Guidelines: Project Grant Program – Individuals and Collectives

Guidelines: Project Grant Program – Individuals and Collectives

February 7, 2022: Full guidelines published
February 28, 2022:
Applications open
April 19, 2022:
Application deadline (no applications accepted after 4:30pm MT)
April – June 2022:
Evaluation of grants
Late June 2022:
Notification of results
June – July 2022:
Funds distributed
Download Program Guidelines as a PDF

Applications must be submitted by the stated deadline. Late submissions will not be accepted. If you have questions or need help completing an application, please contact us as soon as possible so we can get you what you need. Please see the Deadline Extension Policy for information about extensions.

While the final deadline is April 19, 2022, we encourage submitting your application earlier if possible. This will allow program staff time to review it in advance of the committee and provide any necessary or helpful follow-ups, for example if your application is missing something or requires clarity.

Please refer to each section below for important program details. We also recommend reviewing the Investment Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) before applying.

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

The Project Grant Program seeks to support projects that align with any of the following priority areas:

  • Projects that reflect and contribute to the vibrancy and vitality of Calgary’s arts sector and create opportunities for Calgarians to access artistic experiences.
  • Projects that support individual artistic and career development, including creation, professional development, business development, research, and experimentation.
  • Arts-centered projects that encourage everyday creativity, including cross-sector collaboration, creative economy, and neighbourhood-level community initiatives.

Individual artists may apply for up to $15,000 and artist collectives may apply for up to $20,000.

Total funding available for this program is $1,600,000.

We acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of the Blackfoot Nations—Siksika, the Piikani, and the Kainai; and also acknowledge the Beaver people of the Tsuut’ina and the Bearspaw, Chiniki and Wesley bands of the Stoney Nakoda First Nations, the Métis People of Region 3, and Indigenous peoples who make the Treaty 7 region their home.

As part of our responsibility to Calgarians to ensure equitable access to public funding, Calgary Arts Development is dedicated to addressing and working to eliminate institutional inequity in our programs, policies, and practices. We also acknowledge that our actions—both conscious and unconscious, past and present—have benefited some communities while limiting opportunities and outcomes for others including Indigenous communities, Black communities, persons of colour, persons with disabilities, Deaf communities, as well as persons with diverse sexual orientations or gender identities.

We envision a city where all artists have the freedom, agency and platform to share and amplify their stories, art, cultures and experiences: a city where Calgarians of all backgrounds can access, create and participate in art as part of their everyday lives.

To that end, Calgary Arts Development’s community investment team is accountable to ensuring that lines of communication are welcoming, clear, and open, and that the scoring process is fair and deeply considerate. We will work one-on-one with applicants who experience barriers to access to develop accommodations that suit their unique abilities and situations and continually seek to learn and address inequities in our programs and processes. We have also identified equity priority groups and adopted a specific equity measure for some of our programs. To learn more about this please see the Assessment section below.

We recognize that barriers within the arts community exist, particularly for equity seeking 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.

Calgary Arts Development is committed to open, fair, and transparent processes. If you have any questions, want feedback on your application or if it’s your first time applying, please don’t hesitate to contact us for support. While we may not be able to meet in person at this time, our team will be available to provide support over the phone, through email, or through the use of audio and video platforms.

Please see the Investment Program FAQ for answers to common questions, and 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 one week before application deadlines.

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

This program is open to individual artists and artist collectives in Calgary. Applications for projects which are not led by artists but which collaborate with and primarily support artists may be eligible, as outlined in the Collaborations with Artists section below.

We welcome applications from those working in all artistic disciplines and their various cultural forms, including but not limited to: circus arts, craft arts, community and social practice, curation, dance, Deaf/deaf arts, digital arts, disability arts, film, Indigenous arts, literature, media arts, multidisciplinary practice, music and sound, performance, theatre, and visual arts.

While activities do not have to take place in Calgary, applicants 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. If you are not based in Calgary, please contact your program specialist to discuss your relationship with Calgary before applying.

