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Equity & Access in the Arts

Deadline: June 17, 2024 at 11:59 AM

Program overview

The Equity & Access in the Arts program is one of the ways the Edmonton Arts Council pursues our commitments to increasing support for artists and arts professionals from Indigenous and equity-seeking communities as outlined in Connections & Exchanges: A 10-Year Plan To Transform Arts & Heritage in Edmonton.

The purpose of the program is to invest in a thriving and diverse arts community in Edmonton by supporting Edmonton based artists and collectives from communities that face barriers to access. This includes, but is not limited to, groups whose members are treated differently because of systemic barriers that disadvantage people based on their Indigenous heritage, racialized backgrounds, identifying as Deaf or having a disability, sexual orientation and gender identity, and/​or immigration status.

The EAC’s Equity & Access in the Arts grant has three distinct streams, which each have their own evaluation criteria and assessment process. 

Eligibility

ELIGIBILITY FOR INDIVIDUALS & COLLECTIVES

Individuals must:

  • Have an existing and committed practice in any arts discipline (including but not limited to customary and contemporary Indigenous or other cultural work) or have a history of other professional activity in the arts sector;
  • Be 18 years of age or older;
  • Be a resident of the Edmonton / amiskwaciy- waskâhikan region at the time of the application and for the duration of the project. This region includes the City of Edmonton and the Indigenous communities of Enoch Cree Nation, Alexander First Nation, Paul First Nation and Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation (artists may be asked to provide proof of residency);
  • Be a Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident, or have a valid open work permit.
  • An individual or collective may receive one grant from this program annually from January to December.
  • Individuals or collectives who have overdue Edmonton Arts Council final reports will not be eligible.

Collectives also must:

  • Have a majority of members who are eligible individuals as described above; and
  • Have one individual (the primary applicant) apply on behalf of the collective.

WHAT ELSE TO CONSIDER WHEN APPLYING

  • The EAC will accept only one submission per applicant, per deadline.
  • An individual may be a part of more than one collective.
  • An individual who is part of more than one collective may not be the primary applicant on more than one application.
  • Eligible applicants for an Individuals & Collectives grant who have experienced systemic barriers can receive funding from both Individuals & Collectives and Equity & Access in the same calendar year. This is an effort by the EAC to re-balance historic inequities in these areas.
  • However, eligible applicants who apply to both Individuals & Collectives and Equity & Access cannot apply with the same project/​work or receive funding for the same project/​work.

WHAT IS NOT SUPPORTED BY THIS PROGRAM

  • Advanced education, such as would lead to a degree or diploma.
  • Projects that primarily benefit an organization rather than an individual or collective.
  • Costs already supported by the EAC through other programs.
  • Activities or costs that occurred before the application deadline.

Support for applicants

ACCESS SUPPORT

Those facing barriers while completing their application may be eligible for Access Support. A barrier can include but is not limited to, language, culture, physical or cognitive limitations, or any inequity that may complicate completing an application. This support provides funding for specialized assistance in conveying the artists’ ideas. This could include hiring a typist, interpreter, translator, or other type of support worker to help with submitting a clear application that accurately reflects the artist’s ideas and intentions.

Normally, professional grant writers are not supported by this program unless they are assisting the artist with a specific barrier. Eligible assistance will be supported up to $500.

DRAFT APPLICATION ASSISTANCE 

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

  • Clarifying which stream best aligns with your project’s goals and outcomes.
  • Help to define the intentions and outcomes of your grant application.
  • Reviewing budgets and support materials.

If you would like someone to review your draft application with you, please email no later than 10 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 process

Apply through the EAC’s online portal SmartSimple:

Complete (or update) an individual profile in the online portal eac​.smart​sim​ple​.ca. This is required by whoever is submitting the application (the primary applicant).

If the application is for a collective, all named members of the collective based in Edmonton will need individual profiles in SmartSimple by the application deadline.

Once a profile has been made, the Equity & Access in the Arts grant application form is made available in SmartSimple under the​“Open Opportunities” icon. If the applicant already has a profile, the Equity & Access application will be visible a minimum of 30 days before the application deadline.

