Columbia Basin Trust Arts and Culture Grant Programs
Managed by the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance
Please see below a list of questions about funding delivered through CKCA. Also included is information about the common reasons applications are not funded, as well as tips on how to make your application stronger.
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How to Apply
- When is funding available?
- I have an idea for an arts and culture project. How do I know if it is eligible for CKCA funding?
- I have read the funding brochure and I am not sure which program my project idea fits into.
- Do I have to be a resident within a certain geographical area to apply for CKCA funding?
- How do I apply for funding?
- How do I submit an application?
- Does “not eligible” or “declined” mean my project idea is not good?
- Can I include a capital expense in my project application if CKCA is not funding that aspect of the project?
- Can I include an ineligible activity/expense within my project application if CKCA is not funding that aspect of the project?
- Can I apply to more than one CKCA funding program?
- I received funding last year / a couple of years ago. Am I eligible to apply again?
- I received funding for a project that I have completed. If I want to undertake this same type of project again, is it eligible for funding?
- I have a large-scale, multi-year project that extends past the deadline for the program we are eligible within. Is this project not eligible for funding?
- I have a great idea for an art project/event that will be used as a fundraiser for a really worthy cause. Is this eligible for CKCA funding?
- We are a non-profit organization and need funds for ongoing operational expenses. Is this eligible for CKCA funding?
- I am an artist who has an art practice and also operates a business. Am I still eligible to receive funding as an artist for an art project?
- I want to create a brochure (or a website) to market myself or my work. Is this eligible for CKCA funding?
- My arts and culture project has social, environmental, heritage (or other non-arts and cultural themes). Is it eligible for CKCA funding?
- Where can I find a full list of ineligible requests?
- How can I improve my chances at writing a great application?
- What are some factors that can make my application appear weaker when compared to others?
Submitting the Application
- How do I identify my local arts council for an Arts Funding to Communities application?
- What are the funding application deadlines?
- Can I have someone from CKCA look over my application before I submit it? Once my application is submitted, will someone contact me if there is an error in the application?
- I have something to add to my application, but I already sent it in. Help!
- Can I submit my application via email or fax? Can I submit my application using other electronic methods?
- I’m mailing a hard copy application. Is the deadline a “postmark” deadline?
- How will I know whether my application has been received?
- Does CKCA allow deadline extensions?
Adjudication Process and Results
- How long until I know the outcome of my application?
- How are applications assessed?
- My application was declined. Is there an appeal process?
- What are the most common reasons applications are declined funding?
- I followed the advice of CKCA staff and/or thought I did everything right. Why didn’t my application receive funding?
- Can I get feedback on my application?
- Can I find out who was approved for CKCA (and/or Trust) funding?
- What are some common reasons CKCA applications are not funded?
How to Apply
When is funding available?
Generally, funding is approved on an annual basis by Columbia Basin Trust. Funding applications are adjudicated once a year for the CKCA funding programs. CKCA funding programs are usually launched toward the end of January, with application deadlines in March to fund projects starting in June of that same year. Funding is not guaranteed; programs, policies, guidelines and eligibility criteria are subject to change until the time the programs are launched.
I have an idea for an arts and culture project. How do I know if it is eligible for CKCA funding?
Review the funding program information on this website to decide which program best fits your project idea. To be eligible for CKCA-managed grant programs, the primary emphasis of project proposals must be arts and culture. Projects cannot start until June 1 of the year in which you are applying. For further details about specific eligibility requirements, read the current Primary Funding Policies document. This document outlines general policies and guidelines applicable to all CKCA funding programs. Once you have read the policies and guidelines, review the application package for the program you are interested in for information specific to that program.
I have read the funding brochure and I am not sure which program my project idea fits into.
On the surface, some projects may appear to fit within more than one funding program. Please contact CKCA staff to discuss your project and they can provide further advice in terms of eligibility and which program(s) might best fit your project. Some things staff may need to know to be able to advise you: what the project idea is; who is applying/managing/involved in the project; project start and end dates; size of the budget, general expenses and/or sources of revenues.
Do I have to be a resident within a certain geographical area to apply for CKCA funding?
Yes. Applicants must be residents of the Columbia Basin Trust region. This area includes all communities within the area roughly bounded by Valemount, Revelstoke, Rossland, Creston, Sparwood and Golden. See the Trust website for more details.
