Watch the Virtual Town Hall

Grant Announcement Categories: All Programs

Watch the Virtual Town Hall

On Tuesday, January 25, 2022, Calgary Arts Development President and CEO Patti Pon and Interim Director, Community Investment Melissa Tuplin shared updates on our 2022 grant investment programs.

The session included information on our upcoming grants and processes, as well as an opportunity to have questions about the programs answered by Melissa Tuplin.

The town hall was hosted on Zoom, interpreted in American Sign Language (ASL), is available to read in text form, and can be viewed below or on YouTube at any time. The chat file is also available to read.

Patti Pon: Hi everyone. Welcome. For those of you who I haven’t had a chance to meet or get to know, my name is Patti Pon. I’m the president and CEO of Calgary Arts Development. I’m so thrilled to have you with us today. Happy New Year. Even though it’s the 25th, so it’s maybe happy not so new year. But I also know that for our friends from the Asian Pacific Islander communities, Lunar New Year is about to begin on February 1. So an early Happy Lunar New Year to those of you who celebrate. Before we begin the formal, well, I guess, still formal part, it’s an important part of all of our gatherings that we undertake online and in person, I’d like to introduce my colleague, Sable Sweetgrass, who will provide a land acknowledgement and lesson today. Over to you Sable.

Sable Sweetgrass: Hello, everyone, this is Sable Sweetgrass. I’m the Director of Indigenous Engagement and Reconciliation with Calgary Arts Development. And so I want to acknowledge that we are here working and living on the traditional territory of the Niitsitapi which is more commonly known as Blackfoot people.

I myself am Blackfoot from Kainai nation and Blackfoot. The Blackfoot culture is made up of the four tribes of the Blackfoot: the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai and the Aamsskáápipikani, which are located in Northern Montana in the United States. So the border of the United States and Canada cuts right across our territory. And so we have our relatives in the states and Browning, Montana. And so this, this area of the world in southern Alberta and northern Montana, this is really the only place you will find Blackfoot people. And the Blackfoot language is from this land here. And we also share this land you know with our neighbors, the Tsuut’ina people who are Dene people, and they speak Dene language.

A lot of people assume that, you know, Indigenous people speak the same language. But there are many many different languages—hundreds of different languages and so here in Treaty 7, we have three languages: the Blackfoot; the Tsuut’ina, language, which is as I said, Dene; as well as the Stoney Nakoda people and their language. And the Stoney Nakoda is located near Canmore. And the area there is just north of, north and south of the number one highway there. And, and so for the Stoney Nakoda, they’re related to the Dakota, Dakota people in northern, and north and south Dakota and going up into Canada, Winnipeg, and then here in southern Alberta. And the Dene people are far up north and go all the way down to Arizona, New Mexico. The Navajo people are Dene people as well. So that’s the Tsuuti’na people are Dene here. And the Dene—the Tsuut’ina nation is bordered with Calgary on the southwest, southwest part of the city here. And we also share this land with many, many First Nations and Métis people. Métis Region 3 is located here in Calgary, Mohkínsstsisi. And we have people from all over Turtle Island, Mohawk people, Anishinaabe, northwest, the tribes of the Northwest Coast people, from the United States, from all over. And then we share this land with people from all around the world as well.

So we, this place has always been known as a place of trade and nations coming together, First Nations coming together to trade. When I used to work at the Glenbow Museum, we would see, on some of the artifacts from before contact, we would see shells that were from down in the Gulf of Mexico, from the West Coast, the East Coast and people would wonder how is it that we had these things here? It’s because there were already trade routes that went all through North America. And all those things are highly prized and, and were worn by tribes all over nations all over North America. So that’s the land acknowledgement for today. And if you have any questions, don’t, don’t hesitate to ask. 

But I was just, I was just on the phone with a potential applicant to one of our programs. And she’s an Elder who lives on reserve. And she had said that she’s talking to me about the kind of work that she does with Indigenous women and her concern about missing and murdered Indigenous women, and and how the program that she does is one that where she hopes that she can teach these young women about our culture, our language, how to live off the land, how to gather food and medicine from the land and connecting that with language and giving these young women a sense of identity. Because a lot, a lot of the young women that she works with have never had any exposure to Blackfoot culture, or Cree culture, or any Indigenous, traditional indigenous knowledge or practices. And how taking them out onto the land to show them specific sites and what plants to pick, plants that you can find here even within the city and in spaces like Nose Hill or Fish Creek, places that are very accessible to the pride that these young women have when they have this knowledge that they can they can go down to a river and locate these these medicines or our plants.

They have that knowledge and then they forever have that knowledge and the kind of pride that it gives them to have, that is, it really has a huge effect on their, on their confidence. And so I’m really hoping that you know, I’m, I know that we can, we can help, help her in her, in what she’s teaching them and supporting her however we can. But, but it’s just it feels really good to be able to, to work with artists in this way. Because in a lot of Indigenous, when it comes to Indigenous art, traditional Indigenous art, there’s a really, it’s a mix. It’s not, Indigenous art and culture are very mixed together. And, and so, I think that you know with looking back at all the artists that we’ve been able to support that were sort of challenging the way that I guess art has been regarded in the past, you know the traditional Western forms of art. And now we can now support artists, traditional Indigenous artists and, and helping communities to pass that knowledge on to future generations. So that’s what I want to share with you today. So thank you.

Patti Pon: Many thanks, Sable. Every time I get a chance to hear from Sable and talk with her, I learn something amazing. And today was no different. So Sable is a great gift to Calgary Arts Development and to the community broadly. And it’s just a pleasure to be able to work with you. I’d now like to call upon Cherie McMaster, who’s going to go over a few meeting protocols before we begin our program today. 

