Investment Program FAQ

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 grants@calgaryartsdevelopment.com.

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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 grants@calgaryartsdevelopment.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.

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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@calgaryartsdevelopment.com or 403.476.2031.

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 grants@calgaryartsdevelopment.com 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 grants@calgaryartsdevelopment.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 grants@calgaryartsdevelopment.com 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.

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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!

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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.

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Before you begin writing your application, consider these questions:

What is important to you?
  • Consider your artistic goals. What do you need, beyond funding, to achieve those goals? Why are those activities, tasks, skills, relationships etc. important to you?
What is feasible for you?
  • If you receive this funding, what activities will you be able to realistically and meaningfully complete
What don’t you know?
  • Don’t be afraid to be honest about the challenges or barriers you might experience in your career as an artist or in your artistic practice. An appreciative self-awareness will allow you to identify any blind spots or areas you need to invest in, such as professional or artistic development, experimentation, or risk-taking.
Who are your communities?
  • Who is the audience for your work? It could be people who share the same goals or values, people who engage with or see your work or people who work in your artistic community. Defining your public will allow you to best understand what it means to have an impactful relationship with them.
I’m having difficulty deciding whether to apply to either the New Voices or Next Steps streams.

While there is no right or wrong choice, the best one reflects how you honestly feel about where you are with your art right now, and what you think is the most effective context for appreciating it.

It was important when designing this program to not make artists try to force themselves into arbitrary definitions or hierarchies that do not reflect all of the complexity and nuance that goes into considering how you feel about the state of your practice or career.

For that reason, we do not consider one stream to be more excellent or prestigious, but we do recognize that what opportunity looks like will be different depending on factors like experience and how often you’ve had the chance to present.

Should I apply for $10,000? Will I have a better chance of success if I ask for less?

Usually, your planning will not be as strong if you start at $10,000 and work backwards. Instead, we encourage applicants to first think about a project that will fall within the general range of under $10,000. Imagine how you think the project would run ideally and then build your budget off of that.

If you go over $10,000 then you can reconsider the scope of your project, look for where you can cut costs, or think about other funding to supplement your overall budget. Your best chances are to apply with the project you’ve done the best planning for.

What if I am involved in more than one project that is applying to this program?

We will only accept one application per person, per project. If you are involved in other projects that are also applying, other individuals must take responsibility for those projects. In all cases, if you are involved in any project you are not allowed to vote for it (even if it is one where you’re not the main applicant).

Can I apply for a project or initiative that will have started before the deadline for this program?

We will accept applications for projects or initiatives so long as the planned activities are less than half-finished by the time of the program deadline. We will not consider projects or initiatives that have taken place before the deadline.

Why does there need to be a criterion for Community Connection, when many applicants will apply with individual and personal projects?

In our discussions with our Indigenous Artist Advisory, a common theme was around the power of community to heal. While we know that many artistic practices may not necessarily put a primary focus on community engagement, we want to open a conversation for every application to say what community means for them, and how they think their art contributes to that community.

What is being done to ensure that the Selection Process is unbiased and fair?

Our program staff do our utmost to maintain a fair, open and transparent assessment process and have a lot of experience, skill sets and tools to help us. The important thing to remember is that it is up to everyone in the room to be responsible for declaring conflicts of interest, checking in with personal biases and maintaining collective agreements around respect and deep listening.

To do your part make sure that you are bringing trust into the room by sharing how you think and feel, and in turn trusting the people around you to hold-space safely and help you check in with your own biases in a productive and positive way.

I don’t feel comfortable using the written application and I also don’t feel comfortable standing in front of a group of people or a camera for an oral submission. How can I still apply?

We are open to you choosing someone else to speak on your behalf in the oral submission. If you are having trouble finding someone willing to do this for you, we can help (provided you give us a lot of notice). The ultimate responsibility for your application will still be yours, so it will be up to you to ensure that you adequately prepare any helpers to speak on your behalf.

What if I want to participate in the Community Circle selection process but I don’t feel comfortable speaking in public?

You are not required to speak in the Community Circle. Listening deeply and voting is acceptable. Similar to the above, if you want to choose someone else to speak to your project/activity in the Community Circle let us know and we will make those arrangements. Keep in mind that they will only be allowed to be present when it’s time to speak to your application and they will not be allowed to vote for you.

Can I apply with the intention of partnering with a non-Indigenous or non-FNMI artist or organization?

Yes! This program is about forging and strengthening connections between everyone who lives in Treaty 7. That being said, we are only allowing FNMI artists and organizations to be the main applicants.

What if my project/activity costs more than the maximum amount I can request from this program ($10,000 CAD)?

You will have to show how you will fund the remaining expenses, either through fundraising, other grants or sponsorships, or your own personal money. It is okay if you are applying for additional funding outside of this program, but it won’t be confirmed before the deadline. If you do as much as you can to show that you’ve done the proper planning, the Community Circle will be asked to make decisions based on the assumption that you have any additional expenses covered.

Can I use the funding for tuition for a workshop, training course, residency, etc.?

Yes, so long as you can directly link those experiences to your project/activity. The only tuition or course fees we will not fund are for post-secondary degree-granting programs.

Do I need to pay taxes on this grant?

If you are an individual or representing a group of artists that is not registered as a non-profit, Calgary Arts Development is required to issue a T4A Form for the full amount you receive from this program.

Under the Canada Revenue Agency guidelines, only the amount of money that you pay yourself from the grant amount is taxable as income. In order to show that the remaining grant amount was spent on materials, rentals, paying other artists, etc., you should track all of your expenses, keep your receipts, and have a written proof of payment to artists. If you have any questions about how to track your expenses, please let us know.

If an application is incomplete or is missing information, will it still be accepted?

If we can see that information is missing because of a mistake or a simple omission, we will usually follow up with you and give you chance to make adjustments.

Am I allowed to apply if I’m under 18 years-old?

We will accept applications from artists under the age of 18 so long as, a) they have the explicit consent and approval of their legal guardians, and b) they are practicing their art at a serious level and can, therefore, be responsible for participating in the full application process.

Will the information in my grant application be made public?

Information provided in both successful and unsuccessful grant applications may be used in the Calgary Arts Development program evaluation and reporting. Information shared when reporting in these ways will be anonymized and only shared in aggregate. No personal information provided in grant applications will ever be shared publicly without your prior applicant consent.

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