Exhibition loans

To promote the work of Alberta artists and build greater awareness of the AFA collection, we frequently loan artwork to bona fide cultural institutions for public exhibition.

Our exhibition loan program is designed to further public appreciation for Alberta artists and their contribution to the visual arts in Canada.

Who can apply?

Eligible institutions can include museums, art galleries, interpretive centres, archives and other collecting or exhibiting organizations. Exhibitions can take place within Alberta, across Canada and abroad for up to two years at a time. 

Borrowing institutions must have at least one staff member professionally trained in the care and handling of original works of art. Please note that individuals are not eligible to borrow artwork.

How much does it cost?

The AFA aims to make artworks accessible provincially, nationally and internationally. We do not charge an exhibition loan fee.

Borrowing institutions are responsible for all coordination and costs associated with appropriate fine arts shipping of artwork. This includes responsibility for arranging and contracting with a fine art shipping company, door-to-door insurance and all other associated costs.

Loan request deadlines

You must make a preliminary inquiry prior to making formal request. All artwork loans must be formally requested in advance of the appropriate loan request deadline below:

Exhibition location and details

Loan request deadline

Within Alberta 

6 months (180 days)

Western Canada (BC, SK, YK)

6 months (180 days)

All other Canadian provinces and territories

9 months (270 days)


12 months (365 days)

Loan request deadlines represent the minimum amount of time required prior to the anticipated outbound shipping date. Please note that making a formal request by the appropriate deadline does not guarantee loan approval.

Preliminary inquiries

We welcome early discussions about possible loans and artworks you wish to be considered. Staff is available to advise on curatorial selection and the general availability of works for loan to support your formal request.

Preliminary research for a loan should be carried out well in advance so that a formal request can be made in time for your planned exhibition:

  • staff can provide a detailed report with images to your organization to support your final loan selection, if required
  • access to the Arts Branch Collections Resource Centre in Edmonton is available by appointment (Monday to Friday, 8:15 am – 4:30 pm)

Formal request

After making a preliminary request, applicants may continue to follow the exhibition loans formal application process.