Cherie McMaster. Thank you very much, Patti. Welcome, everybody. Just a few things that we wanted to point out as we start today’s meeting. We have two ASL interpreters joining us today, Debra and Janice. Thank you so much to both of them for being here. They will be spotlighted during today’s meeting. If you would like to have a simultaneous transcription of what is being discussed today, you can click on the CC button which is on the bottom of your screen and follow along with that transcription. So that everyone knows we are recording this meeting for future reference and to share with folks that weren’t able to join us today. If you don’t want to be visible in this recording, please keep your camera off. And when we release the recording, we will include an accurate transcript along with it.

We have Sam Hindle here with us today. Her name is on there along with ZoomKeeper. If you have any technical issues or accessibility questions, please chat with Sam Hindle and she’ll be able to help you out on that. If you’ve joined us here before you’ll know that Calgary Arts Development uses group agreements and by attending today’s town hall you have agreed to abide by those agreements. When you registered there was a link included on the announcement page for this event. And Sam’s going to put it in the chat as well, so you can take a look for reference as to what that group agreement entails. And we’re going to have a question and answer session at the end of the speaking today. If you have any questions during the gathering, you could submit them via the chat function which is on the bottom of your screen, or there will be an opportunity to raise your hand and ask those questions as well. Thanks again for having me here today to share this with you and also to everybody for joining.

Patti Pon: Thanks so much, Cherie, also for not only providing the protocols but also helping us to set up these calls and others. Cherie is the mastermind behind a lot of the events that we do in person and online and we’re really thankful for you being with us here today. 

So today’s Town Hall is a few things. We wanted first and foremost to share our intentions for 2022 with you and that includes information about our 2022 grant investment programs. Some of you may have been on our website already. We uploaded announcements concerning the programs that we’ll be undertaking. And today’s an opportunity for you to hear directly from the community investment team, headed by Melissa Tuplin as our Interim Director of Community Investment and Impact, and ask any questions that you might have that perhaps you saw on the website there.

Right now, we are in the fourth year of a current four-year strategic framework. It has two priority areas. The first one is fostering a sustainable and resilient art sector. And the second one is called arts-led city building. And as I’m sure you have all experienced. When we put those two priorities down back in 2018, when we were doing this plan in the first place, never did I think we would be trying to foster a sustainable and resilient arts sector quite in the kind of environment that we find ourselves in right now. And certainly if ever there was a time where we need the arts and artists to help us to reimagine and revitalize and re-engage our citizens and our community, it’s now. If I’ve had a chance to have conversations with you over this last year, many times I have said in social kinds of meetings and gatherings, if ever there was a time when our communities need artists, it’s now. Because artists tell our stories. They create meaning for us in a time when it feels so hard to find that meaning: “Why is this happening? How can this be happening to all of us? How can this be going on so long?” So many questions. 

And 2021 was certainly one heck of a year in terms of the only certain thing that happened was uncertainty. I was at an event earlier today, we announced that the 2022 edition of Chinook Blast will happen in February of this year, so that we could give work to artists and provide opportunities for Calgarians to take part in amazing arts experiences together in a safe way. And I was reminded by Alex Sarian from Arts Commons that a year ago, we had some certainty because we were in lockdown. And here we are in 2022, and it just when we didn’t think it was possible to know less or not have any more uncertainty, we do.

And so it’s a frustrating time. There’s lots of anxiety. And I have this deep belief that with the arts and with artists, we’re gonna help our communities get through this and find new ways to live with COVID, and whatever variant we might happen to find ourselves in, and more importantly, come out the other side and still be here to benefit and as I said to tell our stories, to create meaning. And I’m really so grateful to all of you. You can probably tell right now I feel like I’m really in a space of gratitude for making it through, I guess, and and still, again being surrounded even in a virtual capacity by all of you and the amazing work that you all do. I’m looking forward to taking part in more arts events in the weeks ahead. And I’m just so appreciative that Calgary Arts Development can play a role in helping to encourage that as we talk about our programs for the coming year. 

So Helen Moore-Parkhouse, who’s our Director of Communications and Engagement, she helps me with my notes for these days, and she was like what learnings or insights do you want to share? And I think the insight that I have is, I’ve always believed in the value of knowledge, of information, of data to help us make choices. And this year in particular as we looked at what kinds of programs we could offer, as we were gearing up for the next four-year plan with this new Mayor and council at The City, we relied a lot on gathering information, collecting data. I know that many of you heard from our staff over and over on a variety of fronts, and it really was so that we could equip ourselves with as much good information as possible, which all of you have, upon which we made our decisions. 

Greg Burbidge is our Research and Impact Manager and he and his colleague, Stephanie Solomon, do a wonderful job of trying to take all of that information and again, help us do some meaning-making, help us make sense of what it is that we collect and what we gather. So that’s been the basis of a lot of our decisions. Of course, COVID-19 and continuing to be in touch with our partners, our community of a variety of health officials has informed us about how we will proceed in the year ahead. And right from the beginning in March of 2020 we always looked at addressing COVID from the perspective of our three R’s. That’s relief, recovery, and resiliency. And I would argue that the last two years have really been about relief. Everything keeps changing. The ground doesn’t stay still. We’re always having to, and I hesitated using the words, “pivot,” “adapt.” We’re always responding. And so we saw all orders of government come up with relief funds of all types.

All of you had to make significant decisions and changes to the way in which you create and share the work that you do. And that’s really been this last two years. We’re now heading into a time of, I think, recovery. And if relief took us two years, we’re not seeing anything that tells us the recovery’s going to be any shorter. So we really are looking at that longer runway of recovery and how we might help to prepare our communities and our sector for that runway, which leads us to resiliency. And I think that’s going to be another 2, 3, 5 years out. So we’re looking at a very long horizon, a long way to the horizon as we are crafting our programs and thinking about our next four-year plan. And so our intentions around that really take that kind of time-span into account notwithstanding we know that there are short-term and medium-term priorities, objectives that that we want to address as well.

