What Makes a Great Nomination Package?

As artists and nominators prepare to submit applications for the Cultural Leaders Legacy Artist Awards, many have asked: What makes a great nomination package? How do I ensure that my package stands out and is a strong competitor?

We went to past jury members to ask what they looked for. Read on for tips on how 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 and 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 and 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.

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 awards@calgaryartsdevelopment.com.
  • 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 and what you plan to do with the award money.

  • 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.

Need more info? Check our Cultural Leaders Legacy Artist Awards FAQ or or contact Kaley Beisiegel, Engagement Consultant, at kaley.beisiegel@calgaryartsdevelopment.com or 403.264.5330 ext. 214.