Assessment & reporting

ASSESSMENT PROCESS

First, the Arts Development and Investment team ensures the submitted applications meet the program’s eligibility criteria and are complete. Then a panel of diverse, knowledgeable members from the artistic community will review the applications and conduct a peer assessment. Applications are evaluated by the criteria listed in the guidelines for each grant.

This process will take 12 to 16 weeks. Thank you for your patience!

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

Applicants who receive funding through this grant opportunity will be required to submit a report on the work that they undertook. For applications connected to a specific project, the applicant will be expected to assess the outcomes of the project with respect to the goals that they articulated in their application, as well as account for the actual spending of budgets.

Stream 1: Exploration & Experimentation

Stream 1 supports an Individual artist to work on creation, experimentation, or research activities. Grant amounts are fixed at $5,000 to support subsistence and any additional costs to the individual while they take the time to pursue artistic work.

About Stream 1

WHAT STREAM 1 SUPPORTS

Stream 1 supports an individual artist in the creation, research, development, and revision of work, by financially supporting the artist to dedicate time to that work.

The applicant must present an overall direction for what artistic goals they intend to pursue. There should not be a commitment to a specific production, presentation, or dissemination of any resulting work. While an application to this stream does not need to be for new work, it must meaningfully expand the process or goals of the work proposed.

Grants in Stream 1 are fixed at $5,000 to support the artist’s living expenses and any additional costs while they pursue their artistic work.

WHAT ISGOOD FIT

Examples of work that might fit within Stream 1:

  • An Indigenous musician wishes to research and document their community’s traditions and protocols as they consider how to integrate them into future composition and performance work.
  • A documentary filmmaker is considering the evolving use of land expropriation in western Canada. They are researching the nature of existing laws, and shaping their understanding of the issues surrounding this law to inform a future film project.
  • A choreographer wants to research and explore new movement vocabulary on a dancer in preparation for the development of a new work.
  • A visual artist whose existing practice is focused on encaustic painting wants to experiment with the addition of mud and other found materials into their work.
  • A playwright wishes to spend creative time on the second draft of their current play based on a Middle Ages myth.

WHAT IS NOT SUPPORTED

Stream 1 is not intended to support live production or presentation costs of any kind.

  • Examples of ineligible production costs include printing a musical album, publishing a completed novel, or printing tickets for an event.
  • Examples of ineligible presentation costs include technical rentals for a theatre show, artistic fees for singers to perform a new choral work, or marketing and promotional fees for a new collective.

Applicants with proposals for receiving mentorship, attending residencies or professional development should submit to Stream 2. Applicants with work that is materially ready for production or presentation should submit to Stream 3.

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

Assessment will be based on what’s outlined in these guidelines, as well as:

  • The artistic merit of the individual’s existing body of work (50% weight);
  • The artistic merit and clarity of the idea(s) and process(es) proposed for exploration (50% weight).

Please note that neither a budget nor a detailed timeline is required for this stream, and will not be assessed if submitted.

Application specifics

GENERAL INFORMATION REQUIRED

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

* Project start date must be after the application deadline.

SMARTSIMPLE PROFILE INFORMATION

The information in the Artist Background section will be directly imported into your application from the primary applicant’s individual profile in SmartSimple. Please ensure your profile is up-to-date and submitted before completing your application.

  • Artist name – the name that you use publicly as an artist if different than your preferred name;
  • Artist primary and secondary practice – the primary applicants’ main artistic practices in which they have the most experience. These may be different than the main artistic practice(s) of this specific application;
  • Artist statement – a description of your existing artistic practice which may include major influences, disciplines, cultural practices and/​or lived experience (250 words);
  • Artist biography – a summary of your life and career highlights, and education relevant to your practice (250 words);
  • Artist CV/​Resume – artistic work history or comparable (PDF, recommended maximum of 4 pages);
  • 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.

PROJECT DETAILS

  • Grant amount requested (fixed at $5,000);
  • Project primary practice (drop down menu);
  • Project secondary practice (check all that apply).

