Artist Development Microgrant

Artist Development Microgrant

This document has been updated as of March 7, 2022
Download the Terms of Reference as a PDF

The purpose of this document is to outline the roles and responsibilities of the volunteer assessment committee for the 2022 Artist Development Microgrant. Committee members must review, understand, and adhere to these terms, the program guidelines, and to Calgary Arts Development’s Group Agreements.

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.

We will accept applications in four intakes throughout the year. Within each intake period, 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 for the committee to review their overall recommendations together in a meeting facilitated by the program specialist. 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). Calgary Arts Development staff will review the committee’s final recommendations and finalize the funding list.

In the event of a tie, priority may be given based on the following considerations:

  • Opportunities that are fully confirmed.
  • Opportunities that are urgent or time sensitive.
  • Opportunities from equity priority groups.

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.

Assessors will report to Calgary Arts Development staff. All deliberations of the assessment committee as well as all records, material, and information obtained by a member and not generally available to the public shall be considered confidential.

Adhering to the Confidentiality Policy, assessors shall maintain the confidentiality of their deliberations and shall safeguard such records and information from improper access.

Calgary Arts Development reserves the right to remove individuals from the process or assessment committee if they do not adhere to the terms of reference, program guidelines, group agreements, conflict of interest policy, or confidentiality policy, or if their conduct is otherwise counter to the stated values and expectations of this program.

This program is intended to support professional and business development activities for individual artists and artist collectives. The goal of the program is to contribute to the skills and knowledge required to advance artists’ careers and develop artistic practices in Calgary (known as Mohkínsstsisi in Blackfoot).

Applicants may apply for up to $5,000. If applications from artist collectives include expenses related to individual member’s participation, such as travel or course fees, the requested amount may exceed $5,000 on approval from Calgary Arts Development staff.

Total funding available for this program is $325,000.

We will accept applications in four intakes throughout the year. Activities funded through this program must be completed within six months of grant notification.

Our team is available to answer questions and to offer support at any time during the assessment process. Please contact the program specialist as early as you can to ensure they can provide the best support possible.

Calgary Arts Development is committed to open, fair and transparent processes. We will work one-on-one with assessors who experience barriers to access, in order to develop accommodations that suit their abilities. Some examples of accommodations are:

  • Translation of written materials.
  • Interpretation for meetings.
  • Braille transcription.

Please contact with any questions.

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. Do not hesitate to reach out to us to support your questions, both philosophical and technical, especially where personal tastes and biases intersect with or complicate your ability to evaluate this program.

Equity Priorities

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.

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.

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.

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 but not limited to: artistic discipline, gender, sexuality, age, religion, beliefs, nation, physical and neurological identities.

  • Seven-Member Committee: A recommending committee of seven members will be created for the year.
  • 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.
  • Relevant skills, experience, and knowledge that will accommodate the range of applicants to be juried.
  • A generous spirit, exceptional listening skills and a willingness and ability to embrace change, complexity and different viewpoints.
  • An openness to productively and respectfully check in with bias.
  • An understanding and awareness of Calgary and region, and an insight into our social and cultural climate.
  • The respect of peers in the community.
  • The ability to function well within a committee structure.

Assessors are responsible for participating in training sessions, the full application review process, as well as any scheduled assessment meetings with the rest of the committee. Participation in each part of the assessment process is mandatory to ensure all perspectives are present throughout the process and applied fairly to each application assigned. Assessors’ time commitment for this program is:

April 2022: Assessor training

  • Participate in online training and orientation sessions, hosted by Calgary Arts Development, in preparation for the review process. Specific dates TBD.

April – November 28, 2022: Online review process

  • Read and review each application assigned in full. Submit evaluations online in the grant interface, according to the program criteria.
  • Applications are expected to take between 15 to 20 minutes each to review.

Assessment Meetings: One meeting after each intake period (four total)

  • Participate in one online meeting (to be scheduled during the three-week period after each intake cut-off) to review and finalize recommendations. This will result in four half-day assessment meetings total. Specific dates TBD.
  • Assessors will provide program staff with context, considerations, follow up questions, and recommend urgent or time sensitive opportunities and priority areas.

Calgary Arts Development will provide an honorarium to assessors as a gift to recognize their time. The honorarium will be provided to assessors after the reviewing process is completed. Assessors may be reimbursed for additional expenses related to the assessment process—please contact us to discuss.

Honorarium rates for this program are as follows: 

  • Reading Fee: $5 per application
  • Meeting Fees: or orientations and assessment meetings
    • Under four hours, $100
    • Over four hours, $300

Please note that Calgary Arts Development staff are continuing to work remotely. If you have any questions about the assessment process and program, please contact Taylor Poitras, Specialist, Individuals and Collectives Programs, at o403.264.5330 ext.215.

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