How do I apply for funding?
Complete and submit an application for the program you wish to apply for. Applications must be submitted prior to the appropriate funding deadline using the method outlined on the funding page.
How do I submit an application?
CKCA applications are submitted through an online application portal. Read the funding web page for details. For online applications, it is advisable to create an account, log in, draft and submit your application well in advance of the deadline, as applications will not be accepted past the deadline. If you do not have any access to a computer (for example: public library or a community support organization), please contact the CKCA office at least 10 days prior to the deadline for assistance. It is important to read the Online Application Guide when starting your application. For attachments: save, close and re-open your attachments to check them before uploading to ensure they are not blank or corrupted. Not all attachments can be accepted: there are size and format limitations for uploaded attachments.
Does “not eligible” or “declined” mean my project idea is not good?
No. The CKCA has specific guidelines and eligibility criteria for each program. If a project does not meet the requirements of a specific program, it does not necessarily mean that the project isn’t worthwhile, just that it does not fit within the parameters of CKCA funding. Projects are declined for many reasons: sometimes eligibility issues or technical errors within the application; sometimes the application is not clear in explaining the what, how and why of your project, which may make it less compelling than other applications it is competing against; sometimes the project is not a good fit in terms of the arts and culture focus of CKCA and/or the program it has been submitted to; sometimes the application is eligible, the project is worthy and the application is strong, but due to demand there were not enough funds available to fund all eligible, worthy projects, so difficult choices had to be made by the adjudicating committee.
Can I include a capital expense in my project application if CKCA is not funding that aspect of the project?
In most programs, projects which include capital expenses/activities are not eligible for funding; in these programs, do not include capital activities within the scope of your project. If you include capital expenses within non-capital projects, the entire project will not be eligible for funding. In Major Project Arts & Culture and Arts Evolution grants, capital expenses may be included in the application budget up to a total of 20% of the amount requested from CKCA. The Minor Capital Arts program is specifically designed to support capital projects.
Can I include an ineligible activity/expense within my project application if CKCA is not funding that aspect of the project?
No. CKCA will either award or decline funding to the project application as a whole. If you include things that are ineligible within the scope of the project application, the entire application will be considered ineligible.
Can I apply to more than one CKCA funding program?
If you have clearly separate projects—for example: capital construction, research activities and an exhibition—yes, it is acceptable to apply to different programs for different projects. To confirm that your activities are clearly separate projects, schedule a consultation with the CKCA office to discuss your specific case.
I received funding last year / a couple of years ago. Am I eligible to apply again?
Yes, you can apply for funding to support a new project, as long as your previous project is either completed, or on track for completion, and your reporting is not in arrears.
I received funding for a project that I have completed. If I want to undertake this same type of project again, is it eligible for funding?
Funding is designed to support projects. Funding is not available for regular operating costs or existing deficits. CKCA may consider funding the same type of project again in subsequent years, but this does not guarantee funding for the subsequent year. Applicants must apply again the subsequent year and compete for funding through the regular adjudication process. If the project has a new aspect, new component or expanded/changed activities that are different in scope from the previously funded project, it is important to state that in your application as it will help the committee assess the project.
I have a large-scale, multi-year project that extends past the deadline for the program we are eligible within. Is this project not eligible for funding?
Projects that are large in scope may be eligible for funding if it is the kind of project where it can be split into phases: year 1 / phase 1; year 2 / phase 2; etc. Each phase would be treated as a separate project and the application should only describe activities and budget that fall within the eligible timeframe for the year the application is being submitted in. Be aware that receiving funding for phase 1 in no way guarantees funding for any phase beyond that. Funding is awarded annually and you must apply for phase 2 again as a separate project. In addition, funding programs, policies and guidelines are subject to change from year to year, so even if your activity is eligible this year, this in no way guarantees future eligibility.
I have a great idea for an art project/event that will be used as a fundraiser for a really worthy cause. Is this eligible for CKCA funding?
No, fundraisers are not eligible for funding. Project budgets must balance, which means that no funds should be left over as a profit to be used for another purpose. Only project expenses associated with the project application are eligible for CKCA funding support.
