going to take a five-minute break and I’ll pause the recording and give you all a chance to breathe and I’ll see you in a few moments.  

Alright. So what can you apply for? Applicants may apply to this program for one project or one distinct phase of a larger project. Projects should have a clear start and end date and a specific set of activities and goals. As I mentioned, projects should align to one or more of the project program priorities that we talked about earlier. And when you apply, you’ll be asked to select one of two program streams. And so applicants should select the program stream that best fits the core goal and purpose of the project that they’re applying with. So I’ll jump into descriptions of both of the streams and some examples of eligible activities or projects that might fall under each stream. 

The first program stream is the create and develop stream. So projects in the stream are primarily focused on the creation, development or research of artistic work. They may also include experimentation or learning. Projects that are in this stream will not result in something that will be shared with an audience or the general public at this time. So that’s an important distinction. 

The work may eventually be shared publicly, but it’s not part of the timeline or the goals for this specific application. So some examples might be a research project, an experimental process, creating or developing new work or adapting previous work, pre-production or production processes or learning and professional development activities. Just a quick note as well, we do have another program called the Artist Development Microgrant, so if you are proposing a professional development or a business development activity and it falls sort of under the $5,000 mark, we highly recommend applying to that program if it works with your timeline, because it is a smaller application and it has a faster turnaround. So the first deadline for that program has already passed and so results will be in May, but there’s another deadline for the micro grant in mid-September and it’s looking to fund professional development or business development activities that will happen between mid-September and the end of June 2024. And the results of that program, you apply mid-September and you’d find out by, I think, mid-November. So just to know that that might be a better fit if you are looking for that type of support, but you can still apply for professional development to this program as well. 

Alright. So the second stream is the program and present stream. Projects in this stream include sharing your artistic work with the public or raising awareness of your work, including marketing and selling. So projects in this stream could involve the creation and production of your artistic work all the way through to presenting it to an audience. So that’s just to make an emphasis on, you know, the last stream was about creation and development, but you can still include creation and development in this stream, but it’s for projects that will result in something that’s going to be shared with an audience or the public as part of the timeline and the goals through this grant application. 

And that could be online or in person. You don’t have to share it in any particular way. So examples of projects that might fall in this stream are exhibitions, presentations, performances, releases, touring, publishing, distribution marketing, promotion or selling. And just to note, these examples that I have listed are not exclusive. So if you have questions about other potential eligible projects or you know, if you’re unsure which stream to select, just reach out to me before applying. 

These two streams are really meant to just be general buckets that are, really the purpose of them is to help us manage volume and kind of group projects that are a little bit more similar than not together in assessment. So regardless of the stream you pick, you’re going to have the same application, the same questions, and you’re being evaluated on the same criteria, which we’re going to talk about later on. 

So it is more of just a grouping, sorting mechanism so that we don’t have one committee reading so many applications from all different types of projects. They’re focusing more on similar projects.  

Alright. So, funds from this program can go towards almost any expense that’s directly related to your project and your goals. There is a full list of eligible expenses in the program guidelines, and they’re relatively straightforward so I’m just going to highlight a few common questions or ones that you might have want a little bit more detail on. So the first eligible expense that I want to talk about is just a reminder that, you know, we want to see artists get paid for their work, and so grants are a great way to make sure you’re including that, and so this also includes paying yourself, depending on the project. Right. And it can also include paying consultants, participate in knowledge keepers, mentors, collaborators and more anyone else who’s involved and needs to be compensated. And so artist fees, professional fees, technical fees per diems,  honorariums and subsistence are all eligible expenses through this program. When it comes to paying yourself and others through a grant, the way you frame that or how you quantify those things will vary. So unlike some funders don’t have a set cap or a specific amount that we expect you to ask for, or like a maximum that you can ask for those different things, because they can vary quite a bit depending on your circumstances or the project or the type of work that’s being done, you know, the scope of work, where it’s taking place and the time period of the duration. So if you do have questions about how best to frame or calculate, you know, an artist’s fee or subsistence or per diem, just reach out and I can help share some resources or approaches that make sense depending on the context of your project. 

The most important thing, though, is really to say how you’re calculating things and give a description so the assessors understand, you know, if it’s a quote, if it’s a standard fee that you’re referencing or if it’s based on hourly rate, daily rate, a flat fee, just kind of having more context for how you’re determining those amounts is the most important part. 

Alright. The second thing I want to highlight is that this year we increased the maximum cap on equipment purchases. And so now you can spend up to $2,500 of the grant towards the purchase of equipment. And so that was increased last year from $1,000 to $2,000. That was mainly due to the pandemic and the impact that that had on artists and their ability to make and share work online or digital. And that also just the increased demand and the limited availability of renting certain equipment within the community. That’s why we increased it last year. And this additional $500 increase is just mostly due to inflation and just recognizing that everything costs more money these days. So yeah, so you can now spend up to $2,500 and that means that if you do purchase equipment that goes over and above $2,500, you’ll just want to demonstrate in your revenues how you’re going to cover any excess amount. 

So if you know, if you’re getting equipment and it totals $3,000, you can use $2,500 of the grant towards it. But you’ll also have to include a $500 contribution from your personal funds or from some other kind of revenue to show that you’re covering that. This limit does not apply to renting equipment. So there’s no cap on renting equipment or space. It’s really just about these capital purchases. And that includes, you know, hardware and permanent software. It doesn’t include like an annual subscription or any kind of temporary thing that will be used up by the project. So it doesn’t include materials or supplies or things that you really need to do the project, it’s more for like a computer, a camera, these sorts of, you know, items that are considered capital assets that will outlast the length of just this project. 

As with any expense in your budget, you’re going to want to make a case for how that equipment is directly related and necessary or relevant to the completion of your project and the success of your project. So be specific about which equipment you’re wanting to purchase and how that’s going to impact the work or your practice or your development. 

So you might speak a little bit to the rationale for purchasing rather than renting, given the goals or the scope or the length of your project, or just to give a clear idea of why that equipment is super important for the project and how it’s going to impact it and your practice long term.  