You know, one of the values a kind of designed tenet we live by is one size fits one, and we’ve certainly seen that in the last few weeks as many of our friends in the community have had to cancel festivals or postpone them or change the way in which they’re undertaking the programming. So it’s, the ground continues to move under us. And we’re always trying to make those decisions and the difficult part is it isn’t one size fits all. It’s one size fits one, and that you need to look at your particular circumstances and how all of those, with the best information you can gather, can help you to make good choices going forward for your teams, for your audiences, and for the communities that you serve most significantly. 

Another thing that’s impacting our intentions going forward is our work around equity diversity, inclusion and accessibility. We use the acronym EDIA. It will continue to be very present in all of our conversations in all of our decision making. We are Canada’s third most diverse city. We know we are a city made up of people from all over the world who have chosen to call Calgary home. And so what does that mean? And and again, many of you have heard me talk about how the arts contribute to building a city that all Calgarians deserve, not some. And so when we take into account all Calgarians in our community, how is it that the arts sector serves all Calgarians in its, its various ways, and that doesn’t mean that my one arts company has to be all things to all Calgarians. But it does mean that from Calgary Arts Development’s perspective as we look at the breadth and the depth of the sector that we work with most closely that we can say with assurance that the sector we supported and that we work with, is serving all Calgarians. And so that’s something that’s very top of mind for us going forward.

In community investment, as many of you know at the November budget debate, Calgary Arts Development was honoured and privileged to be granted an additional $3.2 million from The City of Calgary and Mayor Gondek and her council, and that was just amazing. I think it is a tribute to all of the good work that all of you lead and support and the ways in which you have been connecting all of us, not only in this time of COVID, but long before that. And we have been honoured to be able to bring that case forward on behalf of the sector to not only the Mayor and Council, but through Administration and our other civic partners. The arts are a part of how Calgary will move forward. And it is just a privilege for us to be able to be one of the champions who yells that as often as we can, from every corner that we can, whenever we can. 

The final thing I’ll say and then I’ll turn it over to Melissa is the other lesson that we have learned. I don’t know if it’s a lesson, maybe it’s an observation. Again, I’m not telling anybody in this group something you don’t already know, which is the deep and severe impact that COVID has had on our community but particularly on individual artists. We had 70% of arts professionals report that their ability to generate self employed income has been greatly diminished in these last two years. And as we look ahead, it is going to take us time to even get back to where artists were at before, nevermind getting farther beyond that. And it is really important that I think we talk about our work, look to supporting our work and encouraging our work in a manner that is artist centered. And I can tell you from the perspective of Calgary Arts Development, I’m very aware that if there are no artists, there is no point to having Calgary Arts Development. We need artists and we need them to be paid. And we need them to earn basic incomes and have an ability to have a quality of life and make a living that we all desire. And we need to again shout that from the mountaintops even more now than ever before. And I encourage all of you to to think about it in that way. 

So on that note, I would like to introduce my colleague Melissa Tuplin, as I said she is the Interim Director of Community Investment and Impact and she is going to walk you through our intentions for 2022 and the description of our grant investment programs. Over to you, Melissa.

Melissa Tuplin: Thanks, Patti. Hi, everybody. Thank you so much for joining us today. As Patti said, my name is Melissa Tuplin and I’m the Interim Director of Community Investment and Impact and the Community Investment and Capacity Manager here at Calgary Arts Development. I’m going to share a slideshow that has information about this year’s programs. All of our programs have been published on our website under grant investment programs. Thank you Sam. With full program overviews. And I’m just going to share my screen now.

All right. Thank you so much. Okay, so, Calgary Arts Development offers programs for nonprofit arts organizations, individual artists and artists collectives.

As Patti introduced, our 2022 program funding priorities include reopening efforts; the development of new business models; attracting, restoring and retaining jobs for artists and arts professionals; sharing extraordinary arts experiences with the public; and Truth and Reconciliation, anti-racism, equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility. These program intentions and goals have been developed from a variety of sources, in particular our ongoing data collection and research on the impact of the pandemic on the sector. The arts professional survey report, external research such as the New Experience Economy Study being undertaken by Stone Olafson all alongside our ongoing program evaluation. All of our research surveys and reports are available on our website on the publication page, and this data heavily influences our program design. As we move through the design process for full program guidelines and criteria for 2022, we will share reference links to any information that has specifically resulted in these funding priorities or program goals to ensure the applicants are working with a shared understanding and context in our programs. In particular, I highly recommend reviewing the Arts Professionals Survey Report in full.

As Patti mentioned, the impact of the pandemic on individual artists has been breathtaking, and that report is very very specifically guiding a lot of our visions including that priority of attracting, restoring and retaining jobs for artists, paying artists through the investments that we are directing into the community. So the additional funds have been split between programs that provide support for individual artists and arts collectives and the programs for arts organizations to support recovery efforts. It’s really important to note here that while we acknowledge that the impacts of the pandemic will be ongoing, the 2022 investment programs do not include emergency relief funds. As Patti said, we know that the impacts are still being felt with the ongoing cancellation of events but we are seeing ourselves move into the recovery phase and really looking at how the public funds that we’re stewarding are creating those conditions for the sector to recover. 

The financial impact of COVID-19 across the sector, including nonprofit organizations and individuals is so significant that our programs cannot continue to address the needs of the community through that context of relief. So again, we’re looking into supporting the recovery phase and really responding to and building upon the impacts and what we have learned during the pandemic to ensure a vibrant, revitalized and reimagined art sector for Calgarians. As Patti mentioned, Truth and Reconciliation, anti-racism and equity diversity, inclusion and accessibility are core values for Calgary Arts Development, and are inextricable from any effort to recover the sector. Our commitment to these values includes directly investing in artists and arts organizations who are impacted by racism and inequities or barriers to access our funding programs, whether through their lived experiences or their mandates, such as our programs for Indigenous artists and organizations. This also includes support for activities that tend to structural or organizational changes necessary to create more equitable operations and artistic practices. Our own investment processes and policies are continuing to shift as we learn more about the ways in which traditional grantmaking upholds and benefits unequitable systems. And we are committed to continuing to identify, address and disrupt these systems now and into the future.

