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Deadline: December 2, 2024 at 11:59 AM

Programming Grants are flexible and support non-profit arts and festival organizations to undertake specific work in Edmonton, such as artistic creation, production, presentation, the support of sectors or artistic disciplines in the Edmonton arts community, or the promotion of active participation in art making.

Organizations may be considered for annual or renewable support from either an Operating Investment or an Annual Programming Grant. The Operating Investment program guidelines are available here.



To be eligible to request and receive an Annual Programming Grant, an applicant must:

  • Be a registered non-profit organization.
  • Undertake specific work within the City of Edmonton such as: Artistic creation, production, presentation, the support of sectors or artistic disciplines in the Edmonton arts community, or the promotion of active participation in art making.
  • Conduct those activities on a regular, recurring basis.
  • Maintain their organizational profile in the Edmonton Arts Council online portal (eac​.smart​sim​ple​.ca).

Programming Grants will not be considered for:

  • Organizations that receive Operating Investments from the EAC (an organization may receive either an Operating Investment or an Annual Programming annually).
  • Activities focused on education, religious outcomes, competitions, demonstrations, street markets, capital construction development, or fundraising.
  • Activities already directly supported by the City of Edmonton.
  • Organizations in arrears with the City of Edmonton.
  • Organizations with overdue EAC reports.

Investment amounts

Programming Grant amounts are flexible and may rise and fall based on activity from year-to-year. New applicants are encouraged to apply. If you are a new applicant and are unsure of your potential grant amount, we would like to speak with you — please contact grants@​edmontonarts.​ca or call (780) 4242787.

Starting an application : Online portal registration

Organizations receiving or seeking renewable Programming Grants must register in the Edmonton Arts Council online portal (eac​.smart​sim​ple​.ca). Registration is a required step that gathers formal information, including basic categorization of mandates and activities. Registration does not guarantee support from the EAC.

The Programming Grant process is managed through information exchanged through the EAC’s online portal (eac​.smart​sim​ple​.ca). For any technical support needs, contact the EAC by emailing support@​edmontonarts.​ca or by phone 7804242787.

Guiding criteria

Organizations that have similar objectives and do similar work will be considered using similar criteria. Not all criteria are equally applicable to every organization.

Guiding criteria can be broken out into the following four categories:

1. Impact on the Artists and Practitioners
2. Impact on the Art Form
3. Impact on Audiences
4. Impact on Communities

Evaluation of the capacity or effectiveness of the organization undertaking the work is not normally required for Programming Grants, except to determine eligibility.


Criteria that guide the understanding of organizations are broken into four areas of impact:

Impact on Artists: Targeted impact on the specific creators and the arts professionals who are doing the work.

  • Relevant for organizations that create/​produce and present artwork, in terms of the quality of the support and engagement with the individual creators, and by extension the resulting quality of that artwork.
  • Relevant for organizations that provide supports and services, in terms of the quality of programming and services, and the reach to Edmonton artists and/​or arts and cultural workers.
  • May also be relevant and measured in terms of the fair remuneration of artists and cultural workers.

Impact on the Artform: Broad impact in terms of contribution to, and development of the artistic discipline

  • Relevant for organizations that create/​produce and present artwork, in terms of the quality of the artwork, its merit and influence on the community of practitioners locally, nationally, or internationally.
  • Relevant for organizations that provide supports and services, in terms of the support, promotion or advancement of a broad artform, sector or community of practice.
  • Relevant for organizations that manage facilities in terms of the accessibility, availability, and capacity of the facility.
  • May also be relevant in terms of an historical body of work and its influence and contribution to an artistic discipline or community of practice.

Impact on Audience(s): Targeted impact in terms of the specific audiences that attend or otherwise engage with presentation of artistic work and/​or attend a festival.

  • Relevant for organizations that present work in terms of quality of work presented, and quality of dissemination methods.
  • Relevant to organizations that seek to gather and develop audiences, in terms of the communication with both known and potential audiences through publicity, promotion, personal contact, technology, and other dissemination, engagement and marketing strategies.
  • May be relevant for organizations that work to expand, or otherwise develop the public’s connection, appreciation, and understanding of art in any form.
  • May be relevant for organizations that manage facilities in terms of the accessibility, availability, and capacity of the facility.
  • May also be relevant and measured in terms of the volume of audience that attends or otherwise engages in the presentation work of an organization.

Impact on Community(ies): Broad impact in terms of the organization’s relationship with and influence on the stakeholders they work with, the people they engage with, and society as a whole.

  • Relevant for organizations that enable active participation in art practice, or engage in community arts practices, in terms of the quality of the programming, artwork, and/​or production process.
  • Relevant for organizations that work to expand, connect, or otherwise advocate on behalf of specific communities in supporting arts practice, participation and contribution to art.
  • May be relevant for organizations that manage facilities in terms of the accessibility, availability and capacity of the facility.
  • Community can be defined geographically, by demographics, heritage and cultural factors, or shared interests including the participation in art practice. Communities can be small, large, local, national or international.