We are a non-profit organization and need funds for ongoing operational expenses. Is this eligible for CKCA funding?
No. CKCA funding is project-based: a project is a planned activity (or group of activities) that has a defined budget, is undertaken over a specific time period (with a start and end date) and is meant to achieve an intentional purpose/outcome, of which the primary focus must be arts and culture. This means CKCA will not fund ongoing general operational expenses, only expenses attached to a specific project.
I am an artist who has an art practice and also operates a business. Am I still eligible to receive funding as an artist for an art project?
Yes, as long as the art project meets the goals of CKCA and demonstrates a financial need for support. Please note: any artistic or cultural commercial projects must contain original creative works and the projected proceeds of sales/admissions must be included in the budget as a source of revenue. For example: sale of books, CDs, prints; admissions from theatrical or musical performances.
I want to create a brochure (or a website) to market myself or my work. Is this eligible for CKCA funding?
No. CKCA will only fund the development and production of marketing, advertising and promotional materials as part of a larger arts and culture project, not as a stand-alone project. This means that if you have a project that is eligible for funding (for example, creating a body of work for exhibition, recording/touring a CD, publishing/touring a book, creating/touring a theatre production), you may, as part of that project, promote the work being exhibited/toured/presented to the public so there is an audience for your funded art project.
My arts and culture project has social, environmental, heritage (or other non-arts and cultural themes). Is it eligible for CKCA funding?
To be eligible for funding, the primary emphasis of project proposals must be on arts and culture. Art therapy projects or projects of a primarily social nature are not eligible. Columbia Basin Trust has other funding programs available for social issues, economic development, the environment and more. Proposals that are not primarily focused on arts and culture activities should investigate other Trust funding programs. This does not guarantee there is another program where your idea will be eligible. To determine if your project is primarily arts and culture, it might help to consider what your primary intention is for creating this project? Why did you decide to do this project and what is the main goal you want to achieve? Is artistic creation or experience the primary outcome? For example: I am concerned about waste in my community and how it is impacting the environment. I want to educate people about this issue so more people in my community will recycle, which will reduce waste. I decided the best way to educate the public would be by using art as a vehicle to get this message across, so I can create a positive environmental impact in my community. CKCA would consider this primarily an environmental project, based on the primary goal of environmental education for the purpose of waste reduction.
Where can I find a full list of ineligible requests?
Please see the current Primary Funding Policies and Guidelines document for a full list of ineligible requests.
How can I improve my chances at writing a great application?
- Read the CKCA Primary Funding Policies carefully.
- Note that different funders have different instructions; it is important to follow the CKCA guidelines.
- Start applications early so you are not rushed.
- Take care when completing the application questions; answer the key points but be succinct (explain who, what, how, where, when and why).
- Use the checklist on the application to double-check your work.
- Ask someone to read through your application; if they are unclear or confused about what you are doing or why it is important, the committee probably will be too.
- Add up your final budget, or ask someone else to double-check it; it is very easy to transpose numbers when copying from a rough draft onto your final copy, which can make your budget not balance properly.
- Contact staff so they can advise you (especially when it is recommended in the program package).
- Consider attending one of the CKCA grant workshops.
- Submit applications early, so staff can contact you about potential issues. (Although staff are not responsible for proofing your applications or notifying you of errors, if applications are submitted early, they will endeavor to check them for technical errors and contact you before the application deadline.)
What are some factors that can make my application appear weaker when compared to others?
- Failure to demonstrate that you have sought additional sources of revenue for larger projects, where this is explicitly recommended in the program guidelines.
- Failing to convey a clear view of what you are intending to do; committee members need to understand what you are doing to believe in the viability of the project.
- Failing to convey clearly why this project is important in terms of arts and culture impacts (on you, your organization, or the community); if a number of projects are similar, this information can make an application stand out.
- Failing to provide meaningful information on key participants or contractors who you plan to pay significant amounts to deliver the project.
- Failing to include cost estimates or quotes for larger capital expenses.
Additional Questions and Advice
What if I have other questions about my application?
