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Deadline: June 15 at 11:59 PM

Through the 2023 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.

Approximately $800,000 is budgeted for this program in 2023.


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.

Application Process

The deadline for submissions is June 15 by 11:59 p.m. Late applications or those that do not include all required information will be considered incomplete and will not be assessed. 

Edmonton Arts Council’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 2023 application form is made available in SmartSimple under the Open Opportunities” icon. If the organization already has a profile, the Connections & Exchanges Initiatives 2023 application will be available at least 30 days before the application deadline.

If you have questions about SmartSimple, please contact support@​edmontonarts.​ca.

Draft Application Assistance

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 grants@​edmontonarts.​ca no later than 5 business days before the application deadline. Requests for review made after this time may not be possible. 


Organizations who receive funding through this opportunity will be required to submit a report on the initiative that they undertook, in alignment with the size and scope of the project.

What initiatives are eligible?

Eligible initiatives must be: 

  • 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 and end date;
  • Either a new initiative by an organization, or a significant augmentation/​alteration of an existing activity.

What is a good fit?

Here are a few 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.
  • Two music companies co-produce a work by an Edmonton-based music ensemble.
  • 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.
  • A theatre company increasing the development, workshop and/​or rehearsal process of an already announced new work for their upcoming season.
  • Two Edmonton-based organizations of different disciplines take an already created multidisciplinary work featuring Edmonton artists on tour to central Canada for a week.

What is not supported?

This funding opportunity is not intended to support: 

  • Direct spending on capital projects or acquisitions;
  • Programming already described in the 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.

Assessment criteria

The assessment will be guided by the four principles that underpin the Connections & Exchanges 10-year 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. 

Assessment will be based on all the text in these guidelines, and on the initiative’s impact on: 

  • The organization’s pursuit of its mission, mandate and/​or strategic plans; 
  • the artists and arts professionals involved in the initiative; 
  • The arts ecosystem and Edmonton as a whole, including reference to the Aim selected from the Connections & Exchanges 10-year plan.

Assessment process

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. 

Once a C&E initiative is submitted, EAC staff will internally review the proposal’s alignment with:

  • the aims of the Connections & Exchanges plan;
  • the organization’s capacity to carry out the proposed activity; and
  • the degree to which activity expands upon existing programming.

A peer assessment panel will provide assessment, context, and recommendations to the EAC Board and its various committees. Assessors will consider the capacity of the organization to complete the project, and the clarity and feasibility of the timeline and budget. Investment decisions will be primarily 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. 

Allowable expenses

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

Expenses eligible in this opportunity may include: 

  • Paying 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 


General information

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

*Project start date must be after the application deadline.

The following information will be directly imported to your application from the Organizational Profile in SmartSimple. Please make sure this information is up-to-date and the profile is submitted before completing your application:

  • Organization’s primary artistic practice;
  • Organization’s secondary artistic practice;
  • Purpose of organization as defined in your mission, mandate goals or other strategic statements;
  • Links to website and social media pages.

Project details

  • Grant amount requested (up to $25000);
  • 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.

Project description

  • Describe the project (500 words);
  • Describe the goals and motivations of the project and the organization 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 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.

Supporting material

Organizations may wish to include supporting materials showing work related to this opportunity. This may include audio/​visual, links and/​or PDF files. 

For each supporting material uploaded, you are asked to provide a description of the material which could include creation date, medium, location, names of artists, etc. Uploaded video or audio files should be under 10 minutes long, 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. 

Do not use online portals that require an account to access, or file sharing sites (for example: Spotify, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.). This is to preserve the privacy of and accessibility to assessors. 

Project data collection

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.

Start application

Online application portal

Need help with your application?

Contact us with any questions, including draft review by an EAC staff member.

To review your draft application, email grants@​edmontonarts.​ca or call 7804242787 no later than 10 days before the application deadline.