Cultural Leaders Legacy Arts Awards FAQ

Celebrating the transformative power of the arts

A banner image for the Mayor's Lunch for Arts Champions
Mayor's Lunch for Arts Champions

A legacy of Calgary’s year as a Cultural Capital of Canada, each Cultural Leaders Legacy Arts Award is funded by a contribution from a local philanthropist or organization with matching money from Calgary 2012.

Submitting a package? Have a look at a few of our frequently asked questions (FAQ).

Visit and check out the Cultural Leaders Legacy Arts Awards page. Each award is broken down by its guidelines and requirements with a nomination form to submit underneath.

Calgary Arts Development is happy to work with you to navigate the application process. Please contact us at or call 403.264.5330 if you encounter any difficulties.

All nominators and nominees will receive acknowledgement of receipt of nomination by email as soon as it has been successfully uploaded.

Nominators and nominees will be notified of whether their nomination was successful in advance of the announcement of the winners. The recipient will be asked to keep the status of their nomination confidential until the event, and will also be asked to accommodate the filming of a recipient video.

If you have nominated someone and did not receive acknowledgement of receipt of notification, please contact

As artists and nominators prepare to submit applications for the Cultural Leaders Legacy Arts Awards, many have asked what makes a great nomination package and how to ensure their package stands out.

So we went to past jury members to ask what they looked for. Follow these tips to make your package a top contender.

Do Some Research
  • See if you can get a hold of past successful award or grant applications from colleagues for ideas on what works best.
Find a Mentor
  • Do you know someone who writes award or grant applications in their career?
  • Ask if they will help review your package before you submit it.
Plan Ahead 
  • Work on your nomination well in advance so you are not rushing to meet the deadline.
  • Give yourself lots of time to collect all the information and attachments you need to avoid any roadblocks that may prevent you from submitting your nomination package on time.
Organize & Proofread Your Package
  • Provide the requested information in order. Don’t make the jury hunt for details.
  • Use appropriate headings to organize.
  • Complete your application early and get others to review and edit it as needed.
  • Proofread for errors or omissions and make corrections.
Get Strong Letters of Reference & Support
  • The best letters are those from senior members of your discipline. Jury members who are not from your discipline may not be familiar with your work but will recognize a name that is at the top of the field.
  • If possible, have your nominator nominate only you. Their voice will be seen as stronger if they only endorse one artist.
  • Letters of support can also describe your artistic growth through successes and failures. Your growth can be just as compelling as the completion of a large-scale project.
Be Strategic With Your Support Material
  • Stick to the number of support materials requested and choose your best stuff.
  • Quality is more important than quantity.
  • Videos have been seen to make or break a nomination package. Short, high-quality videos can really highlight the quality of your work. Videos that drag on and are of lower quality can be frustrating for jury members to watch and can diminish the true value of your work.
  • One support material equals one link or attachment page. Please do not attach a link or attachment that will take a juror more than five minutes to review when choosing your support material. For example, if you connect a link to a video that is 30 minutes, only expect the juror to review the first five minutes. Only expect the juror to read the first page if you submit a novel. Please consider per-selecting and providing the sample or portion of your work.
Find The Award for Which You Are The Best Fit
  • Read the criteria for each award and determine which applies to you most.
  • Regardless of your accomplishments, your application won’t be strong if you don’t fit an award category.
  • If you have questions feel free to contact
  • If someone wishes to nominate you for multiple awards, ensure each package speaks to that specific award rather than submitting the same generic application for each.
Make It Clear Why You Want The Award
  • Be clear about why you want this award and what it will do for your artistic career.
  • Juries want to know what the award money will do for you. Clear plans add merit to a package.
Submit Your Package
  • Calgary is full of incredible art and the artists who create it. Let people know! Get your nomination package in so we can celebrate you and your practice.

The short answer is yes, however, not recommended. Finding a nominator who is a well known and respected member of the community acts as a strong reference for the one being nominated. Even when a nominator is not particularly well-known, or an expert in their field, it is a way to demonstrate the impact of the one nominated on those around them, and the community at large.

Have a question that’s not been answered? Need more information? Contact Kaley Beisiegel, Engagement Consultant, at or 403.264.5330 ext. 214.