Read through the funding brochure, primary policies and guidelines, and the application package for the program you are interested in. If you still have questions, contact the CKCA office well in advance of the funding deadline dates. Depending on to the volume of inquiries received, staff may not be able to return your call or email immediately. If you want to visit the office for advice, you must make an appointment in advance. Phone: 250-352-2421 Email: [email protected]. Applicants are solely responsible for the contents of their applications. Although CKCA staff are available to provide clarification on policies and guidelines, flag possible technical errors and can provide advice in regards to what makes (in general terms) a stronger application, the applicant is responsible for choosing which program to apply to and the contents of their application. Receiving advice from CKCA staff in no way guarantees approval of any application, nor guarantees your application is free of errors or issues that could affect eligibility. All funding decisions are made by the CKCA Steering Committee.
Submitting the Application
How do I identify my local arts council for an Arts Funding to Communities grant?
A list of arts councils and their CKCA funding jurisdiction is available on the CKCA website or you can call or email the CKCA office for guidance.
Normally you apply to your local community arts council (the one that has jurisdiction over your community for the purposes of CKCA funding). Possible exceptions might be:
- If your project will take place in and/or benefit a different community (for example: a mural in a different town). If this is the case, you apply to the arts council in that community.
- If your project directly engages community members in a number of different communities (for example: community film workshops being delivered in three different communities). If this is the case, you can submit three different applications for activities in each community. The budget must show the CKCA funding request you are making from all three arts councils (use the “other revenues” lines for the additional requests and list “CKCA funding: arts councils name” next to each amount on the line provided.
What are the funding application deadlines?
Application deadlines differ depending on the program you are applying to. Deadlines can be found in the current Arts & Culture Funding Programs Brochure and on the Funding page.
Can I have someone from CKCA look over my application before I submit it? Once my application is submitted, will someone contact me if there is an error in the application?
No, CKCA staff do not have the capacity to review applications. If you have questions about your application or budget prior to submission, we recommend scheduling a grant consultation call. Note: consultation appointments can only be scheduled up to one week prior to grant deadlines. Receiving advice from CKCA staff in no way guarantees approval of any application, nor guarantees your application is free of errors or issues that could affect eligibility. All funding recommendations are made by the CKCA Steering Committee and approved by the Trust.
I have something to add to my application, but I already sent it in. Help!
It is solely the applicant’s responsibility to submit a complete application. Copies of draft applications can be emailed to yourself, or someone else, prior to submission. Take this opportunity to confirm that all questions have been completed, and that attachments are viewable and in the correct format (visit the Application Guide for more details).
Can I submit my application via email or fax? Can I submit my application using other electronic methods?
Emailed or faxed applications will not be accepted for funding. CKCA no longer has a fax number.
I’m mailing a hard copy application. Is the deadline a “postmark” deadline?
No. All application deadlines are “received by” deadlines. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted for funding, regardless for the reason for the late submission (for example: mail delay, website or internet service outage to access forms).
How will I know whether my application has been received?
Applicants who have successfully submitted their application online will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive an email confirming the application was submitted, then CKCA has not received it. Online applications in draft form cannot be seen by CKCA and will not be considered for funding, so ensure you submit the application well in advance of the funding deadline. Add [email protected] to your safe senders list to ensure you receive all system communications. More details are in the Application Guide.
Does CKCA allow deadline extensions?
No. CKCA does not allow deadline extensions, regardless of the reason for the late submission (for example: mail delay, website or application portal unavailable, internet service outage, power outage, computer issues). Applications and supporting documents must be submitted and received prior to the appropriate funding deadline. Applicants assume the entire risk that the complete application is received by the addressee before the deadline.
Adjudication Process and Results
How long until I know the outcome of my application?
Adjudication results will be mailed or emailed to applicants within 16 weeks of their program deadline. Your project may begin anytime on or after June 1 of the funding year; however, applicants assume the financial risk of beginning their project before being notified of their funding results. CKCA assumes no risk or responsibility of any impacts on your project due to the timing of receipt of adjudication results.
How are applications assessed?
Applications are reviewed once a year through a competitive, subjective adjudication process. Adjudicators receive application packages and guidelines prior to the meeting, then meet as a group to adjudicate the applications in accordance with program policies and guidelines, as well as conflict of interest policies. Arts Funding to Communities applications are adjudicated locally and their recommendations are sent to the CKCA Steering Committee for final adjudication. The rest of the CKCA funding programs are adjudicated directly by the CKCA Steering Committee.