Methods of engagement

To gain an understanding of Annual Programming Grant applicants, the EAC engages with the organization, gathers information and assessments about the impact of the work being performed or delivered, and considers the capacities of the organizations relative to their position in the community. Relationships are renewed and kept current through information sharing, reporting and engagement at regular intervals in multiple formats.

Engagement and assessment are also community-building tools and must be more than an evaluation exercise. Whenever possible, engagement will be approached so that the EAC and the community can connect, develop, share, and otherwise build capacity and resilience in the sector. The EAC is committed to being present in the community, through attendance at events, exhibitions, and performances, to celebrate and engage in the work of the community.

Methods of engagement the EAC may use include:

  • Peer assessment and advice from artists, arts and cultural workers, and other community members with the skills, knowledge and abilities to provide evaluation and context.
  • External evaluation and review of artwork, programming, facilities, finances, artistic and/​or business processes.
  • Formal discussions between organizations and the EAC.
  • Community engagement and discussion sessions facilitated by the EAC.
  • Analysis of statistical and financial information.
  • Surveys, interviews, case studies and other work done by the EAC’s research team to gather qualitative information.

Use of information

Information is gathered in the online portal to guide the EAC towards methods of engagement and information sharing based on the relevant criteria. It contributes to:

  • An understanding of the organization, and its role within the ecosystem.
  • An understanding of the community at large.
  • Measurement of statistical and financial impact.
  • Assessments and evaluations.

The EAC may use all the information available about any one organization and the ecosystem to guide internal decision-making such as investments and other services.

This may include sharing information to coordinate programs with other funding bodies, to assist with research, reporting, program evaluation, or to provide networking and economic opportunities for the intended benefit of the organization and community.

When research is published, individually identifiable or protected data not otherwise publicly available will be anonymized or aggregated.

Written information

Written information will be entered directly in the online system, with word count limits to encourage brevity and clarity.

Organizations seeking or reporting on Programming Grants will provide information about:

  • The work planned and/​or undertaken.
  • The people who lead the organization’s work.
  • How the organization defines the success of this work.
  • The organization’s approach to equity and Indigenous participation in this work (if any).
  • A list of key dates for the coming calendar year, which helps define the volume of work planned.

Financial and statistical information

All organizations seeking and receiving programming grant support must provide specific financial and statistical data based on the template provided. Organizations with more than 15% of their activity taking place outside of the City of Edmonton are asked to report only those expenditures and statistical information relating to their activities in the City of Edmonton. If you are new to this program or your program goals have changed and your organization offers activities outside of the City of Edmonton, please contact us at grants@​edmontonarts.​caIf financial documentation or statistical information is not complete, it may delay or interrupt any funding relationship with the EAC.

A sample template can be found below. 

Supporting materials

Sometimes, there are aspects of an organization’s specific character that are not easily captured in text alone. Organizations have the option to provide supporting materials specific to their organizations. Such supporting materials may include web links (see below), PDFs of communications materials or planning documents, or other audio/​visual materials that will aid in a well-rounded understanding of the organization. We encourage organizations to be respectful of assessors’ time, and to be judicious in the selection of materials shared. Do not upload documents already submitted in your organization profile.

Web links may not connect to sites that require a membership (eg Spotify, Apple Music) or which log information about visitors (eg Google Docs, Dropbox).

Framework and priorities

  • Principles that were the foundation of the Connections & Exchanges plan provide the framework for the Edmonton Arts Council’s investments in the community:
  • Inclusivity that reflects the diverse values of the communities in Edmonton;
  • Leadership, excellence and innovation in the arts and heritage communities;
  • A collective civic responsibility for arts and heritage;
  • Strengthened economic security for arts and heritage;
  • Indigenous peoples have agency in their journeys of revitalizing and participating in traditional, contemporary, and future manifestations of their culture.

Programming Grants will also be guided by:

  • The volume and impact of the organization’s work, based on the relevant assessment criteria.
  • Strategic investment priorities set by the EAC in pursuit of the relevant Aims from Connections & Exchanges.

Decision making

Input and advice of peer assessors and/​or outside experts is the primary source of information about the impact of the work being supported. The amount of activity and work is a key measurement which influences granting.

EAC staff will summarize all the information available when presenting draft granting outcomes to the EAC Board.

Outcomes will be subject to the active review and approval of the EAC’s Board through its various committees.


Programming Grants will be subject to agreement documents, and specific expectations outlined in writing and agreed to before investment is confirmed and forwarded.

Organizations supported by EAC Programming Grants are expected to:

  • Pursue the work described in any information submitted and assessed;
  • Abide by any applicable laws and standards, such as labour regulations, health and safety, human rights and privacy legislation, etc.;
  • Understand and adhere to intellectual property standards, including payment to holders of any intellectual property used by the organization in its activities;
  • Inform the EAC if any legal, financial or other circumstances arise that might threaten the status or reputation of the organization, or the work being supported.

Need help with your application?

For assistance or questions about EAC grants, please contact grants@​edmontonarts.​ca or call (780) 4242787.