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Connections & Exchanges Initiatives

Deadline: May 1, 2024 at 11:59 AM

Program overview

Through the 2024 Connections & Exchanges Initiatives program, the Edmonton Arts Council provides project and initiative funding to organizations to activate the City of Edmonton’s 10-year plan, Connections & Exchanges.

This program invests in new and existing arts and heritage activity, enables resiliency and innovation, invests in collaborations and creations, supports the artistic work of not for profit organizations, and supports the collective responsibility of the arts community for the implementation of Connections & Exchanges.

Connections & Exchanges guides the EAC’s commitment to supporting Indigenous artists and artists from equity-seeking groups. This commitment will inform the assessment, decision, and approval processes. The assessment will be guided by the four principles that underpin the Connections & Exchanges plan:

  • 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; and
  • Strengthened economic security for arts and heritage.


Organizations must:

  • Be a non-profit organization with a primary arts or festival mandate;
  • Have an up-to-date organizational profile in the Edmonton Art’s Council online portal, SmartSimple;
  • Not be in arrears with the City of Edmonton.


  • Relevant to the organization’s mission, mandate, activities or strategic plans;
  • Engage and pay artists and/​or arts professionals fair and professional compensation;
  • Time specific, with a defined start (after the application deadline) and end date;
  • Either a new initiative, or a significant change to an existing activity.


Examples of projects that might fit within the Connections & Exchanges Initiatives Program:

  • A dance organization commissions an emerging choreographer to create a new work for future production/​presentation.
  • An organization supports a tour of landscape themed paintings by local visual artists to various small cities in Alberta. 
  • A community-based choir hosts an established conductor, to guest conduct and offer professional development to the choir members. 
  • A writer support organization establishes a buddy system to provide support for first-time novelists.
  • An Indigenous-led theatre company increases the development, workshop and/​or rehearsal process to incorporate consultations with Elders and Knowledge Keepers.
  • Two Edmonton-based organizations of different disciplines take an already created multidisciplinary work featuring Edmonton artists on tour to central Canada for a week.


This funding opportunity is not intended to support:

  • Direct spending on capital projects or acquisitions;
  • Programming already described in the organization’s most recent annual programming or operating funding submission (if not explicitly being expanded upon, as described in this application);
  • Activity that is already supported by the City of Edmonton through other sources;
  • Any expenses paid before the application deadline.

Application process

The deadline for submissions is May 1 by 11:59 AM.
Please note, the deadline is now 11:59 AM, not PM. Late applications or those that do not include all required information will be considered incomplete and will not be assessed.

Apply through the EAC’s online portal SmartSimple:

Complete (or update) an organizational profile in the online portal eac​.smart​sim​ple​.ca.

Once a profile has been submitted, the Connections & Exchanges Initiatives 2024 application form is made available in SmartSimple under the Open Opportunities” icon. If the organization already has a profile, the Connections & Exchanges Initiatives 2024 application will be available at least 30 days before the application deadline.

Assessment & reporting


Once a Connections & Exchanges initiative is submitted, EAC staff will internally review the proposal to examine: 

  • Alignment with the aims of the Connections & Exchanges plan; 
  • The organization’s impact on Edmonton communities; 
  • The degree to which the activity expands upon existing programming.

A peer assessment panel will provide assessment, context, and recommendations to the EAC Board and its various committees. 


Assessment will be based on all the text in these guidelines, and on: 

  • The merit and clarity of the ideas and goals being proposed; 
  • The ability of the organization to complete the initiative; 
  • The feasibility of the timeline and budget proposed; 
  • The overall alignment of the proposal with the goals of the Edmonton Arts Council, the City of Edmonton or other partners or stakeholders.

Investment decisions will primarily be informed by peer assessment, subject to review and final approval by the EAC Board of Directors. Decisions by the EAC Board through this process are final. 


Organizations that receive funding through this opportunity will be required to submit a report on the initiative that they undertook. Applicants will be expected to assess the outcomes of the project with respect to the goals articulated in their application, as well as account for the actual spending of budgets. Reports are to be completed in the SmartSimple portal and will be available after the completion of the project, as stated in the application timeline.

Support for applicants


The EAC offers an opportunity for organizations to have their draft application reviewed before the deadline. The review process could include:

  • Clarifying the intentions of the initiative, in alignment with the Connections & Exchanges 10-year plan Aims.
  • Help to clarify an initiative’s outcomes or goals in relationship with the organization’s programming/​planning.
  • Reviewing budgets and support materials.
  • If you would like someone to review your draft application with you, please email no later than 5 business days before the application deadline. Requests for review made after this time may not be possible.

