Guidelines: Project Grant Program — Organizations 2024

Guidelines: Project Grant Program — Organizations 2024

May 6, 2024: Full guidelines published 
May 20, 2024: Applications open 
July 3, 2024: Application deadline (no applications accepted after 4:30pm MT) 
July – August 2024: Evaluation of grants 
Mid-September 2024: Notification of results 
September – October 2024: Funds distributed

Applications must be submitted by 4:30pm MT on the deadline date. We encourage you to submit your application as early as possible. Please see the Deadline Extension Policy for information about extensions. 

Need help applying? 

If you experience challenges with applying, such as language, cultural or accessibility barriers, please let us know. There are two policies available for anyone who may need support to apply to this program, such as translating program guidelines and applications. These policies are available to applicants even if they decide not to apply. 

  • An Accommodation & Accessibility Policy for potential applicants who experience barriers. This provides support that suits their individual abilities and needs.
  • An Application Assistance Policy available to eligible applicants. This reduces some of the financial costs associated with preparing and submitting an application.

If you have questions, or need help completing an application, please contact Perpetual Atife, Program Specialist, at or 403.264.5330 ext. 229, as soon as possible.  

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 provide one-time project funding to registered non-profit arts organizations in Calgary (known as Mohkinsstsis in Blackfoot). 

The 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 create opportunities for your organization to attract, restore and retain jobs for artists and arts professionals. 
  • Projects that support your organization’s development or strengthens your ability to connect with your community.  
  • Arts-centred projects that encourage everyday creativity, including cross-sector collaboration, creative economy and neighbourhood-level community initiatives. 

Organizations may apply for up to $30,000.  

Total funding available for this program is $700,000. 

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. 

Registered Non-Profit Arts Organizations 

This program is open to registered non-profit arts organizations in Calgary, both those that currently receive operating grants and those that do not currently receive operating grants from us. Organizations must demonstrate that the arts are at the core of their mandate. 

Registered Non-Profit Organizations (that may not have an arts mandate) 

We will consider project applications from organizations that do not have an arts mandate, or where the arts are not central to their work, if 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/or the arts sector. 

This program CANNOT accept applications from the following: 

  • Applications from individual artists or artist collectives.  
  • Applications from registered for-profit corporations or businesses. 
  • Applications from post-secondary institutions. 

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

Please review the following eligibility requirements before applying and reach out if you have any questions or need clarification: 

  • We will only accept one application per organization, and one application per project.  
  • We cannot fund the same phase of a project more than once (regardless of calendar year), so please ensure you are planning larger projects ahead of time and clearly outlining the phase of work you are applying for. As long as they are distinct phases of a project, you may apply for a future Calgary Arts Development grant to support the next distinct phase of the work.  
  • You may not apply to this program if you have any 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. For more information, please review the Open Grant Policy

Organizations may apply to this program for one project, or one distinct phase of a project. Projects should have a clear start and end date, with a specific set of activities, processes and goals. 

Projects may begin before the application deadline of July 3, 2024, but they cannot be fully completed before the application deadline of July 3, 2024. Projects funded through this program must be completed by June 30, 2026. 

Eligible Project Activities 

Below are some examples of activities or projects that an organization may apply for. This list is not exhaustive, so if you have questions about other potential project activities, please contact program staff to discuss before applying. 

  • Research 
  • Creation, development or production of artistic work 
  • Presentation or dissemination of artistic work 
  • Experimentation or development of new or adapted approaches to how the organization operates, including artistic, operational, administrative or governance practices. 
  • Cross-sector collaboration, creative economy and neighbourhood level initiatives 

Activities we will not fund: 

Projects that include any of the activities below will not be eligible for funding. The Program Considerations and assessment process will be used if needed to determine the eligibility of activities, particularly those related to cultural protocol and the presentation of Indigenous cultural material, which will be assessed through the Community Connections section. 