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

  • A categorization of your project (drop down menu);
  • The primary goal or outcome of the work you plan to do (drop down menu);
  • The secondary goal or outcome of the work you plan to do (drop down menu);
  • A description of the goals you plan to pursue with the support of this grant (250 words);
  • A description of the types of activities that you will undertake with the support of this grant in relation to your goals – which may include work in studio, research, exploration in the field, etc (250 words);
  • The desired impact of the proposed work on your artistic practice (250 words);
  • Other information not already shared (250 words).

BUDGET (ONLY REQUIRED FOR STREAM 2 & 3)

The value of grants in Stream 1 is fixed at $5,000 to support the artist’s living expenses and any additional costs while they pursue their artistic work.

Please note that neither a budget nor a detailed timeline is required for this stream, and will not be assessed if submitted.

SUPPORTING MATERIAL

To support your application, you 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 assessors 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 provide links that go through file sharing sites, such as Spotify, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc., or online portals that require an account to access. This is for the privacy of assessors, as well as to have direct access.
  • Please do not submit images as PDF files, rather directly upload images in JPEG or PNG format.

Stream 2: Skills & Career Development

Stream 2 supports receiving mentorship, attending a residency, or other forms of professional development for artists and arts professionals. Projects may be individual or collective, and grants are available up to $10,000 based on projected expenses, including artist subsistence.

About Stream 2

WHAT STREAM 2 SUPPORTS

Stream 2 is intended to support receiving mentorship, attending a residency, or other forms of professional development for artists and arts professionals. Projects may be individual or collective, and grants are available up to $10,000 based on projected expenses, including artist subsistence. It is not necessary for an application to Stream 2 to be connected to a specific work, but receiving mentorship, attending a residency or professional development may be directed towards potential future work.

Applicants may request up to $10,000 based on the anticipated costs of the project, including artist subsistence.

WHAT ISGOOD FIT

Examples of work that might fit within the Skills & Career Development stream:

  • A costume designer is receiving mentorship from an international designer known primarily for their work on large-scale period pieces.
  • An Indigenous improv trio plans to learn how to record and shape their own web series. They propose working with a named expert who will teach them the appropriate skills, and include the purchase of some recording equipment.
  • A literary agent and manager wishing to enroll in a conference focusing on methods of maximizing sales on online platforms.
  • A sculptor seeking to incorporate arc welding into their practice wants to take a beginner’s course at NAIT. They include the fees for the course, as well as equipment to continue the work.
  • A collective of dancers plans to attend a week-long residency focusing on new movement techniques and choreographic approaches. They include costs for travel and accommodations.

WHAT IS NOT SUPPORTED

Stream 2 is not intended to support research, exploration and experimentation, or work that is materially ready for production and/​or presentation.

  • An example of an ineligible activity is researching local history for a new novel.
  • Examples of ineligible presentation costs include technical rentals for a theatre show, artistic fees for singers to perform a new choral work, or marketing/​promotional fees for a new collective

Applications with proposals for research, exploration and experimentation should submit to Stream 1.

Applications with work materially ready for production or presentation should submit to Stream 3.

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

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

  • The merit of the individual or collective’s existing body of work (33% weight);
  • How the project will expand the individual or collective’s abilities, including progress towards the goals for the project (33% weight);
  • The capacity for the individual or collective to carry out the proposed project, and the clarity and feasibility of the budget and timeline (33% weight).

ELIGIBLE EXPENSES

Eligible expenses in this stream may include:

  • Artist subsistence (living expenses) OR professional artistic fees/​wages for the individual or named collective members during the process;*
  • Professional standard rates for fees and wages for mentors and educators;
  • Registration fees for specific professional development opportunities (please note that the EAC does not support advanced education, such as would lead to a degree or diploma);
  • Courses that take place online or in-person, tools, software, materials, mentorship, training or collaboration;
  • Equipment required for work proposed;
  • and travel costs incurred while attending professional development outside of Edmonton.

