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Calgary Arts Development: Operating Grant Program

July 6, 2020 @ 4:30 pm

Operating Grant Program


Operating Grant Increase Deadline: July 6, 2020, 4:30pm MDT
Applications Open: May 25, 2020
Download Guidelines as a PDF

Program Overview

The Operating Grant Program provides stable, predictable funding to arts organizations in Calgary. Operating Grant funds may be allocated to any area of an organization’s budget and are confirmed on a yearly basis upon the receipt of an interim report until the end of 2022.

Please Note: Calgary Arts Development will not be offering the one-time funding program previously known as OG+ to Operating Grant clients in 2020. At this time, no project funding program for operating grant clients are planned for 2021 or 2022. This will be reviewed annually through budget considerations with The City of Calgary.

Program Update

In recognition of the impact, uncertainty, instability, and changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations will now be asked to reflect on the program criteria through the lens of their current state, share frankly about how they have adapted their operational and programmatic approaches, and their current plan and strategy for moving forward.

In the Operating Grant program, the question of strong organizational sustainability and resiliency is one that considers an organization’s capacity to adapt and respond to its environment. Though the context in which investment decisions for the multi-year increases are being made has changed, the intention of the investment has not.

How an organization understands its role in the arts sector and makes decisions demonstrates its capacity to continue contributing to a vibrant, vital city.

Though organizations will not be ‘punished’ for the loss of programming and revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they will be asked to provide up-to-date financial and programming information for the current fiscal year, as well as forecasts and plans for the future. This will allow the assessment committees to understand the current context in which organizations are making decisions and setting goals.

The pool for increases is now $2,500,000, as $500,000 from this program was redirected to short-term organizational relief. With that amount, the likelihood of any organization receiving the top end of their originally published range is extremely low. However, we believe that organizations should still be given the opportunity to make a case for strength and merit and compete for the top of their range.

We have expanded the potential ranges to start from the organization’s current base amount up to the top of each category range. The originally published ranges will be used as the target for grant amounts, but this will allow greater flexibility in applying the proportional distribution formula across the top scoring to the lowest scoring organizations and recognize organizations who make the most exceptional case for increased funding.

This will also allow a degree of ‘one-size-fits-one’ negotiation that may be necessary to recognize the unique and unprecedented circumstances arts organizations find themselves in. For more information about the grant allocation process, please see the Assessment Process section of the guidelines.

We strongly recommend that organizations plan for the low end of their category target range until final notification of this program’s results.

Applications are accepted through the online grant interface. If this is your first time submitting an application on behalf of your organization, please contact grants@calgaryartsdevelopment.com for assistance in getting access to your organizational profile.

Program Eligibility

At this time, Calgary Arts Development will not be offering grants to new organizations through the Operating Grant program between 2020 and 2022, pending budget confirmation from The City of Calgary. Only organizations who received operational funding through the Operating Grant or the Organizational Access Program in 2019 are eligible for this program.

Button to read the funding increase guidelines

Accommodation and Accessibility

Our team is available to answer questions and to offer support at any time during the application process. Staff can provide feedback up to one week before application deadlines. Please contact your program specialist as early as you can to ensure they can provide the best support possible. Please see the program FAQs for answers to common questions, and contact the program specialist as early as you can to ensure they can provide the best support possible.

Calgary Arts Development is committed to open, fair, and transparent processes. We will work one-on-one with applicants who experience barriers to access to develop accommodations that suit their abilities. Some examples of accommodations are:

  • Translation of written materials.
  • Interpretation for meetings.
  • Grant writing assistance.
  • Braille transcription.
  • Video or audio applications.
Reference Documents

Interim Reporting
Operating Grant FAQ

If you have any questions about this program please review the Operating Grant FAQs or contact Marta Ligocki, Specialist, Arts Organizations, at 403.264.5330 ext. 205 or marta.ligocki@calgaryartsdevelopment.com.


July 6, 2020
4:30 pm
Event Category:


Calgary Arts Development
(403) 264-5330
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