Future Focus Program

Grant Program Categories: Arts Organizations

Future Focus Program

Deadline May 17, 2024

Deadline August 16, 2024

Deadline November 1, 2024

The Future Focus Program is a funding collaboration between Calgary Arts Development, the Rozsa Foundation, and the Calgary Foundation. We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which has provided additional funds to support the program in 2024.

2024 Application Deadlines

Friday, February 16, 2024
Friday, May 17, 2024
Friday, August 16, 2024
Friday, November 1, 2024

Program Overview

The Future Focus Program provides funding to arts organizations to explore a key question or challenge facing their organization and develop directions for their operations that diverge from previous or current practice in response. Organizations may be asking themselves questions about their organizational purpose, their role in the arts sector, their continued viability, or how they need to adapt their structure or approach to operate into the future. The program supports organizations through the process of investigating, identifying, planning and executing significant and strategic adaptations in their operations.

While these adaptations will likely influence the development and delivery of both existing and future programs, this program does not support the development and delivery of artistic programming, nor does it support fund development plans, or routine strategic planning.

Organizations can access funds to engage external expertise and develop strategies to guide them in navigating the questions, challenges and opportunities they face. This work may include projects such as:

  • Making shifts to business models and organizational structures.
    • Investigating and implementing new revenue generating models that do not rely on fundraising activities.
    • Changing the way your organization is registered/incorporated.
  • Forming strategic partnerships with other organizations, including resource sharing.
  • Developing strategies for new directions.
    • Major shift in organizational mission or activity to support mission.
    • Venue and space investigations.
    • Assessment of organizational capacity and ‘right sizing’.
  • Planning for leadership succession from founding and longstanding leaders.
  • Addressing organizational life cycle questions, including potential mergers and closures.

When planning their projects, organizations are expected to consider how Reconciliation, equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (EDIA) are integrated into all aspects of their operations.

There is a total of $400,000 available through the program in 2024.

Who Can Apply?

  • Arts organizations operating in the Treaty 7 region (including Red Deer), that are registered charities or not-for-profits, or arts-based organizations that have comparable organizational structures.
  • Organizations cannot be receiving project support from any of the three partner funders individually for the same work.

Funding Amounts

​Funding amounts are based on the nature of the work to be undertaken.

  • Exploration Phase — up to $15,000: Identification of needs, initial development, project planning.
  • Implementation Phase — up to $25,000: Builds upon exploration phase or previously related work, implementing change within the organization.

​Organizations may apply for more than one Exploration Phase prior to seeking Implementation Phase support.

How to Apply

If your organization is interested in applying, please start by having a conversation with a team member from one of the Calgary-based funding organizations. During this discussion, we can determine if your organization qualifies and talk about your goals and planned activities for the proposed project. If your proposal is eligible, the funding representative will send you access to the online application form.

You only need to meet with one of the representatives listed below, and they will coordinate with each other to make sure your proposal aligns with the program’s goals. Funding decisions will typically be made within six (6) weeks of the application deadline.

Funder representatives:
Ayla Stephen, Funding Manager, Rozsa Foundation: ayla@rozsafoundation.com
Allan Rosales, Manager, Community Investment, Calgary Arts Development: allan.rosales@calgaryartsdevelopment.com
Brigitte von Rothemburg, Grants & Volunteer Program Associate, Calgary Foundation: BvonRothemburg@calgaryfoundation.org

Application Assessment

Funding decisions are based on the degree to which applications meet with the following statements:

  1. Understanding Of Your Organization: The organization understands the current state of its operations and programming and has clearly identified and explained the specific challenge the proposed project will address.
  2. Organizational Goals: The application explains how the proposed work will help the organization achieve a clear and impactful goal or learning objective.
  3. Project Plan: The organization has laid out a clear and reasonable plan for the project, including a timeline and budget, to achieve the projects identified goals.
  4. Reasonable Budget: The project budget is reasonable and appropriate for what the project aims to achieve.
  5. Learning and Evaluation Plan: The organization has considered and outlined how they plan to learn from and assess the success of the project.
  6. Advancing EDIA: The organization is working to promote Reconciliation, equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility within the organization and project.