Email us for assistance at grants@​edmontonarts.​ca

application specifics

Application specifics


  • A project title;
  • A short project description (30 words);
  • Project start and end date;

*Project start date must be after the application deadline.


This information will be directly imported into your application from your organization’s profile in SmartSimple. Please ensure your organization’s profile is up-to-date and submitted before completing your application.

  • Organization’s operating or event name – the name that you use publicly as an organization if different than your organization’s legal name; 
  • Organization’s primary and secondary practice – the main artistic practices in which the organization has the most experience and focus. These may be different than the main artistic practice(s) of this specific application; 
  • Organization’s purpose and mission – Purpose of organization as defined in your mission, mandate goals or other strategic statements; 
  • Organization’s social media and/​or web links – these links are used by the assessors as additional information on your professional artistic practice. Please only include public links to information that will support your application.


  • Grant amount requested (up to $25,000);
  • Project primary practice (drop down menu);
  • Project secondary practice (check all that apply);
  • This program is intended to support organizations’ initiatives in relation to the City of Edmonton’s Connections & Exchanges 10-year plan. Please select the Aim from the plan that best aligns with the organization’s proposed project (drop down menu);
  • Describe the project’s desired impacts on the arts ecosystem and Edmonton as a whole.


  • Describe the project (500 words);
  • Primary and secondary goal or outcome of the work you plan to do (drop down menus);
  • Describe the goals and motivations of the project and the organization’s plans to measure the pursuit of those goals (250 words);
  • Provide a project plan, including a clear timeline (250 words);
  • List the artists and/​or arts professionals involved in the project, and their roles;
  • Describe the project’s desired impacts on the named participating artists and/​or arts professionals;
  • Describe the project’s desired impacts on the organization’s mission, mandate, activities and/​or strategic goals;
  • If you receive Programming or Operating funding from the EAC, describe how this project is outside the current scope of organizational activities as identified in your Active grant. Provide details on the intended new or expanded outcomes resulting from this project (250 words);
  • Other information not already shared.


A balanced budget that shows:

  • Revenues (including the amount requested in this grant application);
  • Expenses to pursue the project.

This information will be entered directly into the online form. Use the notes” section of each line to identify or explain each revenue and expense.

If you incorporate in-kind expenses and revenues, they should be labelled as such and must balance.


An organization may request up to $25,000 in support through this program.

Expenses eligible in this opportunity may include:

  • Paying professional artists and/​or arts professionals at a professional rate;
  • Production/​presentation costs;
  • Expenses related to marketing, communications and dissemination;
  • Travel and/​or our touring expenses;
  • Up to 25% of the total grant amount request for itemized overhead costs in support of the initiative.


To support your application, organizations may upload up to 10 audio/​visual/​PDF files and up to 5 direct links to external websites related to your proposed project.

  • These must include samples of your artistic work, but may also be letters of support, reviews, interviews, etc; 
  • For each supporting material uploaded, you are required to provide a description of the material which could include creation date, medium, location, names of artists, etc.
  • Uploaded video or audio files should total no more than 10 minutes in length, and all files should be less than 2GB in size. Uploads are preferable to links whenever possible, so that access for accessors is as simple as possible
  • Links must be direct and public. These links should go directly to the support material specified, rather than to a landing page or home page requiring further navigation by assessors.
  • Please do not submit images as PDF files, rather directly upload images in JPEG or PNG format.


The following data will be entered into a fillable form. Please identify the anticipated numbers, if applicable:

  • Number of Edmontonian artists/​arts workers participating in this project;
  • Number of Edmontonian artists/​arts workers being paid or receiving subsistence costs from the EAC for this project;
  • Number of artists/​arts workers not in Edmonton being paid for work on this project;
  • Number of Edmonton audience members engaging with this project;
  • Number of audience members outside Edmonton engaging with this project;
  • Number of public events (such as performances) anticipated;
  • A categorization of your project (select all that apply).

Organizations who receive funding through this opportunity will be required to submit accurate numbers with their final report post project completion.

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Need help with your application?

For an overview of the EAC’s funding process, visit our Funding FAQ.

If you have questions about the SmartSimple registration process, contact ⁠support@​edmontonarts.​ca.

For information or clarification on any aspect of your application, call 7804242787 or contact grants@​edmontonarts.​ca