Grant Name: Professional Performing Arts Organizations Operating Funding





November 1, 2022


This grant provides funding in three-year cycles to eligible professional organizations that self-create and self-produce performing art productions.


Eligible Applicants

To be eligible for Professional Performing Arts Organizations operating funding, you must:

  • have public performing arts programming as your organization’s principal mandate as stated in its incorporation documents
  • engage in on-going development, implementation and promotion of performing arts programming as its core primary activity in an annual program or full season of professional self-created and self-produced work for public presentation
  • employ at least one full-time equivalent administrative and/or artistic staff member for the minimum duration of your programming season

Your organization must:

  • be a not-for-profit organization
  • be registered and in good standing under the appropriate legislation and have been in operation in Alberta for at least three years
  • have at least 50% of the organization’s board members living in Alberta
  • pay a ‘fee for service’ at minimum industry standard rates (such as a union or nationally recognized rate) to at least 75% of the artists involved in the organization’s performance program for all performances
  • demonstrate the ability to operate using good governance principles, effective administration practices, and a commitment to fiscal responsibility while maintaining an artistic mandate
  • operate as a stand-alone arts organization at arms-length from municipalities, commercial enterprises, or organizations and institutions receiving annual operating funds from the Government of Alberta or its affiliates
  • comply with all Canadian Arts Database (CADAC) financial and statistical data requirements
  • have a board-approved cash reserve policy

 Ineligible Applicants

Organizations that engage primarily in competition-based activity are not eligible for AFA funding.

Organizations can only receive operating funding from one AFA grant program.

First-Time Applicants

Eligible first-time applicants are accepted only at the beginning of each three-year cycle.

If this is your organization’s first application for Professional Performing Arts Organizations operating funding, you must contact us at least three months before the deadline for a preliminary eligibility assessment to ensure your organization meets the eligibility criteria.

As a first-time applicant, your organization must have met all eligibility requirements for the three annual fiscal periods prior to application. You must also provide board-approved financial statements that demonstrate the organization has positive net assets and has been operating with no annual deficit for each of these three fiscal periods.

How to Apply?

We only accept applications through the Grant Administration Tracking and Evaluation (GATE) online application system.

We must receive your online application through GATE no later than 11:59 pm Mountain Time on the deadline date, unless the deadline falls on a statutory holiday or a weekend when it will be extended until the next working day. Please give the system time to process your application so that the AFA receives notification of your submission before the deadline falls.

First-time applicants

First-time applicants will require a GATE username and password. Contact us via email at least five business days prior to the application deadline.

Please include:

  1. the contact name of the individual responsible for preparing your application
  2. the legal name of your organization
  3. the contact person’s email address

The GATE username and password will be sent to the email address provided.

What to include in your application

For detailed step-by-step instructions, please download the GATE user guide for this funding opportunity.

GATE online forms:

  • an Application Contact List which designates one contact as your organization’s primary contact and Signing Authority for this application
  • your organization’s street address and mailing address
  • your organization’s registration details, including legal name, Alberta Registration number and incorporation date
  • CADAC number for your organization’s last three years of financial and statistical data
  • an Organization Applicant Agreement, which must be agreed to by your organization’s Signing Authority
  • a current board list which includes names and titles, mailing addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses and start dates for all current members
  • a completed Community Derived Revenue Calculation form, using the data from the corresponding lines from CADAC
  • a completed Diligence Questionnaire


Attachments must be developed prior to application, using either original documents specific to your organization or preformatted AFA templates, and uploaded to your online GATE submission.

You’ll be required to complete and upload the following attachments:

  • a current, board-approved business or strategic plan
  • a listing of planned activities for the coming year
  • your most recent annual financial statements including Balance Sheet, Statement of Revenues and Expenditures, and Statement of Cash Flows
  • a confirmation of your organization’s most recent annual return from Alberta Corporate Registry
  • a current list of your organization’s core staffs and their positions
  • a copy of your organization’s Cash Reserve Policy

Cash Reserve Policy requirements

Your organization’s submitted Cash Reserve Policy must:

  • be approved by your organization’s board of Directors
  • establish a base Cash Reserve amount as a percentage of your organization’s annual operating expenditure and provide a rationale for that base amount
  • outline that the Cash Reserve be clearly identified on your organization’s annual financial statement
  • define the Cash Reserve as an unencumbered, restricted cash account that can only be accessed upon a resolution of your organization’s board of Directors, approved by a majority vote
  • outline that the Cash Reserve funds may only be used to temporarily finance unforeseen operating deficits
  • outline that funds removed from the Cash Reserve must be replenished within three fiscal years from the end of the fiscal year in which the Cash Reserve funds were utilized
  • outline that the base Cash Reserve amount, once approved by the AFA, may not be reduced without prior approval by the AFA

We strongly encourage all organizations to strive for a cash reserve of no less than 10% of your organization’s average annual operating expenditures. However, we recognize that individual organizations have unique operating requirements. In considering the savings target for the Cash Reserve, your organization’s board of Directors is expected to consider its own operating requirements and determine an appropriate target which may be more or less than 10% of average annual operating expenditures.

Eligible organizations in this funding opportunity are encouraged to consult department staff as they develop the Cash Reserve Policy and associated plan for implementation.

Funding Amount

Based on individual applications

Contact Information

Jason Flammia, Arts Development Consultant – Music
T: 780-415-0297

Processing Fee



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