The last thing that I wanted to highlight regarding expenses is that course fees are eligible, but this is really referring to individual courses or continuing educational courses that don’t count toward a credit diploma- or degree-granting program. So that just basically means we can’t unfortunately pay for your diploma or your degree. So if you are taking courses in pursuit of that or making work related to your degree, we can’t cover costs associated with that. So it has to be projects outside and separate from that. But if you’re going back to AUArts or, you know, taking a one-off course at an institution, those are eligible. 

So if you do have any questions about expenses, please feel free to reach out. We also list out ineligible expenses in the guidelines to.  

 Alright, so how to apply? We accept applications to the program through our online grant platform, and it’s called Smart Simple. So to get to the Smart Simple platform, you just go to the CADA website,, and click grant log in in the upper right-hand corner. 

It’s always the upper right-hand corner of every page right next to the search bar that will open up a new window that takes you to the portal. So you can always go to the website and find the portal. And if you want, you can bookmark the portal for easy access in the future. If you don’t already have a Smart Simple account with us, you’ll want to create a new account and set up your profile before you apply. 

So all you have to do is on the grant login page, you’ll see something that says new register here. And so you just click there and walk through the registration process and the password creation process. It’s very simple and straightforward. There’s no approval. You know, we don’t review and accept you. It just you just give us your basic information and set up an account. Anyone can do it at any time.  

There are different registration options, so just make sure you’re choosing the correct one. So whether you’re creating your individual profile or your artist collective profile, or if you’re a non-profit arts organization, there’s options there for you as well. If you have your own artistic practice and you’re also part of a collective, just make sure you have accounts for each one that are separate. These require two different emails, so you do need a unique email address in the system. We can’t use the same email for multiple accounts. 

If you have applied to CADA before, even in our old grant platform prior to 2022, but maybe you can’t remember your password or you don’t even remember if you made an account. You can enter your email address and click forgot password and if you have an account it will send you instructions to reset your password. 

If you don’t have an account, it’ll let you know where you won’t get that email at any time. You can reach out to us or Van to ask if you have an account, we can change your password for you. We can check things on our end. So just reach out rather than making multiple accounts when you maybe already have one. 

Alright. So when you log in, you’ll notice that there is a section called My Profile. Just always ensure that you have your profile completed and up to date at all times, but particularly when you’re going to apply to a grant. This section includes any information about you and your artistic practice. So things like your current contact information, the number of years you’ve been practicing as an artist, your disciplines that you work in, it’ll include an area to upload your current artistic resume or CV and your artist practice statement. And so I’ll talk about those as well in a second. But the information from your profile, everything that you’ve entered in there, not everything, but a good chunk of it, will get pulled and automatically put into your grant application when you do submit a grant. So just make sure it’s accurate and complete before you hit submit on a grant. 

You’ll also notice when you log into the portal a section called Open Opportunities, and this is where you’re going to find any open grant applications that are currently available to you. So right now, if you were to log in, you would see the project grant program for individuals and collectives and all you have to do is click apply and then begin application to open up a draft. 

And there you’ll, I’ll show you this later, I’m going to demonstrate, but you will see the application form. It’ll have multiple tabs asking for the different information for the grant. And you can save as much as you like as you go. You can return to it, save, leave, come back and once you’ve made your draft application, you’re ready to submit. You can hit submit.  

Oh, and also just a note. As soon as you have opened up a draft application, you don’t have to go to Open Opportunities and begin an application again once you’ve opened a draft, it will always be visible on your homepage so you can go to that draft again and again and just keep working on that one draft, don’t keep opening a new draft because you won’t have any of your old information. I’ve seen people do that. So just a reminder, you just have to scroll down a little bit to see it in your draft section.  

And when you do hit submit to the platform, actually check your application to make sure that everything that was mandatory has been entered and you know, and make sure that your dates are eligible and the grant amount you’re asked you’ve asked for is eligible. It has a couple of validations built right in. So if you hit submit and something wrong or missing, it will notify you and ask you to correct it before you’re able to submit. And that just helps, it’s basically just a tool to help with the review process. So we’re not having to email as much, it’s sort of checking for those really basic things for you. So yeah, don’t get surprised if you if it says you can’t submit yet, you have to do these things.  

Alright. So besides your profile information, there’s a checklist here that kind of outlines everything you’ll be asked to provide within the actual grant application. So you’ll include the name of your project, a one-sentence description of your project, which sort of acts just as like an identifier or a label for your application, you basically tell us what you want to do with the grant in 25 words or less. So for example, it might say to research and develop a new play and do a reading with a small group of peers for feedback in January 2024. And that’s just really nice for assessors to go, Oh yeah, that’s what this application is about before we discuss it, it’s just a nice summary of what the application is about. Then you’ll be asked to select one of the two program streams that we just went over, so create and develop or program and present, and then you’ll select the artistic discipline that’s most relevant to this application. So regardless of if you work in many, many disciplines, what’s the most one to this particular project? 

This is more of a data point for us to easily kind of see how many applications we’re getting from different disciplines that are related to, you know, say, theatre versus music versus visual arts. There’s lots of options in the dropdown list, so just pick the one that best suits what your project is about. There is the option for multidisciplinary, so if your project really doesn’t fall into one clear discipline, you can always select that choice as well. And then you’ll select or you’ll indicate your start and end date of your project and the amount that you’re requesting from the grant.  

And so these are the meatier parts of the application. So the three primary written sections are your Project Description, the Artistic Impact section, and then the Community Connections section. So each of these is maximum 450 words each. The word count is really just a guide. It’s not, it’s just the maximum. So don’t feel like it’s necessary to fill every section to the full 450 if you don’t need to. Use what space you need to be able to make your case, don’t feel compelled to fill it up or, you know, repeat yourself if you don’t need to. 