    * The EAC fixes subsistence requests at $500 per week to cover living expenses while the individual or collective members pursue the project.

    * Individuals or collectives can apply for artist subsistence OR professional artistic wages/​fees, but not both.

Application specifics

GENERAL INFORMATION REQUIRED

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

* Project start date must be after the application deadline.

SMARTSIMPLE PROFILE INFORMATION

The information in the Artist Background section will be directly imported into your application from the primary applicant’s individual profile in SmartSimple. Please ensure your profile is up-to-date and submitted before completing your application.

  • Artist name – the name that you use publicly as an artist if different than your preferred name;
  • Artist primary and secondary practice – the primary applicants’ main artistic practices in which they have the most experience. These may be different than the main artistic practice(s) of this specific application;
  • Artist statement – a description of your existing artistic practice which may include major influences, disciplines, cultural practices and/​or lived experience (250 words);
  • Artist biography – a summary of your life and career highlights, and education relevant to your practice (250 words);
  • Artist CV/​Resume – artistic work history or comparable (PDF, recommended maximum of 4 pages);
  • 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.

PROJECT DETAILS

  • Grant amount requested (up to $10,000);
  • Project primary practice (drop-down menu);
  • Project secondary practice (check all that apply);
  • Contact details for collective member(s) if applicable (fillable table);
  • Collective member(s) artist CV/​resume* if applicable;
  • Contact details of mentors, Elders, or Knowledge Keepers if applicable (fillable table);
  • CV/​resume/​biography of the mentors, Elders, or Knowledge Keepers if applicable*;
  • The names and roles of everyone involved in the project, including collective members, mentors, Elders, Knowledge Keepers and/​or other project collaborators (250 words).

* Which may include artistic work history, biography, personal narrative, or comparable (PDF, recommended 2 pages)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

  • A categorization of your project (drop down menu);
  • A categorization of how you will pursue your project (drop down menu);
  • A description of your project (250 words);
  • The goals and motivations for the project, and how you plan to measure your pursuit of those goals (250 words);
  • A project plan including a clear timeline (250 words);
  • The desired impact of the project on the work of the individual or collective (250 words);
  • Other information not already shared (250 words).

BUDGET

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.

SUPPORTING MATERIAL

To support your application, you 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 (and/​or the artistic work of the collective), but may also be letters of support, reviews, interviews, budget related quotes, 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 provide links that go through file sharing sites, such as Spotify, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc., or online portals that require an account to access. This is for the privacy of assessors, as well as to have direct access.
  • Please do not submit images as PDF files, rather directly upload images in JPEG or PNG format.

Stream 3: Artist-Driven Major Projects

Stream 3 supports artistic projects ready for implementation, production and/​or presentation. This can include support for creation, subsistence, travel and/​or mentorship. Projects may be individual or collective, and grants will be available up to $25,000 based on projected expenses, including artist subsistence.

About Stream 3

WHAT STREAM 3 SUPPORTS

Stream 3 supports artistic projects ready for implementation. This can include production and/​or presentation, creation directly for production and/​or presentation, subsistence for individual or collective creation, and may include travel and/​or mentorship when the primary focus of the project is production and/​or presentation.

Applications to Stream 3 should be connected to specific work, with the intention of production and/​or presentation of that work. Applicants should only consider production or presentation once the major artistic and logistic decisions relating to a project have been made.

Applicants may request up to $25,000 based on the anticipated costs of the project, including artist subsistence.

WHAT ISGOOD FIT

Examples of Artist-Driven Major Projects might include:

  • A visual artist plans to 3D print a thousand magpies, each in a slightly different pose, and has permission to install them along the railing of the High Level Bridge for a summer.
  • A collective of capoeira dance artists seek to develop and present a new work designed to be performed as part of a presentation series.
  • An illustrator and writer team collaborate on completing and self-publishing a graphic novel telling the experience of an immigrant family learning to integrate into a Terwillegar neighbourhood.
  • A contemporary string quartet works as a collective to compose, rehearse, and record an album. They include costs for studio time, production/​engineering, mixing and mastering.
  • A game designer seeks funds to prototype character and setting design for their new cooperative game.