As you’ve heard from Patti, once more 2022 is a critical year. We are in the final year of our four-year strategic plan and our four-year budget. Our research data collection and impact measurement efforts will be focused on developing the case for support for 2023 to 2026 and will drive and influence our evaluation and program design. The information we collect from you through applications, reports and our ongoing relationships and conversations are all used to understand the priorities and needs of our sector, guide our work into the future. We really have the benefit as an arts agency from looking at the sector from the ecosystem approach. So combining all of this information that we’re collecting into this high-level understanding and vision of what we’re seeing is really really valuable and we acknowledge and appreciate the effort required to provide information to us. And we continue to welcome feedback about the ways in which we collect and utilize it. 

So, information about all of our grant programs, like I said, is available on the website. We have published overviews for each program that we’re offering this year including general information around program goals and the timeline for the processes. Full program guidelines and criteria will become available throughout the year as we roll those programs out. If you have specific questions about these programs, please feel free to reach out to your program specialist or to our team in general at Any questions about our research and impact work can be sent to And I’ve also included my contact information here for you. 

We are continuing to work remotely though I am in the office today. So the best way to reach our team is by email. 

So starting with our programs for individual artists and artists collectives. We are kicking off the year with our annual project grant for individuals and collectives. This program is open to artists and collectives working in any artistic discipline. In 2021, we received over 300 applications to this program, which was an 80% increase from the year before. The volume was incredible and it really does speak to the incredible amount of artists who are making Calgary their home to live and work and share artistic experiences with the public. So, in response, we have increased our program budget for that program by $500,000 for a total of $1.6 million for project grants to individuals and collectives. Full application guidelines will be available really shortly in early February. Applications open on February 28. And the deadline is April 19 with results coming available by the end of June. 

Now we have made some small shifts to the application requirements from last year based on feedback from applicants and assessors. But in general, it should look and feel about the same as previous years for those who came to us for funds last year. One of those shifts though is the addition of a new program stream. The Create & Develop stream is for the creation and development of artistic projects that do not have a public presentation component. Program & Present is for artistic projects that do have a public presentation component, and a new stream which we’re calling Grow & Adapt is for projects that are focused on the growth and development of artists careers and practices that may not result in a specific artistic outcome. This stream is for projects that are looking at adaptation or experimentation of new practices or of large-scale professional development for example.

Speaking of professional development, the artist development micro-grant was piloted in 2021 through the generous support of the Calgary Arts Foundation’s Cultural Vitality Fund. We are pleased to offer this program again through our own budget, increasing the pool to $325,000 with the notable addition of multiple intakes. Full program guidelines will become available in March. Now we have heard from artists a desire for a program that can respond to opportunities that arise with a quicker turnaround for notifications. And so we will be piloting this process through four intakes with cut-off dates in May, July, September and November with the hope that we’ll be able to provide results within three weeks of that cutoff date. More information about how that process will roll out is included in the program overview and then once we publish the full program guidelines, it will lay it out in a clearer way for you. This program is intended to support professional and business development activities to the maximum of $5,000. Examples of eligible activities are included in the program overview on the website. Now we have specifically and explicitly identified business and career development activities as eligible for this program. Through the arts professional survey and our relationships with applicants, we have heard a strong need for support for non-artistic development, like entrepreneurship, financial literacy, business training and platforms to share and sell work that are necessary to grow and sustain a viable career in the arts particularly in the wake of the pandemic.

Programs for Indigenous artists, artists collectives and arts organizations. We are continuing to support projects by First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists and organizations which honour, in response to or in memory of, the loss of life, culture, ceremony and language amongst the original peoples of this land because of the residential school system. The Honouring the Children Program was launched last year in response to the recovery of the children at the Kamloops residential school. And we’re continuing to run this program into this year. It runs on a rolling intake by contacting myself or Sable Sweetgrass, who you met–our Director of Engagement and Reconciliation. And this is really a one size fits one proposal process to talk directly with us about the types of projects that you might want to pursue. 

With the support of Sable and our Indigenous advisory group, we are developing a brand new Indigenous Artists Microgrant. Full guidelines will be available in March. Now similar to the artist development micro-grant, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. And this program is specifically to support projects that preserve First Nations, Métis, and Inuit culture and tradition, specifically through the creation of Regalia and activities related to traditional forms and craft. This program is being developed with the ongoing guidance and recommendation of our Indigenous advisory group who will help us with the co-design of the program and we’ll be really excited to share those guidelines with you into the spring. 

And of course, the Original Peoples Investment Program is intended to support projects by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists collectives, and organizations practicing and operating in the Treaty 7, Calgary region in any artistic discipline. It is also open to Treaty 7 First Nations artists practicing on reserves or operating within the Treaty 7 region of southern Alberta. The budget for this program has increased to $650,000 and full guidelines will be available later into the summer months. This program was previously offered in the early part of the year but has now moved to run in the fall. The intention of the timeline shift is to allow our team to work with Sable on outreach and engagement in the communities to reach more artists and to continue to work with the Indigenous advisory to confirm and validate program design and goals. 

So programs for not-for-profit arts organizations. The Operating Grant Program is in its final year of a multi-year grant agreement and currently supports 166 arts organizations in Calgary. This program will not be open to new clients in 2022. And the final interim report is due by February 28. Organizations currently receiving operating funds will have already been contacted by Marta with instructions and information on how to complete this report. We will be reviewing and approving reports and dispersing funds then through March and April. In addition to report requirements for the operating grant, we will also be asking for information for our Economic Impact Study which is being completed by KPMG and accompanies our strategic planning and the development of our case for support. We are also asking organizations to share information to update our COVID-19 impact reporting. 

Organizations who currently receive operating funds will also have the opportunity to request a one-time increase to their grant to support recovery and resiliency activities. Full guidelines and criteria for this program will be available into late February. This increase program is intended to specifically address those funding priority areas that Patti and I spoke about earlier in this presentation. By investing in these forward-looking activities and aspirations that will allow organizations to contribute to the conditions required to reopen and recover the art sector into the future.