My application was declined. Is there an appeal process?
No, the decisions of the Steering Committee are final.
What are the most common reasons applications are declined funding?
Please see the Common Reasons CKCA Applications Are Not Funded section.
I followed the advice of CKCA staff and/or thought I did everything right. Why didn’t my application receive funding?
Funding is limited, so even if all applications have no technical errors and are equally worthy of funding, many programs are oversubscribed. Sometimes, eligible and worthy applications may not be awarded funding. Applications are reviewed through a competitive, subjective adjudication process. This means that applications are not only reviewed in accordance with program policies and guidelines, as well as conflict of interest policies, but are also assessed comparatively. The number and quality of applications received can never be predicted, so if you were not successful this time with an eligible activity, please request feedback and consider applying again in the future.
Can I get feedback on my application?
After receiving your results, you can contact the CKCA office to schedule a telephone appointment to receive feedback on your application. It is best to request feedback within two to three months after the adjudication. Feedback regarding your application is a service provided to assist you in the future with the application process. It is not intended as an opportunity for applicants to dispute the decision made. Bullying or abusive behaviours directed toward staff or volunteers will not be tolerated. Please respect that funding decisions will not be overturned.
Can I find out who was approved for CKCA (and/or Trust) funding?
Yes. Projects approved for CKCA funding are listed (by year) on the CKCA Funding web page. In addition, Columbia Basin Trust has an online searchable database of projects approved for funding for all Trust funding, including that which is administered by CKCA. The Trust website is ourtrust.org
What are some common reasons CKCA applications are not funded?
- The project does not have a primary focus on arts and culture.
- Your organization does not have a primary focus on arts and culture in a program that requires it.
- Your organization does not have non-profit status in a program that requires it.
- The project includes a for-credit education component or a school-related activity.
- Questions on the form are not answered, or not answered clearly.
- One of the intentions is to raise funds for activities or a purpose outside of the project.
- The project description and/or budget includes other ineligible activities (not listed above).
- The budget is incomplete or unbalanced.
- The budget contains extra information (brackets, subtractions, etc.) which makes it confusing or makes it appear not to balance.
- In-kind donations are not listed as both revenues (the amount of the donation) and expenses (what the item would cost).
- The budget includes capital purchases in applications to programs where capital expenditures are not allowed.
Grant Awards and Reporting
My grant was approved. What next?
Read the entire acceptance package. Follow the directions in the package. You are required to sign a contract and adhere to the terms of the contract until the project is complete. It is your responsibility to keep track of your own documents and records. Create a file folder and save your documents in a place where you will be able to find them again later. It is important to keep all of your grant records together in one place (including associated invoices and receipts) in case of audit and so you can review the contract and grant requirements to make sure you are in compliance.
When should I submit the required documents?
In general, required documents should be submitted as follows:
Funding Agreement/Contract: If your start date is June 1, sign and submit the contract immediately. If the start date is later than June 1, return it four to six weeks before the start of the project.
Installment Request Form (if applicable): Four to six weeks before the payment schedule date (this is usually partway though the grant; earlier submissions will not be accepted).
Final Report: As soon as the project is complete, and no later than the final reporting deadline for your project.
I can’t find my paperwork!
If you applied online, the documents were emailed to you. Search your email before contacting the office. If you applied using a paper application, you received paper documents. Please spend some time looking through your files before contacting the office. If you cannot find your documents, CKCA staff can locate copies of your documents; allow a few days for staff to fulfill this request.
What is the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance (CKCA)? What does it do?
The Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance (CKCA) administers and manages arts and culture grant programs for Columbia Basin Trust. This funding provides grants to individuals, as well as arts and culture organizations and includes all arts disciplines (visual art, theatre, music, dance, media, literary and inter-arts), and cultural projects such as traditional practices and language preservation. Working with community arts councils, individual artists, performers, arts and cultural workers and organizations, the goal of the CKCA arts and culture grant programs is to help build long-term sustainability for artists and to strengthen and support arts and culture organizations. Based in Nelson, BC, CKCA has a staff of two arts and culture professionals to assist you. CKCA is guided by a Steering Committee of 12 volunteers from around the Columbia Basin, elected for two-year terms. For more information, see the About page.