Have a question about Calgary Arts Development’s investment programs? Read on for commonly asked questions including tips on writing your application and how to use our online grant interface.
If you have a question that isn’t listed here, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I know if I’m eligible for a grant?
Calgary Arts Development offers grant investment programs for Arts Organizations and Individual Artists. Eligibility criteria vary by program. Please read guidelines available on each program page to determine if you are eligible.
If you are still unsure, please contact us at email@example.com or 403.476.2031.
Can I fax, mail, or email my application?
No. You may only apply to Calgary Arts Development programs by setting up an account through our online grant interface. If you are applying to an individual artist program please note that you must use a personal account, rather than applying through an organizational account you may also manage.
Does Calgary Arts Development have a standard definition for an emerging artist?
No. The definition of emerging artist may vary depending on artistic discipline or a given organization’s mandate. If supporting emerging artists is part of your mandate, programming or activities, please provide us with the definition you use.
I just applied for a grant. What happens next?
Calgary Arts Development’s Community Investment team reviews all grant applications for completeness and clarity before they go to assessment. If there is anything missing from your application or points that need clarification, a Community Investment team member will contact you.
In some cases, they will send your application back to draft for you to make adjustments and resubmit. Otherwise, your application will go directly to assessment and you will be notified about the results of your application by email and mail.
Can I call to receive the results of my application?
No, Calgary Arts Development staff cannot inform you of program results by phone.
My application was successful! How will I receive funding?
You will receive an investment agreement outlining the terms of your grant. Once you have reviewed, signed, and returned your investment agreement to us, we will issue you a cheque that will be delivered by mail or held for pick-up at our office.
It will take a few weeks to prepare your cheque. Please note that Calgary Arts Development cannot send funds electronically.
After I receive funding, is there anything else I have to do?
All programs have a final reporting process. Please consult your funding agreement for report requirements. All organizations and individuals that receive funding through Calgary Arts Development must also acknowledge us on their marketing materials. Logos and usage guidelines are available at calgaryartsdevelopment.com/logos.
Can I get feedback on my application?
Yes, you may request feedback for any application you submit, whether or not you are successful in your application. If you request feedback, Community Investment staff will send you a summary of the notes taken at assessment meetings that capture the assessors’ perspectives on your organization, according to the program criteria.
These notes are not intended to serve as direct rationale for any outcomes of the assessment, nor are they necessarily an indication of how future assessors might review an application. Applicants are encouraged to use assessor feedback to inform how to best articulate their impact as organizations.
How do I use the granting interface?
If you are a new applicant, please create an account.
If you are a returning applicant, please log in with your previous login email and password. Do not create a new account, as it will not give you access to your previous grant applications. If you need to update your account information, please contact us at grants@
How do I start an application?
Log in to the online granting interface. Click “Apply” on the top menu and then click on the program you’re applying for. Be sure to click on the paragraph heading and not the URL at the bottom, which will direct you back to the grant information page.
When I log on, it doesn’t work—what’s wrong?
First, be sure that you’ve logged in to the granting interface. Our online granting interface works best with Google Chrome or Firefox as your browser, and is less compatible with Safari and Internet Explorer. Make sure you are using a compatible browser and that you have its most recent updates installed.
If you still experience problems, try clearing all of your browser data (cookies and cache especially). If that doesn’t solve the problem, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403.476.2031.
How do I find my old grant applications?
You can view all of your grant applications from 2009 on by logging into the online granting interface. If you are looking for applications from before 2009, please contact us at email@example.com or 403.476.2031.
Can I save a grant application and work on it later?
Yes. There is a “Save” button at the bottom of each application page. Please save your work frequently. For Operating Grant Program applications, we recommend that you write Public and Artistic Impact statements using a word processor and then copy and paste into the online application.
What if my support material will not upload to the grant interface?
Check to see if your document is too large or if it is the wrong file type. Contact our Community Investment team at firstname.lastname@example.org for further troubleshooting.
How will I know you received my application?
Once you click the submit button, the grant interface will provide a message stating your application has been submitted. Your granting interface dashboard should then list your application as submitted, not as a draft.
Please note that the Community Investment team may return your application to draft for revisions. You will be notified of this by email and given a deadline to re-submit. If your application is returned to draft, you must click the submit button again once you have made your changes.
How should I decide how much funding to ask for?
Our grants are investments made on behalf of the citizens of Calgary, and applicants must make the case for a strong return on investment.
Generally, you should ask for what you realistically need to achieve your mandate or goal. Note that assessors cannot recommend grants higher than your request.
If you need assistance in determining your funding request, please contact the Community Investment team to discuss.
How do I get help on my application?
You may contact the Community Investment team at any time to ask questions or request feedback on your application. The team can provide feedback on your application up to 48 hours prior to the application deadline, so make sure to reach out early!
Can I upload my CADAC forms instead of the CADA standard forms?
Yes, if you submit CADAC forms to other granting organizations, you may export an XLS or XLSX copy of your CADAC forms and upload them to your application. Please make a note of the required fiscal years in the Calgary Arts Development forms and ensure that your CADAC form includes those columns.
Can I upload our own programming list instead of filling out the standard Programming Form?
Filling out the standard form is mandatory for all applicants. Collecting all of our applicants’ information in a consistent way allows us to tell the story of your impact most effectively. Details about your activities that are not captured in the form can be shared in the written description section and the optional programming list upload.