It is important, however, to provide enough information for the assessors to really understand your practice, the activities you want to do and your goals. So be thoughtful and clear and specific, but you don’t have to worry about filling it up for no reason. I would maybe emphasize as well that assessors really do appreciate straightforward applications that aren’t really like, they don’t have flowery language or it’s not, you know, too complicated, they want to be able to understand everything in very plain language and really be able to make those connections. So if you can be clear and straightforward while still including some detail, I think that’s the best approach. It just makes it so it’s easy for them to understand. They don’t have to work really hard to understand your application or connect the dots, so lay it out for them. 

The next four items are all more directly related to the planning criteria. So there’s going to be a project budget, some budget support materials that you can include, a timeline and then an area for your kind of other general support material. So we’ll talk about each of these sections next. Oh actually, yeah, maybe before we jump in here, I’m going to stop sharing this one and actually try to attempt to show you what it looks like to log in and, navigate the platform, I just went over that, so maybe we’ll do this now.  

 Alright. Can you all see the the website portal? Yeah, I’m just going to hide my meeting controls here so I can see. So I’ll start actually at the website. So this is So whenever you go to our website, as I mentioned, you’ll see the grant log in in the upper right-hand corner by the search bar. 

When you click that, it opens up this, this portal. So this is our Smart Simple portal. There’s always a kind of important updates on the side, so you can always check that this is where you log in. And like I said, if you don’t have an account yet, you can register and make one here. So I think that’s the example one that Van made for me. It’s a, it’s a fake. I don’t know. I think it’s a fake email. We’ll use this just to demonstrate. I think it’s a collective. So this is a collective account. So as I mentioned, you’re going to see my profile and open opportunities because it’s a collective it also says my organization profile and the language unfortunately has to say organization because we also fund organizations. But really that just means collective profile in this case. So as I mentioned, you’d go here first and fill out, you know, your general contact info. This is very basic because it’s a collective, it’s just sort of the primary collective members info. But then if you go back to the home page, they have a second one. Individuals will only have one, but collectives will click here and again it says organization name, but it just means collective. 

But this is where it will ask things like years of practice, what disciplines you’re working in. You can always put your own sort of description there if you need, your artistic practice statement, so that’s usually 100 to 300 words or so just describing your practice. And then there’s an area to upload your resume. So this is what a collective profile looks like. 

It has a second tab for the primary contact info as well. Board list really just means who are your collective members. So I just made that up using some staff, but you can save your profile any time you can submit your profile, you’ll always be able to update it and make changes so if you ever need to do that, go ahead. 

So once your profile is kind of good to go and up to date, then you can go over to open opportunities. And this is where, as I mentioned, you’ll see any program that’s currently open and available. So right now the project grant is here. It has the deadline May 10, 4:30pm. You can view the guidelines or you can just simply hit apply. 

So once you hit apply, it will open up a draft. Now because I’ve already done that, as I mentioned, you don’t have to keep doing this. You can just, because I’ve already made a draft, I would go down here under drafts and I would see my current draft to the program and things as you sort of submit it will move to here. If we send something back for revisions, it’ll go here. If you’re awarded a grant and you have an open grant, it goes into active, and when you have a final report due, it moves here. So these are sort of how your grant will move through if it’s funded. And so, yeah, I’m just going to open the draft that I’ve already started. 

There’s always important instructions at the top. Read those links to, you know, the guidelines and FAQ. This first tab is contact information. As I mentioned this, it says here, it says all of this right here. But basically this is the information from your profile that gets pulled over automatically. So you can’t edit this right now. You have to go to your profile to edit these items. 

It does say that here, but just so you know, when, oh, it’s missing a tab. So I might have to show you a different, this is a test account, so it might not be perfect, but there should be a second tab that says voluntary self-identification. That’s just an optional survey that asks about, you know, equity priority groups, so if you identify within them or not. There’s only one mandatory question in there and the rest is optional. But I’ll show you that on a different account then. This is the most important. These two tabs are the bulk of the application. So you select a program stream, you see the name of your project. I’m just going to write randomly type the 25-word sort of description. 

Okay. How much is requesting? So collectives can request up to $20,000. So maybe you’re doing the full amount, your project start date, maybe it starts, you know, end of April. It has to be done by the end of next year and it can’t be done before May 10. So if I tried to say it’s ending on May 9, if I went to submit, it would tell me that that’s not allowed. 

So I’m just going to make it for end of May, your discipline. So like I mentioned, maybe my primary discipline for this is literary arts and then this is the bulk. So 450 words to describe your project. It will be much longer artistic impact and community connection. So these are these really connect to the criteria which we’re going to discuss in a moment. 

The planning. This includes your budget, your timeline, and any support material. So the budget literally built right into the system. So you would click enter budget details and it pops open a new window, read the instructions. I try to include, like anything that’s valuable to help guide you here, I know a lot of people don’t read them, but try to read all the instructions. 

It basically shows you that you can add expenses. So say you’re needing to include materials and supplies, you’re making a new body of work. You need $2,000 of supplies. This is where you would describe what it includes. So maybe it’s paints and this is, I don’t know, different sorts of materials that you need. And you can include information like purchasing at a local art store. 

This is for six new pieces. Maybe you’ve already talked about this in your application, so you might not need to include as much detail, but this is for six new pieces. You could include the sizes of the canvases if you wanted, but you don’t have to get too too granular, but be specific. So anyways, I’m not going to spend too much time here, but you know, you could include your own personal artist fee because you’re actually showing the work. 

This is a CARFAC rate, you could reference that. So this is just how you add up your expenses and you can always change them. And it does the math for you here. You need to rent studio space or rental space? This is just to give an example, you could say where it is, how many months, etc., that kind of information. 

And then your revenue would be, you’ll always have the key to grant request how much you’re requesting. So in my example, I did $20,000. It’s obviously going to be pending. Maybe actually I’ll say just to show, Oh no, that’s good. Yeah. To show you this example, actually I’ll say say you also that your whole project maybe costs more than $20,000 and so you’re also to be contributing $5,000 of your own funding. And that’s confirmed right now. If I tried to save this, your revenues and expenses must equal zero because right now it’s like, oh, you need $25,000, but your project is only $4,500. So I’m just for the purposes of demonstrating this, I’m just going to say that you also have professional fees that will cost what do I need to balance this? 

