Guidelines: Indigenous Artist Microgrant 2024

Guidelines: Indigenous Artist Microgrant 2024

Preserving First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Culture and Tradition

February 12, 2024: Full guidelines published
Applications Open: February 12, 2024 and ongoing until funds are allocated or until August 15, 2024
Deadline: There is no deadline to apply
Download the Guidelines as a PDF

Need help applying?

We will work one-on-one with applicants who experience barriers to access to develop accommodations that suit their unique abilities and situations.

If you have any questions or need any help completing an application, please contact Morgan Possberg, Program Specialist, at or call at 403.264.5330 ext. 230 as soon as possible. Staff can provide feedback on your application up to 10 days before application deadlines.

Calgary Arts Development is committed to open, fair and transparent processes. There are two policies available for anyone who may need support to apply to this program: the Accommodation & Accessibility Policy and the Application Assistance Policy.

Please refer to each section below for important program details. You will find links to all our policies and other relevant information at the end of this document. We also recommend reviewing the Investment Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) before applying.

This program is intended to support First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists living and working in the Treaty 7 region for activities and expenses related to the preservation, maintenance and revival of Indigenous culture and tradition. Eligible proposals may include:

  • Projects related to crafting and creating regalia.
  • Projects related to traditional methods and forms.

Applicants may apply for up to $7,500. Total funding available for this program is $100,000.

We acknowledge that the land we gather on, Mohkinsstsis, is the ancestral territory of the Siksikaitsitapi — the Blackfoot people — comprising the Siksika, Kainai and Piikani Nations, as well as Treaty 7 signatories, the Tsuut’ina Nation, and the Îyârhe Nakoda Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney First Nations. Today this land is home to the Metis Nations 5 and 6 as well as many First Nations and Inuit peoples from across Turtle Island.

Calgary Arts Development is committed to the process of eliminating institutional racism, ableism and barriers in our programs, policies and practices by centring the creativity and leadership of those communities most impacted by structural inequities. Read our full Commitment to Equity statement on our website.

We recognize that barriers within the arts community exist, particularly for equity-deserving communities, and that there are many unique entry points into an artistic practice and career in the arts. If you are unsure about eligibility, please reach out to discuss this with the program specialist before applying. You’ll also find answers to some common questions in our Investment Program FAQ.

There are two policies available for potential applicants who may need accommodations or assistance to apply to this program, such as translating program guidelines and applications. These policies are available to potential applicants even if they decide not to apply to the program.

  • An Accommodation & Accessibility Policy for potential applicants who experience barriers to access, to develop accommodations that suit their abilities and situations.
  • The Application Assistance Policy for eligible applicants to alleviate some of the financial costs associated with preparing and submitting an application.

Calgary Arts Development is committed to open, fair and transparent processes. If you have any questions, want help with feedback on your application or if it’s your first time applying, please don’t hesitate to contact the program specialist as early as you can to ensure they can provide the best support possible. Staff can provide feedback on your application up to 10 days before application deadlines.

This program is open to First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) artists and collectives practising and operating in the Treaty 7 Calgary region working in any artistic discipline. It is also open to Treaty 7 First Nation artists practising on reserve or operating within the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta.


  • You may only receive one Indigenous Artist Microgrant per year as either an individual or collective.
  • You may not receive funding from more than one Calgary Arts Development program for the same project or phase of a project.
  • You may not apply to this program if you have final reports past their due date for prior grants.
  • As of January 2024, you may not have more than two open grants with Calgary Arts Development, including grants for which a deadline extension has been approved. A request for an exception to this eligibility requirement must be submitted in writing and in discussion with the program specialist.

For a glossary of terms and more important information about eligibility, please refer to the Investment Program FAQ.

This program can fund activities and expenses related to the preservation of Indigenous culture and tradition. An applicant may only apply for one project, or phase of a project.

Projects funded through this program must be completed within 18 months of grant notification. 

If your project is not related to the preservation of traditional Indigenous culture or forms, please refer to the Artist Development Microgrant, the Original Peoples Investment Program or the Project Grant for Individuals and Collectives.

Eligible proposals may include:

  • Projects related to crafting and creating regalia.
  • Projects related to traditional methods and forms.
    • Including mentorship, training, knowledge sharing

Eligible expenses may include:

  • Accessibility expenses
  • Artist fees
  • Course fees (for individual courses which do not count toward the pursuit of a credit, diploma or degree granting program)
  • Documentation
  • Honorariums
  • Materials
  • Marketing, publicity or outreach
  • Per diem (a fixed daily rate for lodging, meals and incidentals while not at your primary residence)
  • Purchase of equipment, including hardware and permanent software
  • Professional fees (e.g., fees paid to individuals offering professional services such as web design, publicity or marketing, financial, accounting or legal services)
  • Rental of equipment or space
  • Subsistence expenses (for example, rent, food, child care, etc. — must be necessary in order to complete the project)
  • Technical fees (for example, web service fees, licensing fees etc.)
  • Travel expenses

Please note that eligible project expenses for this program may not be considered deductible project expenses by the Canada Revenue Agency. Please consult the CRA guidelines when creating your project budget.