If we receive a number of applications that are evenly assessed by the committee, priority may be given based on the following considerations, at the funders’ discretion:

  • Opportunities or organizations led by, with and for equity priority groups.*
  • Representation across all artistic disciplines, communities and types of programming.
  • Opportunities proposed by organizations who have not historically received funding from Calgary Arts Development, Rozsa Foundation or the Calgary Foundation.

*The funders are using Calgary Arts Development’s defined priority group areas as a guide. Click here for information on those priority groups.

Funding decisions are made by program staff after each application deadline. If needed, the funders will seek additional advice or recommendations from individuals with expertise in non-profit organizational strategy, life cycle management and planning. If outside feedback is required, applications will be made anonymous and identifying information about the applicant will be redacted. Any individuals with access to applications are held to strict conflict of interest and confidentiality agreements.


Final reporting is managed by the Rozsa Foundation and deadlines are set based on the project timeline.

If your application is funded you may be asked to participate in surveys, interviews and/or focus groups to contribute to the ongoing evaluation of this program. There may also be opportunities to participant in peer-to-peer learning and knowledge sharing.

Application Checklist

Tell us who you are:

  • Organization contact information
  • Organization mandate
  • Organization structure (e.g. non-profit, charity etc.)
  • Artistic Discipline
  • Charitable or Business Registration Number

Tell us what the focus of this funding request is:

  • Select all that apply:
    • Making shifts to business models and organizational structures.
    • Forming strategic partnerships with other organizations, including resource sharing.
    • Developing strategies for new directions
    • Planning for leadership succession.
    • Addressing organizational life cycle questions, including potential mergers and closures.

What stage are you at?

  • Exploration Phase — up to $15,000: Identification of needs, initial development, project planning.
  • Implementation — up to $25,000: Builds upon exploration phase or previously related work, implementing change within the organization.

How much funding are you requesting?

What is the primary question or key challenge your organization aims to answer or address through this project?

At a high level, what activities do you plan to undertake to address your organization’s main question or challenge. For example, “a community and stakeholder engagement process,” “hiring a consultant for operational analysis,” or “conduct a venue feasibility study,” etc.

Present Situation:

Describe the factors or events that have led your organization to undertake this project. Highlight any past activities, decisions or conditions that influenced this approach. Explain how this project differs from previous practices and why it is significant and impactful for your organization.

Project Plan :

Please share your project plan for this work, including timeline and budget:

  • What are the anticipated start and completion dates for this work?
  • Please upload a full project budget.
  • Tell us what you hope to learn and the outcomes you hope to achieve.
  • If you are engaging external expertise, please include a high-level work plan and the quote from the consultant/contractor.
  • If you are collaborating or partnering with another organization, please include a letter of intent or support.
  • Describe how you are ensuring that this work considers and embeds equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility in its planning, implementation and community context.

Example support material:

(The necessary support material will be requested as appropriate after initial conversation with funder contact)

  • Financial statements (most recent completed fiscal year, including statement of operations & balance sheet)
  • Board list / Organization structure chart
  • Cash flow forecast
  • Draft financial statements
  • Project budget support (e.g. quotes, invoices, calculations, projections)
  • Confirmation of board support
  • Strategic plan
  • Information about contributors (e.g. biographies, consultant CVs, collaborator mandates)
  • Other (e.g. feasibility studies, proof of concept, prior project reports)

Get in Touch

If you have questions about this program, please contact any of the following funders:

Ayla Stephen (ayla@rozsafoundation.com)
Allan Rosales (allan.rosales@calgaryartsdevelopment.com),
Brigitte von Rothemburg (BvonRothemburg@calgaryfoundation.org)

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