So I did a… let’s make it easier now. Right. So, yeah, $20,000. All right. So now you can see your expenses and your revenues are the same. So it will actually let you save the budget and it. Yeah, it’ll show you once it saves, save complete and you can close it. Now, when you look here, it’s filled out your budget. 

You can see all your notes. This is what assessors are going to be able to view. So I know the budget is an intimidating area. I’m going to talk about it in more detail, but this is just to show you how to navigate it and you can always edit it again when you go back in. 

Budget support, this is where you upload any kind of materials that might help back up your budget. So quotes you received maybe some research on the price of a piece of equipment that you’re planning on purchasing and so you can upload it’s only PDF format I believe here, it’ll always tell you the maximum file size and the number of files you can include. You can combine PDFs into one if you are running out of space, but that’s where you upload them. 

Your project timeline is a PDF upload as well, format you like, but just save it as a PDF and you can upload that here, and then the support material area for all your other support. There’s a couple options you can include PDFs here. You can describe what you’ve included above or include links. You know, if you just want to link to your website and tell them which page to look at for a specific reason, you can write that out. 

There’s also media files, so if you go here to upload something, you can include MP3s, JPEGs movie, you know, video files. So again, it has the size and the amount, and it’ll be viewable right in your application. So assessors can actually play the video or play the audio or view the images right there and you can edit the descriptions for those images and uploads. 

I can’t really show you right now, but you would save your draft and then you can exit and come back to it at any time on your homepage. Save and validate is basically the same thing. But as I mentioned, it’s going to show you if something is missing or incorrect, so your project timeline can’t be empty. It’s telling you you have to upload at least one file for your timeline. 

So that’s why your submission failed. So anyways, that’s just to give a little bit more of a sense of, you know, navigating the portal and where to find applications. So I’m going to go back to the slideshow. So your artist practice statement. So this is basically an introduction to you and your overall artistic practice and goals. 

So artist statements shouldn’t be overly long or difficult to understand. It doesn’t need to be a manifesto on your art practice, but really it should just be a concise, helpful overview of your work and what’s important to you. This statement should really demonstrate who you are, what you value, what kind of work you make and how you make it. 

So it might be something around your process or your approach and why it’s important to you. It’s really just an introduction. Your artist statement is likely going to change over time as you and your practice also change so you can update it to reflect whatever you want it to reflect at the time of applying. And just remember that context matters, so the type of artist statement that you would submit to a company, you know, a gallery show or maybe in program notes is going to look different than maybe what you will include in a grant application. This introduction provides the most significant context for how assessors are going to understand how your project connects to your practice and your overall goals. 

As I mentioned, this is located in your profile and it will be pulled over into your application when you submit.  

Another piece that’s located in your profile is your resumé or CV. So an artistic resumé or CV is basically clear list of experiences that are relevant to your art practice. It can be a really helpful tool for assessors to view alongside your artist statement. It really just helps to give them a better understanding of your practice, your communities, your experience and your history. So there’s many different kinds of formats for CVs or resumes, and some of them are discipline specific. But for the purposes of our program, really just focusing on something that’s easy to read, simple, straightforward, that’s more important to us than like a really fancy, beautiful looking resume. Typically folks will use a date list format from the most recent to the least recent activity or experience, and you can split it into categories like education or performances or things like that. 

Be sure to include any important information like dates or years, the locations of things, and sometimes a brief description of each experience is helpful if it’s not obvious by the title. Your resume can include education, training, workshops, residencies, works produced, commissions, awards or grants, past performances or exhibitions, publications, media, professional affiliations. The list goes on. Those are just some examples, and I’ve heard from some artists that resumes can be a little bit intimidating and so I just want to emphasize that it’s not meant to be an intimidating thing. There’s a lot of valuable experiences and different entry points into a life and a career in the arts, and so it’s okay to have gaps in your practice or times where you weren’t actively creating and working in the arts for whatever reason. It also does not have to only include professional experiences, you can include anything that helps people understand how you got to where you are. You can feel free to include a little biography or a blurb at the beginning, if that’s helpful. If you’re more of a storyteller, you kind of need to lay things out that way. Many artists will also have their resumes available on their websites, which can be really helpful. 

Just if you want to see different ways of formatting for different disciplines. So take a look and look at you know, your peers or artists that you are similar to or that you look up to and try to maybe emulate those. If you need some templates.  

If you’re applying as a collective, include your collective CV, which outlines your history of working together, the work you’ve made together, or if it’s a very new sort of initiative and you’ve just come together as a collective recently, then you can also look to including individual CVs for each member. 

Yep. All right, so the project description. So this is where you will describe your project, including what will occur when it will take place, where it will take place, and who is involved. So the who, what, when, where. Be really clear and straightforward and specific here, as so should be able to understand what you want to do with this grant. 

After reading this section, you might want to include some information or a rationale for how you came to decide the who, what, when and where of your project. So, for example, maybe why these dates you’ve chosen are the most feasible or, how they line up with other things in your practice, Maybe how you came to decide the location of the venue for your project. Was it about capacity or accessibility? Availability? Why you’ve chosen to work with specific collaborators? This can be a good section to kind of outline why them. So yeah, you can, you can elaborate on those different things. Basically, this, this section should be a really helpful sort of description of the project details. Just keep in mind though, you’re going to have a chance to really dig deeper into the why and the how of the project in the following section. So it’s really like just the overview of the project.  

Okay. Alright. The next written section is the artistic impact section. So this explores the impact that this project will have on your work, practice or discipline. So this is where you’re going to describe your artistic goals for the project and what success will mean for you. How might this project impact your work, practice or disciplines? Those are the questions. So depending on what your project is, this section could include a variety of things. It might include specific artistic goals that you have for the work itself or around your own artistic approaches or processes. Maybe you’re experimenting, you’re trying something new, you’re learning a specific technique. You could talk about your goals that you have around skill development or growth or learning within your practice. 