Ineligible Expenses

Funds from this program are not intended to support the following:

  • Lost wages or salaries.
  • Purchase of any equipment not directly related to the project.
  • Tuition, or other costs related to the pursuit of post-secondary degree or diploma educational programs or artistic work related to those educational programs.

Ineligible Activities

This program is not intended to support the following:

  • Activities that have already received funding from another Calgary Arts Development grant program.
  • Activities related to post-secondary or credit, degree or diploma educational programs or artistic work related to those educational programs.
  • Fundraising activities (e.g., activities undertaken for the purpose of raising funds on behalf of a political party or charity).
  • Contests and competitions (e.g., grant funding cannot be re-granted in the form of prizes or awards).
  • Activities that do not comply with or respect cultural protocols.
  • Activities that use or present Indigenous cultural material, traditional knowledge or stories without express permission from the community.
  • Activities that promote hatred or intolerance.
  • Activities that are illegal or contravene provincial or federal law.
  • Activities related to campaigning for a specific political candidate or party in an election.

Calgary Arts Development staff will work with applicants to determine the best way to submit their application, whether in written form through the online grant interface, or through an oral application in a meeting or pre-recorded video.

If you are interested in applying, please email the program specialist, Morgan Possberg, at with the subject line “Indigenous Artist Microgrant” to begin the process.

  • Contact information
  • Funding request (up to $7,500)
  • A brief description of your artistic practice
  • A description of your proposed project or activities. Please include:
    • A description of the tradition, culture, or form you are preserving, maintaining, or reviving.
    • A description of how you connect with the community where this tradition originates.
    • A description of what you want to do, when and where it will take place, who will be involved, how it will happen and why it’s important to you.
    • If applicable, a description of how you will respect and follow necessary protocols, gain permissions or seek rights for the traditional practice or form.
  • Budget
    • Please list how you will spend the funds.
    • Include quotes, calculations, etc.
    • If the cost of the project will exceed $7,500, please describe how you will fund the remainder.
  • Support material
    • Include any material that supports your application, including photos, audio/visual material, letters of support, research, etc.

Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • The project meets the program goal of preserving and maintaining Indigenous culture and tradition.
  • The project is relevant and meaningful to the applicant’s artistic practice.
  • The applicant has appropriately sought the rights or has been given the form, and/or has a clear relationship with the originating community.
  • The applicant has demonstrated the ability to complete the project as proposed.
  • The project budget and timeline is appropriate.

Applications to this program will be reviewed by Calgary Arts Development’s Indigenous Advisory Committee. The committee will provide advice and guidance to Calgary Arts Development staff on how the application meets the program criteria and recommend applications to staff for funding.

Committee members may request additional information or advise staff on follow-up questions. This may lead to a request for changes or clarification to the application before final approval can be made.

The final grant decision will be made by Calgary Arts Development staff, including the Director, Engagement & Reconciliation, and the Indigenous Program Specialist. Priority will be given to applicants who have not received a grant from Calgary Arts Development in the past.

Committee members are required to declare conflicts of interest according to the Conflict of Interest Policy. Calgary Arts Development thinks of conflicts of interest as close family members, people who are involved in the activity being applied for or where there is a real or perceived financial benefit. If a committee member has applied to the program or declared a conflict of interest, they will not assess those specific applications or be present for any discussions of those applications.

Committee members must review, understand and adhere to the Conflict of Interest Policy, program guidelines, and to Calgary Arts Development’s Group Agreements.

Applicants will be notified of their results by email. Successful applicants will be sent an investment agreement via Docusign and are required to sign and return the agreement within 30 days of receiving it in order to receive funding.

We use electronic fund transfers to make grant payments. If your application is approved, you will be required to provide a void cheque or direct deposit form with your banking information. Please let us know if you need any help with this.

Calgary Arts Development will provide a T4A tax form for individuals who receive more than $500 in total during the 2024 tax year. This includes the primary applicant who may be representing a collective of artists. Please note that you must have a valid Canadian Social Insurance Number or Individual Tax Number to receive this grant. If you have any questions about tax requirements for artist grants, it is a good idea to discuss these with a tax professional or consult Canada Revenue Agency guidelines. There is also additional tax information in our Investment Program FAQ.

Successful grantees will be required to complete a brief final report to share learnings and how the grant benefited their practice and communities. Final reports are due 90 days after the project end date.

In your final report, we would like to know:

  • What you accomplished and how this changed or helped your goal. We are curious about any learnings or changes from your original proposal.
  • How the grant funds were spent. You’ll be asked to share an updated budget with actuals. Please keep receipts and invoices for tax purposes. You may also be asked to provide them.
  • Optional: Please share any materials that resulted from your activities, such as images, website links, video or audio material, written samples.
  • Optional: Anything else you’d like to share with Calgary Arts Development.

Successful applicants may also be invited to participate in optional surveys, research and peer-to-peer learning. Please contact with any questions about reporting requirements.

Contact Information

If you have any questions about this program please contact Morgan Possberg, Indigenous Program Specialist, at or call at 403.264.5330 ext. 230, as soon as possible.

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