Now a really significant part of this process and a brand new process for Calgary Arts Development is that we will not be requiring a formal written application for this process. Instead we are designing an assessment process that will include a meeting and verbal presentation with the assessment committee. This is a somewhat hybrid assessment process as the committee will be comprised of Calgary Arts Development staff and external peer assessors. Now the purpose of this shift towards a more relational process is to really take advantage of this valuable opportunity not only to identify potential for grant increases, but to have one-on-one conversations to discuss your organization’s aspirations, visions and goals for the future, which will contribute to and inform our own evaluation in reimagining and redesigning the next operating grant cycle beginning in 2023. This will be only one mechanism to engage with you, our community, in the process, but we believe it will be a really rich opportunity for generative dialogue. 

Now, we also acknowledge that there are many arts organizations in the city who do not receive operational funds from Calgary Arts Development. And it was really important to us to also attend to those organizations through the benefit of the increased funds we received from The City of Calgary. So the new Organization Recovery Fund will essentially duplicate the operating grant increase program. So nonprofit organizations not currently in the operating program may apply for a one-time unrestricted grant that will follow the same process and criteria that I just discussed. We will kick off that process immediately after the operating grant and run it through the summer. We intend to use this process for the purpose of community engagement in the same way and look forward to learning about and developing relationships and shared context and understanding with prospective operating clients for the next year, as well as to expand the circle of those we have the benefit of having a relationship with. 

Of course, we will also continue the project grant for organizations which will run into the fall. As we know that there will always be a need for specific project support. Guidelines will be published in the summer. Now at this stage, we are continuing to evaluate this program. And I expect that what we hear through organizational reports and through the programs that we’re offering in the first part of the year will really inform any changes or updates to that program. So stay tuned. 

And finally, the Organization Structural Change program which we piloted last year, will be offered again in 2022 in some form, but it is currently under evaluation. In 2021 the purpose of that program was to provide support for activities related to permanent and fundamental structural change such as mergers, long-term strategic partnerships, or even outright organizational closure. We acknowledge the ongoing need for these types of resources and that as we move past the pandemic and into this real recovery phase, we will start to see the deep impacts really start to play out. But we also acknowledge that there are other types of structural change resources and capacity building needs that exist that are necessary to create those conditions for transformational organizational change. So more information about how this program will shift is forthcoming. 

So once again, all of those programs are available in overview form on our website. Stay tuned in the next couple of weeks for the guidelines for the Project Grant for Individuals and Collectives, which we’ll launch very shortly. Taylor is furiously working on getting those together. Again, this is our contact information. So please do not hesitate to reach out to me or to my team with any questions. Thank you and I will pass back to Patti.

Patti Pon: Many thanks, Melissa. That is great. And as I indicated and as Melissa indicated earlier, the programs are listed on our website at Sam has very kindly put the link in the chat box so you can certainly scroll up and find more information there. And as always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to any member of the community investment team to find out more information. 

I know that some of you have been putting questions into the chat box, please know that we are documenting them and we will answer questions at the end of our presentations today. 

And we have one more person that I would like all of you to hear from today as we move ahead again in 2022 with intention. Before I introduce Brandy formally, I do want to just say one thing I forgot to mention earlier after Sable spoke. Something really wonderful happened today at City Council. And that was that by a vote of 13 to 1, Council voted to allocate land for an Indigenous Gathering Place in Mohkínsstsisi at the confluence of the two rivers. And I am going to get this number wrong but someone told me that there are well over 1000 places of faith that are located within Mohkínsstsisi and not one of them is a place that serves our Original People and the Métis people of this nation of this land. And so I am thrilled to have civic leaders who acknowledged the importance of having somewhere where ceremony and protocol and the different nations not only from Treaty 7 but from all over Turtle Island can go to gather and be with each other. And so I just think that’s a remarkable thing and hope that all of you might have a chance to connect with the wonderful people who are making that become a reality and I look forward to taking part in many activities there in the years ahead.

So, and related to that in some way, she says as she makes these connections, in 2021 in March, The City of Calgary announced that Calgary Arts Development would be awarded the leadership or running the public art program on behalf of The City of Calgary. This new direction for public art is a three-year transition period between The City and Calgary Arts Development. And it is just a thrill for me to be able to introduce all of you to Brandy Dahrouge who is our Director of Public Art. It is a topic that comes up a lot in conversation in Calgary and I wanted to be sure that all of you had a chance to meet virtually Brandy and hear from her about some of the thoughts and vision and, and plans that that Brandy is considering in these very early days. This is Brandy’s 25th day as a member of the CADA team, and, and already has made a wonderful impact in our work here. So please, over to you Brandy.

Brandy Dahrouge: Thank you, Patti. Hello, everyone. I’m really excited to be able to at least meet you virtually today. I see some names that I recognize as well in the online session, so yeah, lovely to share some digital space and time with you. 

As Patti mentioned, my name is Brandy Dahrouge. And I have the privilege of being, serving as CADA’s first Director of Public Art, and I am not working alone. I am working of course with a group of amazingly talented individuals who make up the public art team at CADA and the rest of CADA as well. So the public art team now is fully staffed. We’ve got a team of project lead, project manager, engagement specialist. We’ve got public art administration. We also have staff who are working in communications around public art as well. And we are working very closely with The City of Calgary to transition the program over the next, well, I think it’s just two years now. 