You might also talk about where you see yourself within an artistic community or the impact that you see this project having within your particular discipline. You know, are you filling a gap, or are you doing something that you haven’t seen done before, or are you building off of something that already exists? Like where does, where, where do you situated it within the artistic milieu or community or discipline?  

Yeah. So those are just some examples of what you might talk about in this section. You know, the art itself, you as an artist or your artistic discipline.  

There are many types of artistic impacts, so be sure to tell assessors what is most important to you and why. How will this project allow you to achieve your artistic goals? 

You can think about how you might measure success or impact or learning, what is helpful and meaningful to capture given the project, your goals, where you’re at in your practice or career. Grantors don’t just ask you to talk about how you’re going to evaluate your work to tick a box. This is not about saying what you think we want to hear, but really about defining what success actually means to you. 

Think about what your artistic goals are and how you will know if you’ve achieved them. It’s really good to start thinking about this now. Developing these types of systems or evaluation in your practice can be really beneficial to your own artistic growth and development and, you know, guiding, help to guide you in your practice into the future. 

So, okay, Community Connection is the last written section, so this explores the impact of this project on others during and after your project. So this is where you’re going to describe any of the relationships or the communities that might be connected to your project. So who else is involved when you think about community or relationships, remember that this is also very broad, so it could include other artists, collaborators, partners, mentors, participants or audiences. 

It could also refer to, you know, discipline-specific groups, geographical, religious or cultural communities or perhaps communities that share a particular interest or value or esthetic or curiosity, just as examples, you know, who is your work for, who are you engaging? And then you can think about what are your relationship or community goals for this project and what will success mean for you? 

So how might the project impact your relationships or your sense of community either during or after the project? And so keep in mind that depending on what your project is about and the stream that you’ve chosen, you might answer this question really differently. Some projects might involve a lot of engagement and sharing with the public, like in the program and present stream. 

While other projects may only have a few collaborators or one mentor, or they could be very solitary at this point in time, maybe it’s just you and your studio making a body of work and that is okay. We really value how a project might allow you to better connect with your communities in the future. Just as much as we care about how you might connect with folks during the actual project itself. 

So for projects that involve actively working with and engaging or sharing with other people, this is where you could describe relationships. So how are you going to be engaging or considering those relationships throughout the project? Or think about why is this project important to those communities that you’ve identified? The depth and the quality of your relationships or impacts is just as important as, if not more important than the breadth or the quantity of your relationships and impact. So we don’t expect you to be everything to everyone, but we do want to see how you’re considering others in a thoughtful and respectful and informed way. 

For projects that are perhaps more solitary or don’t have a lot of engagement, or that maybe don’t have that element of sharing the work publicly yet, this is where you might describe your general relationship to different communities, who you make your work for, how you consider them during the creation process, or how this project might impact your ability or your capacity to better connect, share and build relationships or audiences, or a sense of community into the future. 

So you kind of have to think of that, like, future through-line if it’s not part of the application yet. Also another reminder that if your proposed project intends to make work about or for a specific community, it will be really important to speak about your current relationships and connections to that community. For example, do you have your own personal lived experience and are you including and valuing those perspectives in a meaningful way? 

And how are you engaging that community? Are those involved being equitably compensated and considered, etc.? So these are just some examples to think about and like artistic impact. Consider what your own measures of success might look like, evaluating the success of your relationships or your community goals should be meaningful to you. While quantity and numbers can tell a very meaningful story, you might also be interested in qualitative measures like audience response, feedback that you receive from a workshop or a mentor, or the way you felt experimenting with a new form of engagement or sharing. 

So consider what feels authentic to you, and yeah, go from there. All right, we have three more slides then a break. So this is getting into the planning sort of elements. So, oh, I have an advanced tab. Oh, sorry, I missed a bullet point on that last one. So the project timeline, this should really clearly show the committee how you’re going to accomplish your project in more detail than your project description. 

So this is where you’re going to outline any important artistic or community-related tasks, events, activities, deadlines, milestones. I don’t know, process periods, anything, just kind of lay it out. Make sure you include dates, locations, who’s involved and a description of each activity. If it’s not apparent. Try to ensure you’re including enough detail to demonstrate what needs to happen when and how. 

It might be helpful here to include some thought around why this is the most reasonable timeline for you and this project. So particularly to help assessors with understanding the feasibility. So especially if not all of the assessors are familiar with your discipline or, you know, your specific capacity or approach to a project giving a little bit of context for why timeline is reasonable or makes sense can be helpful. 

Please make note of things that are confirmed or pending wherever necessary. If something important in your application goes from pending to confirmed, let’s say you were waiting on a confirmation from an organization or a residency or something like that, or yeah, something that’s kind of important, you can always reach out during the process and we can update the assessors to let them know that something has been confirmed. Just depends where we’re at in that in the process. But if you get news of that, let us know and we’ll do our best to communicate that where needed you can say we’re waiting on a bunch of, maybe another grant. You had another revenue item that was pending and it was a lot of money and you got confirmation that you got that grant, we would update the assessors to let them know there’s no standard template for your timeline.  

So you can use any format that makes sense for you as long as it’s converted into a PDF. When you upload it and depending on your project, it could make sense to use a calendar format. It could make sense to use a dated list format, maybe the list of things you have to do each week or each month, depending on the scope of the project, or you might use some kind of chart or diagram. Really, the most important thing is that it’s clear and intuitive and easy on the eyes. I know GANTT charts can be helpful, but they’re also sometimes hard to read. So just make sure if you were an assessor, you could easily visually understand what each item is and how things are connected, especially in a PDF format. 

So. Alright, Project budget. Alright. The budget template, as you saw, is directly into the application online. It’s going to ask for all relevant project expenses and any relevant project revenues if you have any, and that includes the amount that you’re requesting from CADA. So be sure to account for the entire scope of the project that you’re applying for. Your budget should balance to zero as you saw. So that it’s clear how all the expenses are being covered and that doesn’t mean you can’t make money, include artists fees and payments for folks. So that that is part of the overall scope. And as you enter dollar amounts into the template, it does the math for you, so just make sure it’s balanced when you go to enter it and save it. 