  • 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 and/or clear connection to the originating community 
  • Activities or individuals that willfully or in bad faith promote intolerance, hatred or hate speech to incite violence or harm 
  • Activities that are illegal or contravene provincial or federal law, or municipal bylaws. 
  • Contests and competitions 
  • Fundraising activities (e.g., undertaken to raise funds on behalf of a political party or charity) 
  • Activities related to campaigning for a specific political candidate or party in an election 
  • The purchase of or financial contribution toward land or buildings 

Eligible Project Expenses 

Please ensure that your project is eligible for this program, then refer to the list below for guidance on eligible expenses. Any expense requested must be directly related to the completion and success of your proposed project. 

  • Accessibility expenses  
  • Artist fees  
  • Salaries and wages directly related to this project (e.g., contractors, additional staff supports) 
  • Professional fees (e.g., fees paid to individuals offering professional services such as web design, publicity or marketing, facilitation, financial, accounting or legal services, consulting services, etc.)  
  • Technical fees (for example, web service fees, licensing fees)  
  • Elder and knowledge keeper fees  
  • Honorariums  
  • Materials & Supplies  
  • Documentation  
  • Marketing, promotion, publicity or outreach  
  • Travel expenses (for example, flights, mileage/gas, taxis, uber or transit costs)  
  • Accommodation (while not at your primary residence) 
  • Rental of space 
  • Rental of equipment 
  • Purchase of equipment, including hardware and permanent software (must be specific and directly related to the completion and success of your project) 
  • Expenses related to small physical infrastructure upgrades required for community accessibility and/or safety (must be specific and directly related to the completion and success of your project) 
    • NOTE: Capital requests for building upgrades must be approved by the program specialist prior to applying to confirm eligibility 

Ineligible Project Expenses 

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

  • Debt or loan repayment 
  • Salaries and wages for existing staff (e.g., salaries for permanent full-time employees, ongoing contracts, etc.) not directly related to the project 
  • Expenses related to regular administration or operations (e.g., fixed operating expenses such as rent, mortgage payments, utilities, etc.)  
  • Financial contributions to major capital infrastructure projects, such as the purchase of land or buildings, or major building renovations  
  • Purchase of any equipment not directly related to the project 
  • Expenses not directly related to the project, including retroactive expenses 

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: 


(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. 


(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. 


(For adapting or developing your organizational practices, mandate or operations) 

  • This project is focused on the experimentation or development of new or adapted approaches to how you work, including artistic, operational, administrative or governance practices. Organizations must demonstrate that projects of this nature are distinct from work typically considered to be part of regular operations or build upon this work in a meaningful or transformative way.  
  • This project supports staff training, education or relationship and community building in any of the following areas: Truth and Reconciliation, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility (EDIA).   
  • 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 how you work. 
  • Examples: strategic planning, business adaptations, projects related to developing practices and policies related to advancing Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility and/or Truth & Reconciliation, internal learnings or trainings around bias, inter-cultural competency, anti-racism, treaty education and other related matters. 

The following four program considerations are what your applications will be scored and evaluated on by an external assessment committee: 

Artistic Impact 

  • The application demonstrates a deep understanding of their organizational mandate, 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. There is clarity about who is being engaged and how. This can include current or future relationships. 


  • 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, project 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. 

Scoring Process 

Committee members will review applications and rate the level to which they agree or disagree with each of the program considerations listed in the section above, based on the information provided in the application. The four ratings are: Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree or Strongly Disagree. 

Each program consideration will be weighted equally. The score assigned to each rating will be consistent (for example, ‘Strongly Agree’ will always equal the same number of points). 

Applications to the program will be reviewed by independent 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 are chosen to represent the broad diversity of Calgary and its artistic communities, including artistic discipline, gender, sexuality, age, religion, beliefs, nation, physical and neurological identities, and more.  

Assessment committees are responsible for reviewing and scoring the applications assigned to their committee online, and meeting to discuss applications together and make recommendations. Calgary Arts Development staff will review these recommendations and finalize the funding list. Partial funding may be allocated.  