WHAT IS NOT SUPPORTED

Stream 3 is not intended to support research, exploration and experimentation, or mentorship, residencies and professional development not specifically connected to the production and/​or presentation.

  • Examples of ineligible activities include researching local history for a new novel or learning a new software program for music production.
  • Examples of ineligible professional development include a collective of dancers attending a residency, or visual artists working with a mentor to learn a new style of painting technique.

Applications with proposals for research, exploration and experimentation should submit to Stream 1.

Applications with proposals for receiving mentorship, attending residencies or professional development should submit to Stream 2.

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

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

  • The merit of the individual or collective’s existing body of work in the field (33% weight);
  • The artistic merit and clarity of the project proposed (33% weight);
  • The capacity of the individual or collective to complete the project, and the clarity and feasibility of the timeline and budget (33% weight).

ELIGIBLE EXPENSES

Eligible expenses in this stream may include:

  • Artist subsistence (living expenses) OR professional artistic fees/​wages for the individual or named collective members during the process;*
  • Professional standard rates for fees and wages for mentors and project collaborators;
  • Equipment or material costs relevant to the project, (rental or purchase, if economical);
  • Venue rental;
  • Expenses related to marketing, communications, and dissemination;
  • Travel costs related to the project, if applicable (accommodations, travel outside Edmonton, per diems, etc).

* The EAC fixes subsistence requests at $500 per week to cover living expenses while the individual or collective members pursue the project.

* Individuals or collectives can apply for artist subsistence OR professional artistic wages/​fees, but not both.

Application specifics

GENERAL INFORMATION REQUIRED

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

* Project start date must be after the application deadline.

SMARTSIMPLE PROFILE INFORMATION

The information in the Artist Background section will be directly imported into your application from the primary applicant’s individual profile in SmartSimple. Please ensure your profile is up-to-date and submitted before completing your application.

  • Artist name – the name that you use publicly as an artist if different than your preferred name;
  • Artist primary and secondary practice – the primary applicants’ main artistic practices in which they have the most experience. These may be different than the main artistic practice(s) of this specific application;
  • Artist statement – a description of your existing artistic practice which may include major influences, disciplines, cultural practices and/​or lived experience (250 words);
  • Artist biography – a summary of your life and career highlights, and education relevant to your practice (250 words);
  • Artist CV/​Resume – artistic work history or comparable (PDF, recommended maximum of 4 pages);
  • 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.

PROJECT DETAILS

  • Grant amount requested (up to $25,000);
  • Project primary practice (drop down menu);
  • Project secondary practice (check all that apply);
  • Contact details for collective member(s) if applicable (fillable table);
  • Collective member(s) artist CV/​resume* if applicable;
  • Contact details of mentors, Elders, or Knowledge Keepers if applicable (fillable table);
  • CV/​resume/​biography of the mentors, Elders, or Knowledge Keepers if applicable*;
  • The names and roles of everyone involved in the project, including collective members, mentors, Elders, Knowledge Keepers and/​or other project collaborators (250 words).

* Which may include artistic work history, biography, personal narrative, or comparable (PDF, recommended 2 pages)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

  • A categorization of your project (drop down menu);
  • A description of your project (500 words);
  • The primary goal or outcome of the project (drop down menu);
  • The secondary goal or outcome of the project (drop down menu);
  • The goals and motivations for the project, and how you plan to measure your pursuit of those goals (250 words);
  • A project plan including a clear timeline (250 words);
  • The desired impact of the project on the work of the individual or collective (250 words);
  • Other information not already shared (250 words).

BUDGET

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.

SUPPORTING MATERIAL

To support your application, you 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 (and/​or the artistic work of the collective), but may also be letters of support, reviews, interviews, budget related quotes, 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.

Do not provide links that go through file sharing sites, such as Spotify, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc., or online portals that require an account to access. This is for the privacy of assessors, as well as to have direct access.

Please DO NOT submit images as PDF files, rather directly upload images in JPEG or PNG format.

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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.