Each line item in your budget has that note section, which I strongly recommend using to help give additional information about what each line item is. That could be, you know, what it includes, how it was estimated or calculated or any other helpful information. So, for example, indicate if something is purchased or rented. If you’re outlining fees for different artists or other professionals include their names, you know, the role or a breakdown of their payment. 

You know, I think I mentioned, is it a flat fee and hourly or weekly rate, a quote, is it based on a standard fee schedule like CARFAC artist fees? And if you request subsistence instead of an artist fee, you know, show what that includes. How did you calculate the subsistence, What’s included in it? Rent, groceries, utilities, child care, you know, what are you including and how many months is it covering? You know, and if you share those expenses with someone else, like a roommate or a partner or something, you know, make sure you’re breaking down your portion of those expenses. So just giving a breakdown in some context to help show how you calculated and what it covers 

In the revenue section, like I said, at the very least, you’re going to have your quota grant request. You don’t have to have other revenues, but a lot of projects might have other revenue sources, especially if they cost more than what the grant is able to cover. So if you have if you’re fundraising, if you have in-kind donations, if you have other grants that you’ve applied to for the same project for different expenses, make sure you’re including the full scope and just like I showed, indicate if other revenue was confirmed or pending at the time of applying at least. Assessors always wish that budgets had more detail and more clarity, so just make sure that there’s no room for confusion or questions.  

Yeah, okay. A couple of questions that we also often get about budgeting is should I apply for the maximum amount that the program offers or will I have a better chance if I apply for less? And so to answer that, we really encourage applicants to apply for activities that fall within the general range of the grant program and then budget for what you realistically need to complete that project or that activity. 

So first, imagine how that project would run ideally and build your budget off of that rather than starting the maximum amount and building backwards. If you go, if you are building your ideal budget and seeing how much things actually cost and what you need, if it goes over the maximum amount of the program, then you can either choose to reconsider the scope of your activities and shrink so that it fits within the budgeted amount, or you can look at finding other revenues like I mentioned, to supplement your overall budget. So it’s better to start from what you actually need, and from that place, and build up, see what it costs versus trying to fit a project into just this one grant budget.  

Yeah, and like I said, if it does go over the amount, you’ll want to show how you’re going to fund any additional expenses that are over and above what you can ask for from this grant, grants are just one option, so there’s other things you can look into and if you’re applying for additional funding outside of the program, but it won’t be confirmed before the deadline, just do your best to demonstrate that you’ve done the proper and mark it as pending.  

So the way we coach our assessors is to, you know, if you have applied to Canada Council for a grant as well and you’re not going to find out before the deadline, we encourage the assessors to really give the benefit of the doubt. You know, assume that you’ve made the deadline, you’ve applied to Canada Council, you have just as much of a chance of getting it as anyone else. If it turns out that you get the CADA grant and you didn’t get the Canada Council grant, we’ll have a discussion and see if there’s still a way for you to use the CADA grant to fund least a portion of your activities if they’re scalable. 

We, it’s rare that we would ask for you to return money. So yeah, don’t worry about that. Just try to do budgeting as best you can. And you know, if things shift in your budget after you’ve been funded, just reach out and we can always talk about how to how to adapt your budget or reallocate things as needed. 

Okay. All right. So support material. As you saw, there’s two different areas for support material. One is for budget related support and the other is for general support. Support material is optional, technically, but it is highly, highly recommended. And if you don’t include any support material, you’re not going to score well on a grant. I’ll just say that. The support material you provide should be relevant and meaningful to the application. 

I already kind of said the different file types and file sizes, pay attention to those. You can upload them directly into the grants budget support items should help to demonstrate your budget estimates. So like I mentioned, research, it could include research, quotes, standard fee schedules, maybe correspondence with someone that confirms rates, a past example of revenue. So if you had like estimated ticket sales or you had ticket sales from the last event and you’re using those to kind of estimate this year, then you could reference those, just as some examples. 

And we explicitly made a budget support area because assessors were always asking for budget support. And so we wanted to be really explicit to applicants to encourage them to include that type of support in their application. So that’s why it separated out.  

The general support material area should include files or links that help strengthen your case or help assessors understand more about your project or your practice, so you could consider including things that demonstrate the quality of your artistic work, so examples of your work, documentation of previous projects information about your art process or background on your discipline. You know, if you have like really jargony discipline or like you’re working in a type of way that, yeah, that might just benefit from giving a little bit of background or description. You can use your support material to provide a little bit of that context or learning for the assessors as well. 

You might include something to demonstrate your capacity to undertake the work or this project. So it could be examples of previous work or projects, planning documents, support letters, mockups or drafts of your project. You might include items that demonstrate your research and planning around the project. So maybe research findings, contracts, letters of confirmation, or more detailed planning documents or you could include things that help demonstrate the partnerships or the relationships that you have related to the project. So it could be the CV or bio for your collaborator or a letter of support from someone else who’s involved or familiar with your work or confirmations or correspondence that shows a commitment or interest. So maybe you haven’t fully confirmed folks for the project, you need to know if you have the grant first, but they could maybe demonstrate that they’re interested if the project supported this is how they’re to be engaged and what they’re going to be contributing. So those are all examples. You don’t have to include all of that. It really depends on your project and what feels relevant to include. 

With support material, my last thing that I’ll share here is to be really considerate of the committee’s time. Assessors are only asked to review up to 10 minutes of support material for each application. They’re going to be reading many applications, so be respectful of how much additional material you include and be really succinct, you know, guide them. 