We acknowledge that there are many artists who are new to the city of Calgary and may not be familiar with grant programs, eligibility or receiving funds from a public funder. It’s important to note, that you do not need to be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in order to receive a grant, but you do need to be able to report on this grant to Canada Revenue Agency. If you are a newcomer, immigrant or refugee artist and have questions or concerns, please know that our program staff are available to help navigate your unique circumstances and provide support.

Individual Artists
  • Individual artists applying to this program must pursue a professional practice. We consider a professional artist to be an artist who is actively pursuing a career in the arts, and who has invested in the development of their artistic skills, voice, and goals.
  • 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.
  • Artists do not need to be working professionally in the arts full-time.
Artist Collectives
  • We consider an artist collective to be two or more individual artists who work together in either an ongoing or ad hoc way, who have a shared artistic practice that is distinct from their own individual artistic practices. Collectives need to define their collective practice, vision, goals, and process in order to demonstrate that collective members have equal and shared ownership and accountability for the vision, success and completion of the proposed project or activities.
  • A majority of collective members must be Calgary-based artists (i.e., 50% or more).
  • An artist collective does not include for-profit organizations or businesses, groups that are formally registered as a non-profit society, or those which intend to govern themselves like a non-profit society.

This program cannot accept individual applications from arts administrators, cultural workers, registered not-for-profit organizations or registered for-profit corporations or businesses.

Collaborations with Artists
  • We will consider applications from individuals working in the arts and culture sector who do not meet the definition of a professional artist or artist collective as long as they can demonstrate the below, and at the discretion of Calgary Arts Development staff:
    • Artists are core collaborators or participants in the planning, development, and implementation of the project.
    • The project and budget provide financial and non-financial support to artists.
    • The applicant has a demonstrated history of working with artists and the arts sector.

Applicants may apply to this program for one project, or one distinct phase of a larger project.

Projects may include:

  • Research, creation, development, production, presentation or dissemination of artistic work.
  • Professional, business or artistic career development activities.
  • Experimentation or development of new or adapted approaches to practice.
  • Cross-sector collaboration, creative economy and neighborhood level initiatives.

Projects should have a clear start and end date, with a specific set of activities and goals.

Projects can begin before the application deadline, but those that will be fully complete before the application deadline of April 19, 2022 are not eligible.

Projects funded through this program must be completed by December 31, 2023.

Individual artists may apply for up to $15,000 and artist collectives may apply for up to $20,000.

Eligible Expenses

Funds from this program may go towards almost any expenses that are directly related to your project and its goals, for example:

  • Accessibility expenses
  • Artist fees
  • Course fees (for individual courses which do not count toward a credit, diploma, certificate, or degree granting program)
  • Documentation
  • Honorariums
  • Materials
  • Marketing, publicity or outreach
  • Per diems (fixed daily rate for lodging, meals and incidentals while not at your primary residence—e.g., in order to participate in a professional development opportunity).
  • Purchase of equipment, including hardware and permanent software (up to a maximum of $2,000 total)
  • Professional fees (e.g., fees paid to individuals offering professional services such as web design, publicity or marketing, financial, accounting or legal services, etc.)
  • Rental of equipment or space
  • Subsistence expenses (e.g., rent, food, child care, etc.)
  • Technical fees (e.g., 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 any of the following:

  • Lost wages or salaries
  • Purchase of or financial contribution towards equipment, land, or buildings over a total of $2,000 (capital expenditures)
  • Purchase of any equipment not directly related to the project
  • Tuition, or other costs related to post-secondary or credit, degree, certificate, or diploma granting educational programs or artistic work related to those educational programs
Ineligible Activities

This program is not intended to support any of the following:

  • Projects that are fully complete before the application deadline.
  • Projects that have already received funding from another Calgary Arts Development grant program.
  • Projects related to post-secondary or credit, degree, certificate, or diploma granting 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 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.

Please note that the eligible and ineligible expenses and activities listed are given as examples and are not exclusive.