What information should be included in the New Works Created category in the Programming Form?
Only fill this in if your organization offers residencies, programs or workshops that lead to the production of new works. Also, include new works produced as a part of partnership activity. Do not include the presentation of existing works brought into Calgary for the first time.
How many years should our financial statements show?
Two years: One for the most recent completed fiscal year and one for the fiscal year before that. There should, therefore, be two years of figures for both the Statement of Operations and the Balance Sheet. The line items should be generally consistent across both years so that assessors can track variances in your financial information without consulting your previous applications.
What if our statements are only formatted to show a single year? Do we have to completely reformat them?
No. If your current practice is to compile statements that only show a single year, we ask that you provide the latest statements and the previous fiscal year’s statements combined in a single PDF document.
What do Artistic and Public Impact mean?
The Operating Grant Program assumes that every organization defines and achieves Artistic and Public Impact differently. How an organization demonstrates its impact should always relate to its own mandate in an authentic way.
Do not assume that the assessors will understand why a certain activity or direction is important to your organization. Instead, take the opportunity to clearly state how it relates to achieving your impact.
Is it possible to lose a portion of our previous grant in the new process, even though our organization has maintained our level of programming from previous years?
Yes. Starting in 2016, the assessors are asked asked to allocate funds to the organizations that show the strongest return on their grant investment.
That being said, the purpose of the Operating Grant Program is to provide a stable base of resources so that arts organizations can excel and strategically achieve their mandates. Assessors will always consider what it means for an organization to lose part of its previous grant, and weigh investment decisions against the possibility that an organization could be destabilized by a reduction.
How does the competitive process work? How much of my grant can I expect to receive?
Organizations with operating grants more than $3,000 will be guaranteed to receive 90% of their 2017 funding in 2018 and 2019.
For example, imagine Company A received a $10,000 operating grant in 2017. In 2018 and 2019, they would enter the operating grant with a guaranteed $9,000 grant in each year. The other $1,000 would be placed in a competitive pool within their grant stream, along with 10% from other organizations in that stream with grants more than $3,000. Company A is able to compete to receive funds from that competitive pool, that may take them up to their previous year’s grant amount ($10,000) or even more.
Organizations with operating grants $3,000 or less will enter the 2018 grant assessment at 100% of their 2017 grant.
For example, imagine Company B received a $3,000 operating grant in 2017. In 2018 and 2019, they would enter the operating grant with a guaranteed $3,000 grant in each year. Company B is able to compete to receive funds from the competitive pool in their grant stream, that may increase their grant beyond $3,000.
Do I have to have all of my activities and plans confirmed by the time I apply? Does my budget need to be exact?
No, you don’t need to have all of your activities and plans confirmed when you apply. The planning criteria considers the feasibility and effectiveness of your plans and activities. You will need to provide examples of the activities and outcomes you propose to pursue, and it will be important to ‘show your work’ and do your research.
For example, if there is a residency you wish to attend that aligns with your artistic goals, you might provide in your timeline the dates by which you need to apply to that residency. If you will be using the funds for artistic creation or production, you will need to provide information about the venues you wish to use, or estimates of how much your production will cost.
The most important aspect of the application is that you have shown rigour, research, and thoughtfulness in considering the types of activities you propose to undertake in order to reach your artistic goals and show impact in each of the criteria.
Why can’t I set my own grant request?
Calgary Arts Development has set the request levels at $5,000 and $10,000 in order to streamline the funding process for both you and the assessment committee. Since the funds you may receive from the program can be put toward any aspect of your artistic practice, you will simply choose the level of funding you feel will best enable you to reach your artistic goals, and can meaningfully show a return on investment for. In your budget and timeline, you will show a proposed timeline of where you might disburse those funds throughout the year.
When you are deciding which funding level to request, you will want to consider the feasibility of your plans and ability to meaningfully apply the funds towards your artistic practice throughout the year, as well as evaluate the impact of those funds on your artistic practice.
Why can’t I purchase equipment over $500?
Investment programs are meant to support programming, not capital expenses. Any purchase of equipment over $500 is considered a capital expense.
What’s the difference between an artistic statement and artistic goals?
An artistic statement is a description of your artistic practice: how and why you make your work, and what is important to you. Consider your artistic statement the vision or mandate for your artistic practice. Artistic goals are the measurable, short-term things you have identified that you need to do order to develop your artistic practice and create the work that is important to you. Your artistic goals could be creating or producing work, learning or experimenting, developing skills and expertise, or anything else that will help you achieve your vision.
What happens if I receive the grant and there are changes to my activities?
The Individual Artist Program is intended to support your overall artistic goals for the year, and as such, it is reasonable that some activities may shift during that time. If any significant changes occur, such as cancellation, postponement, or major alteration to an activity you outlined in your application, please contact the Community Investment team to provide an update.
As your application will have been assessed by a peer committee on the criteria of Artistic Impact, Public Impact, Innovation/Learning, and Planning, the Community Investment team will discuss with you what impact a change to your original application would have based on the committee’s recommendation for funding.
If you are unable to complete any of the activities, or the changes to the activities or your intentions and/or artistic goals are fundamentally different than what the assessment committee evaluated, you may be asked to return your grant to Calgary Arts Development.