So if you’re including, you know, a video, really direct their attention to the most important three minutes that you want them to watch. If you’re a writer, you know, don’t include your entire manuscript, maybe include a synopsis and maybe an excerpt from your writing. Or yeah, just as an example, if you, I know if you’re a visual artist, you might have a ton of examples of work that you could include, maybe pick, you know, the top four images that are really helpful to demonstrating what it is that you want to show the assessors. Just guide, guide them in what’s the most important things to view or even give a little bit of a description, if you can, about why you’re including something. Maybe it’s actually to say, here’s an audio recording of of my last track, and you can see the quality is not as high as I would like it to be. Here’s an example of what it sounded like in the past, and this is what it could be if I’m able to invest in this, like it could even be just to demonstrate, like the difference between what you’re aiming for, what you’ve been able to achieve, those kinds of things. 

So you can always provide a little bit of a description to help assessors understand why you’ve included something as a support. Okay, I went off script a lot. Oh yay, another break. So we’re going to pause here and then, yeah, we’ll return and then I’ll be able to finish the presentation. So if you have questions in the meantime, feel free to pop them into the chat as well. 

And I’ll see you in a few minutes. Thanks all.  

Okay, so next is program criteria. All projects, regardless of the stream that you apply to, will be evaluated based on these three criteria. So artistic impact. This one is defined as the applicant shows a clear and in-depth understanding of their artistic practice, artistic goals, and what success will mean for them. 

And so how the assessors understand what artistic impact means and how you’re meeting this criteria is based on what you tell us about what is important to you and your practice and what your goals are and how this project will allow you to achieve those goals. So please ensure that you’ve provided enough information and context for the assessors to draw those connections. 

It might seem really obvious to you, but it can, but if you can provide rationale and context, it helps fill in the gaps so that assessors don’t need to guess or make assumptions about why what you’re doing is important to you and what your goals might be. You should be able to be honest and show an awareness of where you are in your practice and career, where and how you fit or don’t, or don’t fit into your artistic communities or disciplines, and what artistic quality, growth or success mean to you. 

So being able to actually recognize the challenges or barriers that you might face as an artist can actually help demonstrate potential thoughtfulness and intentionality about the way that you undertake your work. It creates an opportunity for assessors to see how an investment in your practice might in fact leverage into finding solutions to those challenges. So while it can be tempting to paint a rosy picture to funders in a grant application and we understand that, it is helpful to demonstrate that you’ve taken the time to reflect and think about how to undertake your work and the challenges or a challenge your own assumptions, and that will actually help the committee understand how you are well set up to steward a public investment in an effective way. So as you saw, there is a specific section in the application where you’re asked to talk directly about artistic impact. But please keep in mind, assessors will be considering your application holistically, meaning there may be other parts of your application that speak to your artistic impact more indirectly.  

So community connection is the second criteria. The applicant shows a clear and in-depth understanding of the relationships and communities connected to this project, their community related goals, and what success will mean for them. So this can include future relationships and, community connections, as well as those that might occur during the project itself as I mentioned. While we do know that many artistic practices and projects may not necessarily put a primary focus on community engagement, we want to open a conversation for every applicant to see what community means to them and how they think art contributes to that community, whether it be directly or indirectly. It’s important to reflect on who your communities and relationships are or who you would like them to be and how you might either connect and engage or simply consider them during the project or phase of the project. Defining your communities will allow you to better understand what it means to have an impactful relationship with them. 

So I encourage you to reflect on why your project is important to those communities or people that you’ve identified. Whether they’ll be experiencing the work now or later. And if the project doesn’t involve creating or sharing work at all, then how does your project support or impact your ability to deepen or grow those relationships and connections to community in the future? Again, consider the criterion holistically in your application as well.  

And then planning. The applicant has included enough information to clearly show what they want to do and how they will do it. There’s an in-depth understanding of what’s required to undertake the project and achieve their goals, and this is most often demonstrated by a clear, achievable and well-supported application. 

For example, you’ve demonstrated that you have adequate experience or supports in place, a feasible timeline and budget and suitable partners or collaborators or mentors. So while the application is holistic, the primary elements that relate to this are your description, budget, timeline and support material. These planning pieces should clearly outline who you will work with, how you will work with them, what it will cost, how much time it will take, and what tasks and activities are required. 

The application should have clear, detailed, thoughtful responses and include all the relevant information to create trust and confidence that your project will be completed as described and that you will reach your goals. Assessors shouldn’t be left with lots of questions or confusion or doubt. They should feel that there’s a clear sense of readiness and critical awareness within your application. 

So I recommend keeping all of these three criteria in mind as you prepare your application. And then based on what you provide, assessors are going to be rating the level to which they agree or disagree with each of those three program criteria. They can select between strongly agree, agree or disagree and strongly disagree. And so we’ve chosen to use descriptions and these sort of agreements ratings this year rather than numbers or numerical scales in an attempt to better tie assessor evaluations more directly to the criteria of the program, which we believe should help prioritize investments. And this was based on a lot of feedback from applicants and assessors who’ve used different scoring methods with us before.  

I’m just skipping over a little bit here. It’s not super important. In this program, we’re going to be able to fund a minimum of 100 to 130 applications, and that would be if everyone requested the full maximum amounts. Since levels, you know, request levels vary quite a lot. We’ll be able to fund likely more than that. However, it is important to recognize that we do receive more applications than we can reasonably fund, our success rate typically varies between 25 to 40 per cent, the average being more close to 30 per cent. So keep that in mind. It is it is sort of the nature of most granting programs that they are competitive and it can be a challenge for assessors to only select, you know, the top 30 per cent. 

So I’m just going to skip forward a little bit. So the total pool of funding available for the program is $2 million. That amount gets pro-rated across both of the program streams, depending on how many grant requests we get to each stream, and assessment committees will review applications assigned to them in the online granting portal, and they’re going to evaluate each application according to those program criteria that we just reviewed. 

Staff will download all of their scores and evaluations into a score sheet, and there’s a numerical amount that’s tied to each of those ratings, but it’s on the back end. The committees will then discuss each application in a meeting facilitated by myself, the program specialist, and I’m responsible for ensuring the conversations are fair and appreciative and that assessors are acting within our group agreements and the terms of reference. 

