Artist Development Microgrant

Applications currently closed

Applications Open: January 11, 2021
Application Deadline: Applications will be accepted until February 16, 2021, 4:30pm MT
Notifications: Results will be sent out by mid-March 2021
Funds: Grant money will be released by March 31, 2021

Applications will be assessed as soon as they are received; however, final funding decisions will only be made after the program deadline, once all applications have been assessed. We appreciate receiving applications early because we expect high volumes and this will allow us to process applications sooner to avoid a backlog. This program will be assessed by a peer committee.

While it is a fairly straightforward application process, if you have any questions, want feedback on your application or if it’s your first time applying, please contact us early on so that we can help you through the process.

Applicants may request up to $2,500. Total funding available for this program is $130,000. 

We will only accept one application per individual or collective. Individuals applying to this program as part of a collective cannot also apply as an individual. Success in this program does not affect your eligibility to apply to other Calgary Arts Development grant investment programs in 2021. You may not receive more than one grant for the same project in a calendar year.

Program Overview

Calgary Arts Development grant investment programs for individual artists and artist collectives are supplemented through the Cultural Vitality Fund, with donations from Calgary Arts Foundation, Calgary Foundation, an anonymous donor to the Edmonton Community Foundation, RBC, and the Palmer Family Foundation. We thank these donors for their generous support.

The Artist Development Microgrant is intended to provide one-time funding to individual artists and artist collectives in Calgary who have been impacted by COVID-19. It supports professional development and business development activities as well as the completion or adaptation of work that has been affected by COVID-19. This microgrant is not intended to support new work.

The goal of the program is to allow artists to respond to new approaches and emergent needs, reduce barriers to opportunities, contribute to skills, knowledge and professional development and advance professional arts and artistic practices in Calgary (known as Moh’kinsstis in Blackfoot).

This program is open to artists and collectives working in any artistic discipline in the city of Calgary. This program is not open to arts administrators or cultural workers. Please refer to the Investment Program FAQs for a glossary of terms and more information about eligibility.

Applicants may apply for business or professional development activities such as workshops, mentorships, courses, training, residencies, web development, marketing support, small business development, etc. as well as access to new technologies, space, storage, equipment or tools needed to effectively pursue work in response to COVID-19. Applicants may also apply for costs associated with adapting or completing work that began before January 2021, and was interrupted or affected by COVID-19.

This microgrant is not intended to support new work. Applicants seeking support for the creation and development of entirely new work are advised to apply to the Project Grant Program for Individuals and Collectives available later this year. The Project Grant Program will offer larger grant amounts and longer project timelines.

This program cannot fund activities retroactively. Activities which will be fully completed before the deadline of February 16, 2021 are not eligible. Activities funded through this program need to be done by June 30, 2021.

Applicants may request up to $2,500. Total funding available for this program is $130,000. 

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Information Session

Looking at applying? Calgary Arts Development is pleased to offer this online and on demand information session.

The purpose of this session is to provide a little more context around the development of the Artist Development Microgrant and its specific goals. It also provides some approaches, examples, and questions that might be helpful to consider when determining if you will apply and how best to do so.

Equity Priorities

If there are applications with tied final scores but insufficient funds in the grant budget to support these applications, activities proposed by artists belonging to an equity priority group (or in the case of a collective, where the majority are artists from equity priority groups) will be prioritized.

Applicants that self-identify on the voluntary demographic survey included in the grant application as belonging to these equity priority groups are automatically considered for this equity measure. Information provided in the voluntary demographic survey will not be shared with assessors and will only be viewable by program staff. Any information provided in the voluntary demographic survey will only be attached to this application process, not to the applicant’s profile in the grant interface.

The equity priority groups identified for this program are Indigenous, Black, persons of colour, Deaf persons, persons with disabilities, persons living with mental illness and 2SLGBTQIAP+ individuals. For details on each of these equity priority groups, please refer to the equity priority group descriptions.

Calgary Arts Development has adapted these priorities and descriptions from the Toronto Arts Council’s Equity Framework. We are grateful to the Toronto Arts Council for their work in this area.

Program Timeline

January 11, 2021: Applications accepted
February 16, 2021: Final application deadline. No applications accepted after 4:30pm MT.
January to March 2021: Evaluation of grants
Mid-March: Notification of results
March to April 2021: Funds distributed

Calgary Arts Development’s Artist Development Microgrant timeline for 2021

Accommodation & Accessibility

Calgary Arts Development is committed to open, fair, and transparent processes. We are here to answer your questions. While we may not be able to meet in person at the current moment, our team will be available to answer questions and offer support during the application process either over the phone, through email, or through the use of audio and video platforms.

Please see Investment Program FAQ for answers to common questions, and contact the program specialist as early as you can to ensure they can provide the best support possible. Staff can provide feedback up to one week before application deadlines.

We will work one-on-one with applicants who experience barriers to access to develop accommodations that suit their abilities and situations. Some examples of accommodations are:

  • Translation of written materials into other languages.
  • Transcription of verbal meetings or audio and video recordings into a written document.
  • Verbal video or audio applications. If you would prefer to answer the application questions verbally you can submit an audio or video recording of yourself or our staff can help record your responses using an online platform, such as Zoom.
  • Language interpretation for phone or video meetings (Note: this will depend on the availability of external service agencies).
  • Grant writing assistance if you need help.

You may be eligible for assistance to pay someone to help you complete an application if you need it or for any of the reasons listed below:

  • An artist who is Deaf, hard of hearing, has a disability or is living with a mental illness.
  • An artist facing language, geographic or cultural barriers.

Please contact Taylor Poitras, Specialist, Individuals and Collectives Programs, at 403.264.5330 ext.215 or to inquire about application assistance.

Reference Documents
Application Templates

Project Budget


Deadline Extension Policy
Accessibility & Accommodation Policy
Disclosure of Grant Information Policy


Terms of Reference
Group Agreements
Application Assistance
Equity Priority Group Descriptions
Frequently Asked Questions
Assessor Nomination Form


Please note that Calgary Arts Development staff are continuing to work remotely. If you have any questions about this program please review the Investment Program FAQ page and contact Taylor Poitras, Specialist, Individuals and Collectives Programs, at 403.264.5330 ext.215 or

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This program is funded through donations from: