Original Peoples Investment Program

Original Peoples Investment Program

June 1, 2023: Full guidelines published
June 1, 2023: Applications open
October 4, 2023: Application deadline (no applications accepted after 4:30pm MT)
October – November 2023: Evaluation of grants
Late November 2023: Notification of results
Early December 2023: Funds distributed
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 2023 Original Peoples Investment 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.

Accommodation & Accessibility

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

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 specialist for this program is Morgan Possberg, Indigenous Program Specialist. They can be reached at morgan.possberg@calgaryartsdevelopment.com or 403.264.5330.

Applications will be assigned to assessment committees based on program stream. The number of applications received to each program stream will determine the number of assessment committees required to review all applications within that stream.

The total pool of funding available for the program this year is $650,000. This amount will be divided (prorated) across both program streams, based on the total requested grant amount received within each stream.

Assessment committees will review applications assigned to them in the online granting interface and evaluate each application according to the considerations outlined in the Program Considerations & Scoring section of the Original Peoples Investment Program.

Calgary Arts Development staff will download assessor evaluations into a scoresheet and assign numerical scores to the ratings. Each consideration will be weighted equally. The score assigned to each rating will be consistent (e.g., ‘Strongly Agree’ will always equal the same number of points).

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

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.

Conflict of Interest Policy

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, show a high degree of unchecked bias regardless of bias training, 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 traditional territory of the Treaty 7 First Nations comprising the Siksikaitsitapi — the Blackfoot people — comprising the Kainai, Siksika and Piikani Nations; the Tsuut’ina Nation; and the Îyâxe Nakoda, comprising the Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney First Nations. This land is also 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.

Membership of each committee is designed to create context, understanding and respect for artistic discipline, gender, sexuality, age, religion, beliefs, First Nation, physical and neurological identities, etc. Creation of the committees will adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Five to seven-member committee for each stream.
  • Representation from Blackfoot, Tsuu’tina, Stoney Nakoda, Métis, Inuit and other First Nations.
  • Representation from Two Spirit, transgender and Indigiqueer peoples.
  • Representation across artistic disciplines and practices.
  • Representation from artist peers and community members.


  • 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.

New Voices 

  • I have completed the basic training, development and learning necessary to begin sharing myart seriously.
  • I am seeking opportunities to develop a mature artistic practice.
  • I am only beginning to create relationships with other serious artists in my communities.
  • I would like more experience in things like project planning and budgeting.
  • I would like the mentorship of a more experienced artist or organization.

Next Steps 

  • I have experienced some successes and recognition for my artistic practice that I would like to
    build on.
  • I have confidence in the techniques, concepts and execution of my artistic practice but have
    room to grow.
  • I feel that I have something to offer as a mentor to other artists or organizations.

These streams are intended to acknowledge and value that artists exist at different stages in their own practice and have different needs. There will be separate peer assessment committees for each of these streams. Funding from the total pool will be split between each stream proportionally based on how many applicants apply to them.

Assessors may also be asked to support and contribute to the success of Indigenous arts and artists through the development of mentorship relationships, learning opportunities and future applicant support.

Participation in this work is optional and dependent on the needs of the community as identified by Calgary Arts Development, the Original Peoples Investment Program advisory committee and applicants to the program.

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 as follows:

Between September 25 – October 14, 2023: Assessor training.

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

October – November 2023: Review process.

  • Review each application assigned in full.
  • Submit initial scores online in the grant interface, according to the program considerations outlined in the program guidelines.

November 2023: Assessment meetings.

  • Attend up to four 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.
  • Applicants will be notified of grant results in late November 2023.

September 2023 – April 1, 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

Please contact Morgan Possberg, Indigenous Program Specialist, with any questions about the assessment process and program at morgan.possberg@calgaryartsdevelopment.com or 403.264.5330 ext. 230.

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