So just so you know a little bit more about me, actually, I was born in Mohkínsstsisi and actually grew up in the Northeast area of Calgary, Temple and Falconbridge. Those were my neighborhoods. I attended the University of Calgary. I studied in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at UofC, and I went on to complete a Master’s from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, focusing on media arts, and then I returned to Calgary. It’s always been my home. I worked at the University of Calgary, taught in the fine art program there. I also taught photography at Mount Royal University for about 10 years before I took a job at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. And I  worked at the Banff Centre as both the program manager of the visual arts residencies and also the director of the residency program, overseeing the Walter Phillips Gallery and the permanent collection. There are about 1800 items in the Banff’s permanent collection, and also, the Banff International Curatorial Institute which is a think tank for curators. And also worked a lot with public artists and public art curators as well. We ran several programs for artists working in the public realm, and curators who also would steward their work in public space. Most recently, though, I worked for the City of Victoria overseeing their public art program and advising on policy and processes working with community advisory groups. And there are some residents’ programs including their Indigenous arts residence program. So I’m, again I’m very honoured to be starting at the public art program on behalf of Calgarians and shape a vision that I think meets the needs of artists in Calgary, acknowledges the land that we are privileged to create on, and builds right relations with Treaty 7, looks at multiple histories, stories identities that we hold together as a community, lives into our values of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility, and also maintains the international profile of the program and of Calgary as a creative place to live. 

So over the next several years, of course, the public art program is slowly transitioning from The City of Calgary to Calgary Arts Development with a full transition expected to be completed in 2024. So currently, myself and our team are working very closely and collaboratively with The City around projects that were put on hold in 2017 by Council. And we will continue to either be led by The City during the interim period, some projects and initiatives that we’ll collaborate on and will co-lead together and other projects that will shift to CADA more fully during this time. So you’ll notice a gradual transition. You’ll notice some projects in various stages of transition. You’ll notice some projects, maybe having more of a presence from The City of Calgary and some being led a bit more directly from CADA. So just so that you’re all aware there are, there are various stages of how we’re working together. 

So for a good example of that, so right now we are collaborating with The City of Calgary on a call to artists for a road mural in Chinatown. And you may have participated in one of the two online sessions that we held on January 10 and January 19, and the call for this program will close on January 31st, with an installation date planned for June 2022. So if you haven’t, if you weren’t aware of that program and you’re interested in that program, please take a look at our website. Alternatively, you can also email us at

Another project is one the public art team is working on I just want to let you know about quickly. So we’re wrapping up the final phases of both the community-run public art micro-grant program, and the artist-initiated public art micro-grants. And we’ll announce successful applicants soon. And both programs recognize that public art opportunities can come from ideas rooted in communities and led by artists themselves. And so these programs were designed to support local artists, particularly during a pandemic and provide them with an opportunity to propose public art projects and work directly with community organizations. So stay tuned for more news about that.

And again, thank you very much. And I look forward to hearing more from you in the future.

Patti Pon: Many thanks, Brandy. And as you can see, even though it’s mostly virtually right now that I get to surround myself with artists and creatives like Brandy, and Ophelia, and JC and Chelsea and Helen and the team is just amazing. And it’s so great to be able to add this dimension to our work and to really promoting arts-led city building as we have in our strategic framework going forward. It’s been a ride already for those of us who were here when we got news of having the program, and we look forward to Brandy and the team leading us in these efforts going forward. 

So, that marks the end of our formal presentations and conversation with all of you today. It’s a lot and I know that but we wanted to allow for some time for any questions that people might have. I know I’m just looking over on my other screen here. There were a few questions that came up. So maybe I will go to those. And then if anyone else has questions, you’re welcome to type them in the chat box. Or if you would rather say them on the screen out loud, Sam’s going to put us back into gallery view so that we can see each other and if you just want to raise your hand or something like that one of us will see it and we’re happy to address your question that way. So while we’re all underway doing that, Sam is there anything I forgot to remind people of as you take us off the spotlight and put us back into so we can see everybody land?

Sam Hindle: Thanks, Patti. I think you covered everything, or I covered everything, but I’m available if anyone has questions.

Patti Patti: Okay. Thanks, Sam or ZoomKeeper. I love that. So, earlier on in the chat, Maria asked the question that in order to apply for the 2022 grant investment programs, is it required that the artist have a Bachelor of Arts degree or some other kind of degree? Melissa, can I hand that over to you to talk about eligibility criteria for individual artists?

Melissa Tuplin: Yes, for sure. Thanks, Patti. And thank you for the question, Maria. No, artists are not required to have post-secondary education or training to be considered a professional under our guidelines. What is really important to us is acknowledging that there are many ways to pursue and find yourself in a career in the arts. But what we do look for is individual artists who are pursuing a professional practice. And that really just means artists who are pursuing a career, are investing in their own development as an artist. They might have formal or informal training. And we value all ways of knowing, learning and developing an artistic practice.

We look for professional artists who are sharing and striving to share their work with the public, who have a relationship with their artistic communities and their peers. And we also acknowledge that to be a professional artist does not necessarily mean that you’re working in the art sector full-time. So that eligibility is outlined in our program pages for those grants. So I’ll plug it in here. So short story—no, we don’t require a bachelor’s.

Patti Pon: Thank you, Melissa. Dwight had a question. I kind of feel like I answered it, but I’m never quite sure of the lag time between when I typed and when it actually showed up. So just to clarify, Dwight had a question about programs that new organizations could apply to, who maybe aren’t in the current Operating Grant Program. So, Melissa, that’s another question for you my friend. 

Melissa Tuplin: Ah yes. So, in general, if you were a new organization, for right now, I will say yes, the Organization Recovery Fund and the Project Grant for Organizations will be the places to go. And I say in general, because we have not fully built out the eligibility criteria. What we will be looking for is organizations who have a history of work, or have really kind of invested in the work. I’m not sure that like a brand new organization would be a strong contender within a program like this just in terms of making a case. But we are open to conversations.

Patti Pon: Thanks, Melissa. So a good reminder that when in doubt, call one of the team members at Calgary Arts Development in the community investment team and they can certainly address your questions more specifically to what your organization is doing and how long you’ve been around and the nature of the work and all that stuff. Dick Averns I see you have your hand up.

Dick Averns: Thank you very much. Can you hear me okay? 

Patti Pon: Can indeed.

