Guidelines: Individual Artist Program 2018

Guidelines: Individual Artist Program 2018

Deadline: May 25, 2018, 4:30pm MST
Applications Open:
February 5, 2018

Calgary Arts Development is pleased to announce a new investment program for individual artists. We believe that investing in individual artists’ practices is fundamental to ensuring the city of Calgary is home to a vibrant arts community and for Calgarians to have access to meaningful artistic experiences.

This program is intended to support all aspects of an artist’s practice and artistic goals by removing financial barriers.

Funds from this program may go towards almost any combination of activities related to an artist’s practice, including development and creation of work, professional development and learning, and innovation or risk-taking.

Artists may apply for a set grant of either $5,000 or $10,000. The total pool of funding for this program is $300,000.

Activities using funds directed from this program must be complete by May 31, 2019.

Program Criteria

This program will be assessed by a peer assessment panel on the criteria below:

  • Artistic Impact: The artistic quality of the work being proposed, its potential to further the applicant’s artistic goals, and its potential to meaningfully contribute to related artistic disciplines or milieu.
  • Public Impact: How meaningfully, intentionally, and thoughtfully you propose to engage with audiences, participants, or communities with whom you make, share, or develop your work and/or artistic practice.
  • Innovation/Learning: The potential for the proposed activities to significantly transform the way you create, develop, share, or understand your work, as well as the potential for the activities to help you develop the skills, knowledge, or relationships required to achieve your artistic goals.
  • Planning: How feasible, effective, and researched the proposed activities, timeline, and budget are.

Who can Apply?

This program is open to individual artists (1) in the city of Calgary (2) working in any artistic discipline.

We welcome applications from those working in all artistic disciplines and their various cultural forms, including: Indigenous arts; circus arts; craft arts; curation; dance; deaf and disability arts; digital arts; literature; film and media arts; multidisciplinary practice; music and sound; theatre; and visual arts.

Artists may choose to disburse their grant to any aspect of their artistic practice, including work undertaken as part of an artist collective, group, or organization, however the application must be centred around the individual artist’s artistic practice and goals.

(1) This program is not intended to support amateur artists or arts administrators.
(2) Applicants living outside of Calgary may apply if they can demonstrate a commitment to maintaining a majority of activities that contribute to the Calgary arts community and are accessible to Calgarians.

How to Apply

Applications will only be accepted online through Calgary Arts Development’s grant interface.

Applications must be submitted before 4:30pm MST on the day of the deadline. Late applications will not be accepted. Extensions may be provided upon request in certain circumstances in advance of a deadline. Consult the Deadline Extension Policy below for more information.

Eligible Expenses

Artists may use this grant for almost any expense related to their artistic practice, including but not limited to:

  • Expenses related to the development, creation, production, or distribution of artistic work.
  • Expenses related to professional development, such as travel, tuition, or per diems.
  • Artist fees.
  • Subsistence expenses.

Artists may not use this grant for the below ineligible expenses:

  • Purchase of equipment over $500 (capital costs).
  • Tuition to post-secondary or credit granting educational programs.

Please contact the Community Investment Team if you have any questions about eligible expenses.

How to Design Your Application

This program is intended to support individual artists in their day-to-day work of being an artist. You will provide an outline of your artistic goals for 2018, including any activities, tasks, or projects you will be undertaking, and an anticipated budget of how the grant funds will be used.

Before you begin writing your application, consider the below questions:

  • What is important to you?
    • Consider your artistic goals for the year. What do you need, beyond funding, to achieve those goals? Why are those activities, tasks, skills, relationships etc. important to you?
  • What is feasible for you?
    • If you receive this funding, what activities will you be able to realistically and meaningfully complete?
  • How do you measure your goals?
    • How do you know if you have achieved your artistic goal? What kind of self evaluation or measures do you use to consider your growth as an artist?
  • What don’t you know?
    • Don’t be afraid to be honest about the challenges or barriers you might experience in your career as an artist or in your artistic practice. An appreciative self-awareness and criticality will allow you to identify any blind spots, or areas you need to invest in, such as professional or artistic development, experimentation, or risk-taking.
  • Who is your public?
    • Who is the audience for your work? It could be people who share the same goals or values, people who engage with or see your work, or people who work in your artistic community. Defining your public will allow you to best understand what it means to have an impactful relationship with them.

It is important to remember that this program is not focused on the success of any one project. The intention of this program is to allow you to invest in the activities, projects, tasks, or learnings that help you work towards your artistic goals, develop your artistic practice, and quite simply be an artist in the city of Calgary.

Contact the Community Investment Team at or 403.476.2031 if you have specific questions about your application up to 48 hours before a deadline. In some cases staff will send a submitted application back to draft and notify the applicant if it is incomplete, both before and sometimes after the deadline.

