Operating Grant Program

Operating Grant Program

This document has been updated as of January 27, 2023.
Download the Program 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 2023 Operating Grant Increase Program. 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 work one-on-one with assessors who experience barriers to access to develop accommodations that suit their abilities. Some examples of accommodations are:

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

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.

The contact for this program is Marta Ligocki, Specialist, Arts Organizations. They can be reached at marta.ligocki@calgaryartsdevelopment.com or 403.264.5330 ext.205.

Related Documents 

Operating Grant Program Guidelines

Group Agreements 

Conflict of Interest Policy

Confidentiality Policy

Assessment committees will review written material and evaluate each application according to the program considerations outlined in the Program Guidelines.

The committee will discuss applications in a meeting facilitated by the program specialist for arts organizations. The committee’s discussion will result in a list of organizations recommended for funding. Calgary Arts Development staff will review these recommendations and finalize the funding list. Partial funding may be allocated.

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.

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 Îyâxe Nakoda Bearspaw, Chiniki and Wesley First Nations. Today this land is home to the Metis of Region 3 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.

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 grants@calgaryartsdevelopment.com.

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.

  • Five-member Committees: Recommending committees of five members will be created for the year to evaluate this program.
  • 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.
  • Experience in interpreting financial statements is an asset but not required.

Assessors are responsible for participating in training sessions, the full application review process, and 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:

Week of March 27, 2023: Assessor training

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

April – June 2023: Review process

  • Review material provided by applicants. This includes financial, programming, and statistical data, as well as written updates to the organizations’ operations.
  • Submit initial scores online in the grant interface, according to the program considerations outlined in the program guidelines.
  • Attend assessment meetings to discuss each application as a committee.
    • Assessments will likely occur remotely using online meeting tools, such as Zoom.
    • Meetings will not exceed six hours, including regularly scheduled breaks.
    • Throughout the assessment meetings, assessors will have an opportunity to update their initial scores.
  • Review the overall scores for the applicants and make final recommendations for funding.
  • Final funding decisions will be at the discretion of Calgary Arts Development staff.

April 2023 – December 2024: Experience Calgary Arts Development- Funded Arts Events

  • As part of your participation in the assessment process, Calgary Arts Development will provide up to two tickets anonymously on your behalf to any public events or programming that Calgary Arts Development has directly funded. This is to ensure that you’re able to experience the arts within the local community both during and after assessment. Beyond this process, we hope that you will advocate for the arts in Calgary and encourage your respective communities to participate in Calgary’s arts sector.

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: $10 per application
  • Meeting Fees:
    • Training and Orientation session, $100
    • Assessment Meetings, $300 per meeting

If you have any questions about this program please contact Marta Ligocki, Program Specialist, at marta.ligocki@calgaryartsdevelopment.com or 403.264.5330 ext. 205.

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