Dick Averns: Right. So I’m fortunate enough to be managing a grant at the moment for an exhibition. And we’ve had a number of public programs. Some of our public programs were curtailed or postponed because of restrictions in place at our host partner, Contemporary Calgary who have been great throughout the run of this project. And so I am planning to get in touch with Melissa to see whether it’s possible that we can get an extension to run some programs in the community after the exhibition that has come down. But the reason that I asked the question at a town hall like this is because I’m interested as to what’s it been like for other organizations that have been impacted by funding that they have received? And how’s it been for Calgary Arts Development in trying to be able to manage the expectations for the delivery of programs that have been impacted? And has there been a general kind of accommodation to try to extend timelines for projects where feasible, please?

Melissa Tuplin: Yes, thank you, Dick. Absolutely. So from the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, Calgary Arts Development in the community investment team really agreed to be as flexible, accommodating, understanding and empathetic as possible and that absolutely has resulted in many, many deadline extensions for the completion of work or for the submission of final reports. We do take those requests on a case-by-case basis. Something that we do still have a responsibility to maintain is that the kind of core principles or intentions of the projects that were assessed are maintained, but have certainly supported programs either shifting to an online mode, or other forms that still allow the artist or the organization to share their work. And sometimes, that means just extending to when the event can actually occur. And so, you know, it’s, it’s very common.

We are open to those conversations, we try to be as flexible as possible. And something that the team and I have been talking about and I’ll be very transparent is kind of how far we want to extend that. You know, as we move into especially the next four-year budget, I think it is important that we try to look at how we can help support artists and orgs to wrap up their kind of outstanding work. Especially that was coming from 2020. But yes, please reach out on your specific needs. And we can chat about that. 

Dick Averns: That’s great. Thank you very much. 

Melissa Tuplin: Thank you.

Patti Pon: I have another question that came up in the chat. Is there only one planned intake for the Individual Artist/Collective Project grant? That is something that needs to be really looked at, many/most other granting orgs across the country have multiple intakes for artistic projects as they come up throughout the year.

Melissa: Tuplin Yes, and thank you, Stephanie, for that question. And it is certainly something that we’re aware of for right now. We only have the capacity as a community investment team to run a single intake for the large-scale programs. So you know, as you heard, the project grant received 300 applications last year. And we don’t assume that if we were to split that into two intakes, it would be exactly, you know, one 50, one 50. So the volume of the programs is certainly something that we’re conscious of with the current staff that we have. And so as we look at next year’s programs, that is something that we will be responding to and trying to figure out. One of the pieces is looking at how we can decrease application requirements to make the assessment process more manageable, but the reality is as well that we want to be creating the space for our program specialists to have really, really important kind of one-on-one interactions with applicants as they’re coming to us. And that does take time, and tends to expand the process over the course of the year. So yes, this year there’s only one intake, but it is really really high on our list for trying to address in future years.

Patti Pon: Thanks, Melissa. I’m gonna give you a break and maybe see if our friend Greg might be able to answer a question that’s come up from Mariela asking about will we do another survey for organizations later on? And I think Mariela added on, it was difficult to collect responses from most volunteers during these uncertain times.

Greg Burbidge: Well, thanks for the question, Mariela and Patti. There are, I guess, two answers to this question. We will be doing a survey again, that’s a—I think we’re talking there about the demographic census we do. It’s a demographic cycle or census cycle. So really, every four years, we ask our organizations that receive operating grants to send out a voluntary self-disclosure form to their staff, volunteers and artists so that we can get a good understanding of who’s participating in the sector.

We know that this was a bit of a, it was an extremely anomaly of a year in terms of being able to collect that information. So we’re not going to be immediately running that again. At best, we run that every couple of years, every four years. But what we are trying to do right now is capture information, both from organizations that were very successful in being able to capture survey responses, and then those organizations that really struggled to capture survey responses. We’re not intending to punish groups that are not successful. But we need to better understand what the roadblocks are participating in that survey so that we can address those in future iterations of the survey. So both through the operating grants application or update process, but then just in general, if folks want to reach out directly to the impact team, we’d love to hear about where people found success in being able to contact their staff, volunteers, artists to participate in something like this, but then again, where people struggled. This is the second time we’ve ever done the survey, so we’ve learned quite a bit each time. Thanks for the question.

Patti Pon: Thank you, Greg. Mariela had a question in the chat that Taylor has answered. But I’ll just cover it to be sure that people can hear the question, which was is feedback being provided for 2021 grant applicants that were not successful. And Taylor did respond that we did offer feedback in 2021. If Taylor missed you, for some reason, please let Taylor know and, and she can certainly reach out to you. We’ll also do the same in 2022 for our individual and collective programs. So that’s always something that we want to offer. 

One other question came up, do charity organizations have access to all Calgary Arts Development? programs intended for nonprofit organizations? 

Melissa, can I hand that over to you?

Melissa Tuplin: Yes, yes, you can. So as a public funder, we are absolutely able to fund both nonprofit arts organizations and charities so charities are included in that kind of umbrella when we talk about nonprofit arts organizations, as long as they have an arts mandate and are operating primarily in Calgary.

Patti Pon: Thanks, Melissa. I think I don’t see any other hands raised. Does anybody else have any other questions, comments? Anything else you want to provide? Doing one last check through all the screens. It’s nice to have to go through many screens and see so many people even though it’s virtual. 

Okay, I think that’s it. I’m just going to ask my CADA teammates who are on the call today. Is there anything, in particular, any particular intentions that I missed that you want to make sure we cover and share with folks on the call today? This is being recorded, so we will upload a recording of this town hall to the website. So for anybody who wasn’t able to join us today, please let them know it will be available. It usually takes us about kind of 10 days, two weeks to clean everything up and get the editing done to load it, but it will be available as a resource. And as always, you can reach out. Nobody from the team has anything further to add. 

