Artists and Arts Organizations from across Alberta to Benefit from $2 Million in New Funds

by NationTalk on April 14, 20081050 Views

Ottawa, April 14, 2008 – More than 100 artists and arts organizations in 11 Alberta communities will share a total of $2 million through the Alberta Creative Development Initiative (ACDI), a new program designed to support the development of the arts in Alberta.The funding will go to 90 artists and 24 arts organizations in communities throughout the province including Banff, Calgary, Camrose, Canmore, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge,
Medicine Hat, Peace River, Red Deer and Wetaskiwin, as well as to several Albertans currently living outside the province. This is the first round of funding under the new $6 million program, which was announced last year.

The Canada Council for the Arts and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) each committed $1 million per year for three years to the initiative. Both organizations are jointly responsible for the program and work in collaboration with the Calgary Arts Development Authority and the Edmonton Arts Council.

Grants were awarded to a wide range of artists and arts organizations from writers, dancers, filmmakers and visual artists to festivals, theatre companies and art galleries. Over 400 artists, arts administrators and organizations applied to the first deadline of the program; more than two-thirds had not previously applied for Canada Council funding.

“We are very encouraged by the strong response we received to this program from all corners of the province,” said Canada Council Director Robert Sirman. “ACDI is a ground-breaking partnership that will nourish the creative vitality of Alberta, and in turn, the creative vitality of Canada as a whole.”

“The arts, in all its forms, significantly contribute to our quality of life and help create a healthy and balanced society,” said Lindsay Blackett, Minister of Culture and Community Spirit. “The Government of Alberta is a proud partner in this initiative and through our new Cultural Policy, is committed to continuing to look for collaborative and innovative partnerships like this one to further support our arts and cultural community.”

“The AFA is committed to encouraging the shared interests of arts organizations and arts funders,” said Audrey Luft, Chair of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. “ACDI is proving that creative programs attract creative responses from the arts community. We’re thrilled to see that so many Alberta artists who have never applied to the Canada Council before were able to benefit from this program.”

Artists supported include Fort Macleod guitarist John Wort Hannam, who will use his grant towards professional development; Calgary choreographer Jason Stroh, who will create a new work; Calgary filmmaker Punam Gil, who will work on a trilogy of short-fiction films based in East-Indian communities across Canada; Aboriginal visual artist Duane Linklater from Edmonton, who will conduct research for his next body of photographic work; and Wetaskiwin writer
Lisa Dawn Wojna, who will research her next manuscript.

Successful arts organizations include the Banff-Calgary International Writers Festival that received multi-year project funding to increase the impact of its French language programming, and the Prairie Art Gallery in Grande Prairie, which will undertake a research and business development project as they manage their growth and move to a new facility.

Two peer assessment committees reviewed applications to the program: one for organizations and one for individuals. The committees included practicing artists and arts professionals from Alberta and outside the province; they were selected for their knowledge of a broad range of artistic practices. Committee members were also selected to ensure fair representation of gender, regional and cultural diversity, Aboriginal peoples and Canada’s two official languages.

A complete list of successful applicants and the names of the peer assessment committees from the first competition are available at on the Canada Council’s ACDI page.

ACDI grants for individual artists support research, creation, production and/or dissemination, as well as professional development, including residencies.

Arts organizations that do not currently receive operating support from the Canada Council can apply for funding to support research, creation, production and/or dissemination, as well as administrative projects that build the capacity of the organization. They can also apply for audience development projects that increase an organization’s public impact and/or profile. Organizations currently receiving operating support from the Canada Council can apply to the ACDI for administrative and audience development grants only.

The ACDI helps support the development of the arts in Alberta over the next three years. The next grant deadline for organizations is June 1 and November 1 for individual artists. For more information on the ACDI, eligibility criteria and application forms visit the Canada Council web site or the AFA web site.

For more information:

Heather McAfee
Acting Public Relations Officer
1-800-263-5588 or (613) 566-4414, ext. 4523

Donna Balkan
Senior Communications Manager
1-800-263-5588 or (613) 566-4414, ext. 4134

Alberta Culture and Community Spirit
Keltie MacPherson
To call toll-free within Alberta, dial 310-0000

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