Original Peoples Investment Program

Applications Open March 15, 2021

Program Guidelines Published: February 1, 2021
Deadline: April 19, 2021 at 4:30pm MT
Applications Open: March 15, 2021

The Original Peoples Investment Program (OPIP) supports the preservation and revitalization of First Nations/Métis/Inuit (FNMI) art through art-based projects that are supported and validated by FNMI artists, community, Elders, and Knowledge Keepers.

Artists and organizations may apply for up to $15,000 to cover almost any expense related to their project. Projects funded through this program should be completed by July 31, 2022.

Total funding available for this program is $550,000.

This program will be assessed by a peer committee in two streams:

New Voices:

      • I have completed the basic training, development or learning necessary to begin sharing my art 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, communities or organizations.
Program Eligibility

This program is open to First Nations/Métis/Inuit artists and collectives and FNMI-led and FNMI-centred organizations practicing/operating in the Treaty 7 Calgary region, and to Treaty 7 Nations artists practicing/operating in the Treaty 7 region, working in any artistic discipline. Applicants should demonstrate a serious dedication to developing and sharing their artistic work, career, or organizational mandate.

An applicant may only apply for one project or one phase of a project.

Program Timeline

February 1, 2021: Original Peoples Investment Program Guidelines published
February to March 2021: Community outreach, information, and training sessions
March 15, 2021: Applications open
April 19, 2021 at 4:30pm MT: Application deadline
April to May 2021: Assessment period
May to June 2021: Notification of results and funds released

Calgary Arts Development’s Orginial Peoples Investment Program timeline for 2021

We are continuing to monitor COVID-19 conditions, and information and training sessions may be offered online if restrictions continue into the spring. We are not planning a Community Circle at this time, but hope to host one later in the year when we can safely gather in-person again.

Accommodation & Accessibility

Our team is available to answer questions and to offer support at any time during the application process. Staff can provide feedback up to one week before application deadlines. Please contact your program specialist as early as you can to ensure they can provide the best support possible. Please see the Investment Program FAQs for answers to common questions, and contact the program specialist as early as you can to ensure they can provide the best support possible.

Calgary Arts Development is committed to open, fair, and transparent processes. We will work one-on-one with applicants who experience barriers to develop accommodations that suit their needs. Some examples of accommodations are:

  • Translation of written materials.
  • Interpretation for meetings.
  • Grant writing assistance.
  • Braille transcription.
  • Physical access to meeting spaces.
  • Video or audio applications.

Please note that Calgary Arts Development staff are continuing to work remotely. Contact Sable Sweetgrass, Specialist, Indigenous Programs, at sable.sweetgrass@calgaryartsdevelopment.com with any questions or requests.

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