Applications may be submitted to one of three streams. Applicants should select the stream that best fits the core goal and purpose of their project. The below outlines a general recommendation for stream selection:

Create & Develop

(For the creation and development of artistic work)

  • This project is focused on the creation, development, or research of an artistic work.
  • This project will not result in something that will be shared with an audience or the general public at this time. It may eventually be shared publicly, but it is not part of the project timeline and goals for this grant application.
  • Examples: Research project, creating or developing new work, adapting previous work, pre-production or production processes, etc.
Program & Present

(For the sharing of artistic work)

  • This project is focused on sharing your artistic work with the public, or raising awareness of your work, including marketing and selling. This could involve the creation and production of artistic work all the way through to presenting it to an audience.
  • This project will result in something that will be shared with an audience or the general public (online or in-person) as part of the project timeline and goals for this grant application.
  • Examples: exhibitions, presentations, performances, releases, touring, publishing, distribution, marketing or selling, etc.
Grow & Adapt

(For adapting or developing your artistic practice and career)

  • This project is focused on the experimentation or development of new or adapted approaches to your practice or large-scale professional development. *See note below
  • This project may not have an artistic outcome or clear end result, but there should be clear reasoning with potential for learning and change in your practice and career.
  • Examples: Experimental processes, business training, developing business practices, professional development, etc.

NOTE: If you are proposing a professional development project that is under $5,000, please apply to the Artist Development Microgrant, which has a rolling deadline and faster turnaround time.

Assessors will rate the level to which they agree or disagree with each of the program criteria listed in the section below, based on the information provided in the application.

  • Strongly Disagree
  • Disagree
  • Agree
  • Strongly Agree
Program Criteria

Artistic Impact

  • The application demonstrates a deep understanding of their artistic practice, artistic goals and what success will mean for them.

Community Connection

  • The application demonstrates a deep understanding of the relationships and communities connected to this project, their goals around this and what success will mean for them. This can include future relationships and community connections, as well as those occurring during the project itself.


  • The application demonstrates a deep understanding of what is required to undertake the project. This is demonstrated by a clear, achievable, well-researched and supported project description, timeline and budget.


  • The application has clear, detailed and thoughtful responses and includes all the relevant information required to create overwhelming trust and confidence that the project will be completed as described and the applicant will reach their goals.

Applications to the program will be evaluated by independent arm’s-length assessment committees made up of artist peers and community members. The membership of the peer assessment committees will be chosen through public nominations and staff expertise.

Anyone can ask to participate on a Calgary Arts Development assessment committee by completing the assessor nomination form or by emailing

Assessment Committees

Assessment committees are chosen to represent the broad diversity of Calgary and its artistic communities, including but not limited to: artistic discipline, gender, sexuality, age, religion, beliefs, nation, physical and neurological identities, etc.

  • Five to Seven-Member Committees: Each program stream will be assessed by a different committee. The volume of applications received will determine the number and size of committees required.
  • Committee Membership: Individual artists and arts workers with experience and knowledge from a variety of artistic disciplines and practices, who actively participate in, experience, and advocate for the work of the arts community.

Assessors 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 in doubt, assessors are encouraged to talk with Calgary Arts Development staff. 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 Terms of Reference, the program guidelines, and to Calgary Arts Development’s Group Agreements.

Assessment Process

Assessment committees will review applications in the online granting interface, and evaluate each application according to the criteria outlined in the Program Criteria & Scoring section of the guidelines.

Calgary Arts Development staff will download assessor evaluations into a scoresheet and assign numerical scores to the ratings. Each criteria statement will be weighted equally. The score assigned to each rating will be consistent across all criteria statements (e.g.: ‘Strongly Agree’ will always equal the same number of points).

The committee will discuss applications in a meeting facilitated by the program specialist for individuals and collectives. The committee’s final scores will result in a list of projects recommended for funding. Calgary Arts Development staff will review these recommendations and finalize the funding list.

Calgary Arts Development reserves the right to adjust assessment processes and the program timeline due to application volume. Applicants and assessors will be notified if significant changes occur.

If there are applications that are assessed equally but insufficient funds in the grant budget to support these applications, projects proposed by artists belonging to an equity priority group (or in the case of a collective, where the majority are artists from equity priority groups) will be prioritized.

Applicants will be asked to fill out a voluntary self-identification form, however all questions are optional. Applicants that self-identify as belonging to one or more of these equity priority groups are automatically considered for this equity measure.

Responses are not visible to assessors. Access to this information is limited to the research and impact team and the grant program staff at Calgary Arts Development.

The equity priority groups identified for this program are Indigenous, Black, persons of colour, Deaf persons, persons with disabilities, persons living with mental illness, and 2SLGBTQIAP+ individuals. For details on each of these equity priority groups, please refer to the equity priority group descriptions.

Calgary Arts Development has adapted these priorities and descriptions from the Toronto Arts Council’s Equity Framework. We are grateful to the Toronto Arts Council for their work in this area.

Voluntary self-identification information may be used in aggregate to:

  • Generate statistics to measure how well Calgary Arts Development’s programs are reaching members of equity groups.
  • Ensure there is diverse representation in the membership of peer assessment committees and grant review panels.
  • Gather information to help Calgary Arts Development design, review, and evaluate and improve its programs.
  • Plan outreach activities.
  • Report to Calgary Arts Development’s board and committees.

Please see the Disclosure of Grant Information Policy for information about how Calgary Arts Development collects and uses information submitted through grant applications.

Calgary Arts Development is transitioning to a new grant platform over the course of 2022. The Project Grant for Individuals and Collectives will be the first program to run in the new system. The link to the new grant platform and the application form will be available the day the program opens on February 28, 2022.

Applicants must create a user profile in order to apply. Artist collectives must create a collective account that is separate from their individual account in the grant interface and apply through their collective account. Program staff will be available to help applicants transition to the new system and provide support. We appreciate your patience through this process. Please contact with any questions or technical issues.

Further information about each section of the application can be found in the application form in the grant interface.

  • Artistic Practice Statement (100 – 300 words)
  • Artistic Resume or CV
  • Voluntary Self-identification Form
  • Project Name
  • Brief Description (25 words or less)
  • Program Stream (Create & Develop, Program & Present or Grow & Adapt)
  • Start and End Date of Project
  • Funding Request (up to $15,000 for individuals, up to $20,000 for collectives)
  • Project Description (150 – 450 words)
    • Describe your project including what will occur, when it will take place, where it will take place and who is involved.
  • Artistic Impact exploring the impact on your work, practice or discipline (150 – 450 words)
    • Describe your artistic goals for this project and what success will mean for you. How will this project impact your artistic work, practice or discipline(s)?
  • Community Connection exploring the impact on others during and after your project (150 – 450 words)
    • Describe the direct relationships/communities connected to this project.
    • What are your relationship/community goals for this project and what will success mean for you? How will this project impact your relationships/community connections, either during or after the project?
  • Project Budget
    • Budgets will be typed directly into the application form and should include all relevant project expenses, revenues or in-kind contributions. Budget notes are where you will show calculations, reference rates, or share other important clarifying details.
  • Budget Support (upload)
    • Budget related support material to help demonstrate your budget estimates. For example, research, quotes, standard fee schedules, correspondence that confirms rates, past examples of revenue, etc.
  • Project Timeline
    • A timeline that clearly outlines how you will accomplish this project. Include dates and other relevant details for all important activities, tasks, events, milestones or process periods.
  • General Support Material (upload)
    • Additional files or links that strengthen your case or help assessors understand more about your project or your artistic practice. For example: Samples of work, mock-ups/drafts/works in progress, relevant research, confirmation or planning documents, relevant letters of support, resumes/CVs of collaborators, etc.

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 2022 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 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 artistic practice/career. We are also curious about any learnings or changes from your original proposal.
  • How this funding impacted your communities (others involved) or your own sense of community.
  • 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, etc.
  • Optional: Anything else you’d like to share with Calgary Arts Development.
  • Optional: The geographic location of any public events related to your project, including the postal code of those locations.
  • Optional quantitative information if appropriate:
    • Total number of artists paid
    • Number of free events open to the public
    • Number of paid events open to the public
    • Total attendees at all events
    • Any other quantitative data you would like to share

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

Please note that Calgary Arts Development staff are continuing to work remotely. If you have any questions about this program please contact Taylor Poitras, Specialist, Individuals and Collectives Programs, at or 403.264.5330 ext.215.

Share this page