Application Checklist

  • Contact Information (Name, Address, Phone, Email)
  • Artistic Discipline
  • Length of Artistic Career
  • Resume/CV (upload PDF, 2MB)
  • Request (select $5,000 or $10,000)
  • Briefly describe your artistic practice in terms of how you make your work and what is important to you (max 300 words, or upload DOC, DOCX, PDF, 2MB).
  • Briefly describe your artistic goal(s) for the year (max 500 words).
  • Please select the type(s) of activities you will undertake (Creation, Artistic Development/Research, Professional Development, Experimentation).
  • Outline a planned timeline of your proposed activities, including start and end dates of each activity, a brief description of the activity and any other important milestones (upload DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PDF, 2MB).
  • Please describe the outcomes you are seeking related to Artistic Impact. How will the activities you undertake help you achieve those outcomes? Please refer to the Program Guidelines for criteria definitions (max 400 words).
  • Please describe the outcomes you are seeking related to Public Impact. How will the activities you undertake help you achieve those outcomes? Please refer to the Program Guidelines for criteria definitions (max 400 words).
  • Please describe the outcomes you are seeking related to Innovation and/or Learning. How will the activities you undertake help you achieve those outcomes? Please refer to the Program Guidelines for criteria definitions (max 400 words).
  • Briefly describe how you will evaluate the achievement of your described artistic goals (max 300 words).
  • Briefly describe how this funding will impact your capacity to continue living as an artist (max 300 words).
  • Completion Date. Provide the proposed completion date of the final activity in your timeline (date entry).
  • Budget (Must use standard template, upload XLS, XLSX, PDF, 2MB)
  • Support Material 1 (DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PDF, JPG or link 4MB)
  • Support Material 2 (DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PDF, JPG or link 4MB)
  • Support Material 3 (DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PDF, JPG or link 4MB)
  • Support Material 4 (DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PDF, JPG or link 4MB)
  • Reference (Contact Name, Phone, Email)

Assessment Process

Applications will be assessed by an independent, arm’s-length assessment committee made up of artistic peers and community members.

Community members are Calgarians with an appreciation for the arts (any discipline) who actively attend arts performances and presentations. Artistic peers are artists and arts workers who possess professional experience and knowledge directly relevant to the arts sector.

The peer assessment committee will assess applications based on the above stated criteria. Please refer to the Assessment Committee Terms of Reference for further information about the assessment process.

Conditions of Grant and Reporting

Applicants will be notified of their results by email. Successful applicants will be required to sign and return an Investment Agreement 30 days after receiving notification of success in order to receive funding. Calgary Arts Development will provide a T4A for the grant amount. For information about tax requirements for artist grants, please consult the CRA guidelines.

A Final Report will be due 30 days after the completion of the applicant’s final activity.

  • Briefly describe how the funds were used (400 words).
  • Upload a budget with actuals. Please keep receipts as you may be asked to provide them (upload DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PDF, 2MB).
  • Upload your list of activities undertaken (upload XLS, XLSX, 2MB).
  • Describe your experience of completing the activities you proposed. Did you achieve your artistic goals? Did anything change from your original proposal (400 words)?
  • Describe any learnings or developments in your practice you experienced (400 words).
  • Briefly describe what impact this funding made on your artistic practice or your career (400 words).
  • Briefly describe what impact this funding made on your capacity to continue working as an artist (400 words).
  • Additional comments you would like to share with Calgary Arts Development (400 words).
  • Support Material 1 (upload DOC, DOCX, JPG, XLS, XLSX, PDF, or link, 4MB)
  • Support Material 2 (upload DOC, DOCX, JPG, XLS, XLSX, PDF, or link, 4MB)
  • Support Material 3 (upload DOC, DOCX, JPG, XLS, XLSX, PDF, or link, 4MB)

Deadline Extension Policy

Calgary Arts Development intends its granting process to be open, fair and transparent.

Calgary Arts Development has a responsibility to the citizens of Calgary to ensure the security and value of their investments.

For clients who intend to submit applications but will miss the deadline, a written request for extension must be received by Calgary Arts Development before the deadline.

Requests not received in time will result in ineligibility for that granting period. The request must state the reason(s) the application deadline cannot be met. Acceptable reasons may include:

  • Personal health or family crisis
  • Birth or death of a family member
  • Unforeseen personal priority

Calgary Arts Development staff will review the request for extension. If in Calgary Arts Development’s sole discretion the reason for the extension is compelling, a deadline extension will be granted. A written notice explaining Calgary Arts Development’s decision will be sent to the applicant. Extensions will only be granted if doing so will not materially affect the planned assessment process.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, Calgary Arts Development, in its sole discretion, may grant an extension in extenuating circumstances.


Consult the Investment Program FAQ for answers to common questions about the program.

Our team is here to support you! If you have any questions about the program contact the Community Investment team at or 403.476.2031.

Download Guidelines as a PDF

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