Cornerstone Bridge Funding Program

Cornerstone Bridge Funding Program

On July 31, 2017 City Council approved a one-time allocation of $2M to Calgary Arts Development for immediate investment in the 10 Cornerstone Companies.

In addition to providing $2M in funds, City Council has directed Calgary Arts Development to work with the Cornerstone Companies to develop a sustainability framework, which will be reported back to City Council through the Priorities and Finance Committee no later than Q2 2018.

Description of Role

For all Community Investment programs, volunteers are engaged to make recommendations to Calgary Arts Development staff in an arm’s-length assessment process. This process has been approved by the Calgary Arts Development Board of Directors, whose role it is to ensure that the process upholds Calgary Arts Development’s commitment to transparency, as well as its fiduciary responsibility to make impactful investments on behalf of The City of Calgary and its citizens.

This program does not use a traditional application-based grant process. Instead Calgary Arts Development will work with each Cornerstone Company to develop a case for investment that demonstrates how they contribute to the City of Calgary’s goals of:

  • Retaining jobs in the not-for-profit arts sector and on-going direct economic impact.
  • Supporting Calgary’s economic development and diversification efforts.
  • Revitalizing and animating the downtown core.
  • Demonstrating a responsibility to improve equity, diversity and inclusion in Calgary’s arts sector.
  • Committing to artistic and operational sustainability through adaptive thinking and critical self-awareness.


The subsequent cases for investment will be reviewed and recommended for funding by a peer assessment committee comprising:

  • The President & CEO of Calgary Arts Development (non-voting chair).
  • A representative of Tourism Calgary.
  • A representative of Calgary Economic Development.
  • A community member-at-large.
  • The Manager of Arts & Culture from The City of Calgary (non-voting).
  • A representative from each of the 10 Cornerstone Companies*.

*Each Cornerstone is asked to appoint one individual to sit on the peer assessment committee. It is recommended that this individual be a member of the senior leadership or board of directors who has a strong understanding of their company’s operational model and the context of the Cornerstone Companies in Calgary’s arts ecology.

It is expected that assessors will exhibit the following skills:

Cornerstone Representatives Tourism Calgary and Calgary Economic Development Representatives Community Representative
A background in the arts that demonstrates a profound commitment to an artistic discipline and/or reflects a high level of artistic leadership and accomplishment. An understanding and familiarity of the role of Calgary’s arts sector within the Destination Marketing Strategy and/or Economic Development strategy. An understanding and familiarity with the arts (dance, music, theatre, visual arts and/or festivals and events).
A generous spirit, exceptional listening skills and a willingness and ability to embrace change, complexity and different viewpoints.
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.


Committee members will meet for training and orientation sessions in addition to the assessment meetings. Assessors’ time commitment for the Cornerstone Program is:

  • October 2017: One training session in preparation for reviewing applications in the grant interface.
  • Mid-October to early-November 2017: Read applications and enter evaluation into online grant interface.
  • November 6 – 9, 2017: Up to two day-long meetings to discuss each company’s application and collectively make recommendations for funding.

Criteria & Assessment Meeting Process

The assessment committee will meet in early November after each assessor has reviewed and provided initial scoring for each application. Cornerstone representatives will not be permitted to read or score their own company’s application.

At the assessment meeting, the committee as a whole will discuss each application. Cornerstone representatives will be invited to remain in the room to address questions from the other assessors while their company’s application is discussed. After the assessor questions have been addressed, that representative will be asked to leave the room for the remainder of the assessment conversation concerning their company.

The committee includes two non-voting members who will actively participate in the assessment deliberation, however they will not submit scores on the applications nor make or vote on funding recommendations.

Lines of Accountability and Communication

The assessment committee meeting will be chaired by Calgary Arts Development’s President & CEO and the assessment discussion will be led by a member of Calgary Arts Development’s Community Investment team.

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 Terms of Reference, assessors shall maintain the confidentiality of their deliberations and shall safeguard such records and information from improper access.

Conflict of Interest

All committee members will follow Calgary Arts Development’s Policy on Conflict of Interest and Code of Conduct (excerpt from Calgary Arts Development’s Governance Manual below). All committee members are required to sign a statement agreeing to fully disclose any actual or perceived conflict with any applicant whose submission they have been appointed to review. Committee members with an actual or perceived conflict with an applicant will be removed from the assessment process for said applicant.

“Upon consideration of any proposed activity with the potential to benefit an organization or initiative with which the director or volunteer committee member shall participate in the decision making process where there is a potential or actual conflict of interest. The individual so affiliated shall leave the room during discussion and shall not vote or use personal influence in the decision-making process.”  


Protecting the Anonymity of Assessors During the Granting Cycle
Calgary Arts Development requests that individuals engaged as assessors maintain their own anonymity and the anonymity of other assessors in order to prevent the possibility of pressure being applied from grant applicants and the community that could affect assessments.

Disclosure of Assessor Names by Calgary Arts Development
Calgary Arts Development will release assessor names as part of its annual Accountability Report published the subsequent year. In the case where assessors are engaged in programs that contain a verbal presentation from applicants, assessors will be introduced to applicants at the time of the presentation, before the program cycle is complete.

Protecting the Confidentiality of Applicants and Applicant Information
All deliberations of assessors, all corporate records and material submitted by applicants as part of their applications that is not generally available to the public shall be considered confidential. All assessors are required to safeguard such records and information from improper access and to sign and adhere to an agreement of confidentiality prior to accessing any confidential information.

Contact Information

Contact the Community Investment Team at or 403.476.2031 if you have any questions about the program. The team includes:

  • Emiko Muraki, Director, Community Investment & Impact
  • Jordan Baylon, Community Investment Manager
  • Melissa Tuplin, Community Investment Officer
  • Taylor Poitras, Community Investment Assistant

Download the Assessment Committee Terms of Reference as a PDF

Share this page