About the AFA

Our Vision

The Alberta Foundation for the Arts sees an Alberta where a vibrant arts community inspires creativity and innovation, embraced by all Albertans.

Our Mission

The Alberta Foundation for the Arts exists to encourage and support the arts as a significant contributor to quality of life in Alberta.

Who We Are

A crown agency of the Government of Alberta, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) was established in 1991 with a mandate to support and contribute to the development of the arts in Alberta. It replaced the Alberta Art Foundation, the Alberta Foundation for the Performing Arts, the Alberta Foundation for the Literary Arts, and the arts and cultural industries grant programs of Alberta Culture and Multiculturalism.

Reporting to Alberta’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, and guided by the objectives found in the 1991 Alberta Foundation for the Arts Act (AFA Act), available from the Queen’s Printer, the AFA provides grant funding to artists and art organizations to encourage the growth and development of the arts sector. It also promotes the arts and manages an extensive art collection, valued at nearly $14 million, featuring work from artists all over the province.

What we do


The AFA’s strategies are implemented by two dedicated teams. The AFA Board is responsible for the disbursement of grants, prizes, and competitions, as well as the acquisition, exhibition, and preservation of art. Administrative, consultative, and technical support is provided by the Ministry of Culture's Arts Branch.

The AFA receives funds annually from the Alberta Lottery Fund, which it then distributes, in partnership with the Arts Branch of the Alberta Government’s Alberta Culture department, to artists and art organizations across Alberta.

The AFA also infrequently receives cash donations from the public. Donations can be mailed to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts at our Capital Arts office.

AFA grant funding supports creative activity in the performing, visual, literary, and the film/video arts disciplines. AFA grants serve every region in the province, enhance the province’s economic and social status, and contribute to every Albertans' quality of life.

Grants from the AFA support a wide range of art initiatives including:

  • Festivals/Artists-in-Residence programs
  • Emerging artists
  • Exhibits
  • Community events
  • Performances
  • Education


The AFA supports the arts through various promotional strategies and activities which help to generate awareness of the value of the arts with the public and key stakeholders.


Since 1972, the AFA and its predecessor foundation, the Alberta Art Foundation, has been collecting and managing a wide range of artwork that continues to grow and expand exponentially. Pieces from this collection are exhibited and showcased locally, provincially, and nationally, and are enjoyed by thousands of Albertans. Please see the Provincial Art Collections page for more information regarding exhibition and loan opportunities.