Maybe the last couple of things I’ll end off with here is our Calgary Arts Development website. We are looking for a couple of teammates, someone in data specialist as well as a communications manager. We’ll also be adding another role probably in a few months to the public art team. And so keep an eye out for those. We already have postings. Thanks so much Melissa for adding the link to the postings in the chat box. If you know anybody, we’re always looking for folks who are passionate about the arts and want to be champions going forward. 

The other thing you heard me mention. We had a press release today for Chinook Blast. It’s an opportunity for Calgarians to take part in arts experiences. Some of our major festivals like Block Heater are still going ahead. Ethnik Arts Festival for Black History Month is still happening. There are 50 partners who are providing activities throughout Calgary. A lot of them in the downtown core but some outside of. And so I encourage all of you to take part where you can and find ways for us to gather. We also have yycwhat’son which is our events listings. And you’ll see lots of things there happening over the next several weeks and of course where you’ll find anything happening related to that. 

So on that note, I think we are finished for today. Thank you all so much for joining us. It’s wonderful to get to see you even in this limited capacity. And I hope that we may all get to see each other in person, in real life sometime soon. Thank you all very much and be well, take care.


00:47:34 From Sam Hindle to Everyone: Welcome everyone!

00:48:41 From Lisa Collins to Everyone: Thank you for using an ASL Interpreter. Thank you Deb!

01:02:19 From Sam Hindle to Everyone: Hello!

01:02:34 From Sam Hindle to Everyone: CADA Group Agreement:

01:03:32 From Helen Moore-Parkhouse to Everyone: Thank you Sable and thank you Cherie!

01:04:41 From Sam Hindle to Everyone: Calgary Arts Development (CADA) website:

01:18:12 From Sam Hindle to Everyone: Grant investment programs page:

01:19:35 From Sam Hindle to Everyone: Arts Professionals Survey link:

01:19:40 From Sam Hindle to Everyone: New Experience Economy study link:

01:20:45 From Patti Pon to Everyone: Please feel free to add any questions to the chat box and we’ll do our best to get to them all at the end of our presentations 🙂

01:20:58 From Maria Loaiza to Everyone: To apply to the 2022 Grant Investment programs is required that the artist has a Bachelor in Arts?

01:22:56 From Helen Moore-Parkhouse to Everyone: Thank you for the question. Questions are being collected and will be addressed at the end.

01:23:13 From Sam Hindle to Everyone: Thanks for your question Maria! We will make sure to answer that during the Q and A.

01:23:54 From Sam Hindle to Everyone: Contact list:

01:23:56 From Sam Hindle to Everyone: Program Specialist, Arts Organizations –

Program Specialist, Individual Artists and Collectives –

Grants Coordinator & Community Investment Team –

Impact Team –

01:25:04 From Sam Hindle to Everyone: If you would like to save this chat, click on the dot dot dot button here and select Save Chat

01:34:17 From Dwight Farahat to Everyone: Can new organizations apply for this?

01:35:26 From Patti Pon to Everyone: This is the program for new organizations Dwight

01:37:30 From Dwight Farahat to Everyone: Thank you

01:38:23 From Sam Hindle to Everyone: Calgary Arts Development (CADA) website:

Grant investment programs page:

01:42:57 From Sam Hindle to Everyone: The CADA team:

01:48:03 From Sam Hindle to Everyone: Chinatown Mural Project: call to Artists in English, Mandarin and Cantonese:

01:51:05 From Sam Hindle to Everyone: You can go to Gallery View now by clicking the View button near the top of your Zoom window

01:52:30 From Maria Loaiza to Everyone: Thank you for the answer!

01:53:23 From Stephanie Hutchinson to Everyone: Is there only one planned intake for the Individual Artist/Collective Project  grant?  That is something that needs to be really liked at, many/most other granting orgs across the country have multiple intakes for artistic projects as they come up throughout the year.

01:57:09 From Mariela Parra – Hispanic Arts Society to Everyone: Will you do another survey for the organizations later on?

01:57:10 From Sam Hindle to Everyone: For specific questions about these programs, please feel free to reach out to your Program Specialist, or to our team in general at

Any questions about our research and impact work can be sent to

01:57:49 From Maria Loaiza to Everyone: Is feedback going to be provided for 2021 grant applications that are not successful?

01:58:34 From Mariela Parra – Hispanic Arts Society to Everyone: Will you do another survey for the organizations later on? It was difficult to collect responses from most volunteers during these uncertain times.

01:59:17 From Taylor Poitras to Everyone: Hi Maria, yes we did offer feedback on unsuccessful applications in 2021 – if you requested feedback and I missed you please let me know 🙂 We will continue to offer this in 2022 as well for our individual and collective programs.

02:02:07 From Maria Loaiza to Everyone: Thank you

02:02:34 From Mariela Parra – Hispanic Arts Society to Everyone: Thank you Greg.

02:04:26 From Melissa Tuplin to Everyone:

02:05:08 From Sam Hindle to Everyone: So much good info here. If you would like to save the messages in today’s chat, click on the dot dot dot icon button in the chat box section and select Save Chat

02:05:57 From Cherie McMaster to Everyone:

02:06:02 From Michele Gallant – Calgary Fringe to Everyone: Thanks CADA for everything that you do – really appreciate it!  Hugs all ’round!  🤗  Stay safe and be well, everyone!

02:06:08 From Miguel Cortines to Everyone: Thanks.

02:06:08 From Mariela Parra – Hispanic Arts Society to Everyone: Thank you Patti and all the speakers.

02:06:10 From Royce Howland to Everyone: Thanks CADA team!

02:06:11 From Day Pajarillo to Everyone: thank you

02:06:12 From Perpie to Everyone: Thank you CADA

02:06:12 From Carrie Axten to Everyone: thank you

02:06:15 From Dick Averns to Everyone: Thanks CADA very helpful

02:06:20 From Maria Loaiza to Everyone: Thank you

02:06:42 From Sarah Slaughter to Everyone: Thank you! All of you are wonderful speakers!

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