In the final 10 per cent of funding, if there are applications that are tied, but not enough funds in the grant budget to support all tied applications, priority may be given based on the following considerations, at the discretion of Calgary Arts Development staff: 

  • Projects from organizations led by, with and for equity priority groups (see Equity Priority Group Descriptions).  
  • Projects from organizations that have not historically received funding from Calgary Arts Development. 
  • Projects that help to ensure representation across all artistic disciplines, communities and types of programming within the overall grant program.  

For more detailed information about the assessment process, please review the Assessor Terms of Reference

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

We accept applications through an online grant platform. If your organization does not already have an account with us, you will need to create an account and fill out your organization’s profile before you can apply. If the organization’s primary contact also has an individual artist profile, they must use a different email address to create the organization’s account.  

The application form for this program will become available on the online grant platform on May 20, 2024. You will find it under ‘Open Opportunities’ when you login. 

Please contact for help with any questions or technical issues.  

Complete Your Profile 

In the online grant platform, you will need to ensure your ‘Organizational Profile’ is filled out and up to date before you submit your grant application. Your profile information will be automatically transferred to your grant application. 

Your profile includes important information, such as: 

  • Organization Name; Mandate; Contact Information; Board List; Organizational Chart; Artistic Discipline(s); Financial Statement; etc. 

Complete Your Application 

To begin your grant application, login to the online grant platform and select ‘Open Opportunities’. There you will see any grant programs that are currently open. Once available, select this program and begin a draft application. As you work on your application, remember to save your progress regularly. There is currently no auto-save feature. Once your application is complete, please ‘submit’ before the stated application deadline. You should receive an email confirming your submission. If not, call or email us to confirm.  

The application form will ask for the following information: 

  • 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 $30,000) 
  • Project Description (250 – 750 words) 
    • Describe your project including what will occur, when it will take place, where it will take place and who is involved. 
  • Artistic Impact (250 – 750 words) 
    • Describe your artistic goals for this project and what success will mean for you. How will this project impact your artistic work, mandate or discipline(s)? 
  • Community Connection (250 – 750 words) 
    • Describe the direct relationships or communities connected to this project. This could include artists, audiences, volunteers, staff, board, other organizations, etc.  
    • What are your relationship or community goals for this project and what will success mean for you? How will this project impact those relationships during or after the project? 
    • NOTE: If this project is intended to work with or serve a specific community that your organization is not an active part of; you must demonstrate and speak to the following in your application:  
      • How you are engaging with that community in the design and delivery of the project in a way that is authentic and appropriate. 
      • That you have been invited or accepted by the community to do this work. 
  • 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 
    • Include 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. 
  • Support Materials  
    • Upload additional files or links that strengthen your case or help assessors understand more about your project or your organization. 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. Notifications will be sent to the email address listed in your profile on the online grant platform. If you do not receive an email notification by the end of September, please check your junk/spam folder before reaching out to  

Successful applications 

Successful applicants will be sent an investment agreement via DocuSign and must sign and return the agreement within 30 days to receive funding. 

We use electronic fund transfers to make grant payments. If your application is approved, you must provide a void cheque or direct deposit form with your banking information.  

Final Reporting 

Successful grantees will be required to complete a final report to share learnings and how the grant benefited their organization and communities, along with an updated budget with actuals.  

Final reports are assigned in the online grant platform and are due within 60 days of your stated ‘project end date’. 

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. 

Unsuccessful applications 

Applicants who are not successful in their application may reapply for the same project to other Calgary Arts Development grant programs, if the project still meets eligibility requirements. 

Program staff may provide feedback on unsuccessful applications, although this will depend on volume and staff capacity. We welcome any feedback you may have on the application process at any time. 

Contact Information 

If you have any questions about this program, please contact Perpetual Atife, Program Specialist, at or 403.264.5330 ext.229, as soon as possible. 

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