Those final scores will result in a list of projects that are recommended for funding and CADA staff will review those recommendations and finalize the funding list. Partial funding may be allocated, but it is rare and we really trust that artists are asking for what they need to, complete their projects. If there are applications that are assessed equally, but there’s insufficient funds left in the grant budget to support both, projects proposed by artists that belong to an equity priority group will be prioritized. So that’s like a tie-breaker scenario. Applicants, as I mentioned, will be invited to fill out that voluntary self identification form, which is directly in the application. It didn’t appear in that example, but it will be in yours. All those questions are optional. Assessors do not have access or cannot see your answers to those questions. It’s only staff and we only reference them in the case of this equity priority measure or our research team may be, you know, looking at that data in aggregate just to identify funding gaps or look at trends and things like that to ensure that we’re funding in an equitable manner.  

So the equity priority groups for this program are listed here and we have more detailed descriptions of each our guidelines and on the website. And the purpose of this, as I mentioned, is that there are a lot of barriers to access and full participation in our society and in the sector and in granting, and so in order to help address some of these underserved communities who have experienced barriers to funding, we have identified these and adopted this measure. And this was drawn from Toronto Arts Council’s framework, so we’re very grateful to them for their work in this area. And this might continue to shift and change as we evaluate and get community feedback. So it is meant to be an iterative process.  

All right. So some general grant tips, as I mentioned, you know, we’re really not expecting you to be everything to everyone and your application will not benefit from trying to write or represent yourself in a way that is not authentic to you or that you think assessors might want to hear or see. 

So I encourage you to use plain language rather than academic or, you know, artist speak language. It’s often clearer and more concise. Avoid using jargon or technical language unless it’s needed. And if so, just maybe to define what you mean, either directly in the writing or in a support material area. Keep in mind that the assessment committee will be artists from many different disciplines and practices. So that’s your audience. It’s not going to be an expert of only filmmakers or only dance artists. It is multi-disc. So keeping that in mind as you write is helpful. Don’t assume everyone is going to understand everything from your practice or you know your way of working. So define terms. Assessors really appreciate being able to easily understand an application because they are reading some many. So try to be authentic to where you’re at in your practice, in your career. Be really, I think appreciate a sense of gaps or challenges or barriers that you might experience and how you might move those helps to demonstrate capacity and awareness and potential. Do your research, make sure that you can back up what you’re stating in your application, especially around, you know, what things cost, how long they take and, you know, getting that sort of, those planning elements in place is really important. 

It’s helpful to have someone who might not be familiar with your discipline or your work — read over your draft application. The questions that they ask might help uncover some assumptions that you’re making in the story that you’re telling. It can also be really helpful to have someone who’s well versed in your discipline or your practice, who has previous experience maybe look over your grant. They might be able to help identify any red flags or gaps in planning or budgeting. So get a diverse group of perspectives to look over your grant if you are able to. Obviously, people you trust. As I mentioned, staff can also do this with enough notice. But again, that’s only staff perspective. So if you have folks, you can lean on, I encourage that. 

If you give it to your grandfather or like a city council member and they understand what you want to do and why it’s important, that could be a good sign too. Someone completely outside of the arts maybe. And lastly, you know, start the process early. Give yourself enough time to put your project into writing, to leave it for a little bit and reflect on it and come back to it with fresh eyes to allow other folks to maybe look it over or ask questions and to gather support material. 

Sometimes that takes a bit of time if you’re getting letters of confirmation or support letters from folks. So give them enough time as well, rather than fire drilling them. And you want to ensure that, you know, you’re putting in an application for the project that you’ve done the best planning for. So trying not to rush it and start early and reach out with any questions. 

There’s no such thing as a, you know, silly or dumb question, whether it’s your first grant or you’ve been writing them for years, there’s always something new to learn and every funder and program is different. So yeah, I encourage you to not be shy and reach out to us. If you do have any anything you want to clarify. 

Oh, okay. Sorry. The last-ish slide is about taxes. It’s always important to think about tax implications of when you get a grant. CADA will provide a T4A form which is a tax form for individuals. If you receive more than $500 in a tax year from Canada, which is most if you’re getting a grant, it’s probably more than $500. 

So it means you’ll get a T4A if you’re a collective. The primary artist from the Collective will be responsible for administering the funds and they’ll receive the T4A. So when filing your taxes, you should be able to deduct all reasonable project expenses from the grant amount. And so make sure you’re keeping track of all your receipts payments to other artists, any kind of record keeping to demonstrate that the money that you got from the grant went into your account, but also went out towards these project expenses. 

So that way the only amount that you’re taxable is, is taxable is income, is the portion that you keep for yourself. For example, an artist’s fee that’s income because you’re paying yourself with the grant. There may also be other expenses like subsistence or living expenses or expenses that can’t be reimbursed, which cannot be deducted. So just keeping that in mind, we do have tax resources in our FAQ online, but CADA does not offer tax advice, so we do highly recommend that you consult a tax professional or an accountant when you’re planning your grant applications and preparing your taxes each year. And the other funders have some good resources too. But not all funders give T4As, so just make sure that you’re aware of how that might impact your taxes when you get a grant.  

And then this is just a contact info. So if you do have questions, reach out to me any time. Van Chu is also great if you have technical questions about the Smart Simple platform. We also have those two virtual open office spaces that are happening on April 19 and May 2, so I put the link in the chat already. If you want to pop in and just ask questions while you’re working on your grant, I’ll be hanging out on Zoom for a couple of hours, both of those days, and so you can hang out and listen to other artists questions or just come in and ask yours and then leave. But you’re also welcome to just email. It’s just my way of kind of helping a lot of artists at once because there’s a lot of a lot of folks seeking support. So these are new things we’re trying out.  

And I think that is it. So I’m going to stop the recording now. Thank you all so much for attending and thank you to the interpreters for staying late with us today. 

Appreciate it.

If you have any questions or need any help completing an application, please contact Taylor Poitras, Program Specialist, at or 403.264.5330 ext.215.

Share this page