Frequently asked questions about Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance arts, culture and heritage funding
Please see below for a list of questions delivered through the CKCA. Also included is information about the common reasons applications are not funded as well as some tips on how to make your application stronger. Don’t see your question here? Contact the CKCA Office: Phone: 250-505-5505 Toll Free: 1-877-505-7355 E-mail: email@example.com
How To Apply
Generally, funding is approved on an annual basis by the Columbia Basin Trust. Funding applications are adjudicated once a year for the CKCA funding programs. CKCA funding programs are usually launched towards 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.
Read the current Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance (CKCA) Arts, Culture and Heritage Funding Programs Brochure to decide which program best fits your project idea.
To be eligible for funding, the primary emphasis of project proposals must be artistic, cultural or heritage. Projects cannot start until June 1 of the year in which you are applying. For further details about specific eligibility requirements, read the current Funding Policies and Guidelines 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.
Please be aware that not all project ideas will necessarily be eligible for funding.
On the surface, some projects may appear to fit within more than one funding program. Please contact CKCA staff at the office 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.
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 CBT website for more details.
Complete and submit an application form for the program you wish to apply for. Forms must be submitted prior to the appropriate funding deadline using the method outlined in the appropriate application package.
Program 1 & 2 applications must be submitted to a local arts council (see application package for details) before the applicable funding deadline.
Program 3, 10 & 12 applications are submitted online through the CKCA website (see Online App. Guide).
Program 7 applications are submitted to ArtStarts in Schools
All other program applications must be delivered to the CKCA in Nelson, BC. Applications will be accepted before the applicable funding deadline only: by mail through the CKCA post office box; or by courier service to the CKCA office.
Please see application packages for further details.
Yes, you must use CKCA applications for all programs except 3, 10 & 12, which are filled in and submitted online through the CKCA website. 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, please contact the CKCA office at least a week prior to the deadline for assistance.
CKCA paper application forms are available in Adobe PDF format on the CKCA website: www.basinculture.com. If you have Adobe Reader only, you will need to print it off and fill it in by hand as the form is not fillable. For narrative parts of the application only, it is acceptable to write in “please see attached” and attach a typewritten sheet. It is advisable to try printing one well in advance of the deadline (in case you have printing issues) since applications will not be accepted past the deadline.
Alternately, paper forms are available through your local arts council or the CKCA office.
For all programs other than 3, 10 & 12, If you e-mail CKCA staff at: firstname.lastname@example.org and request the correct form for the program you need, we can e-mail you the form in MS Word. You will need to maintain the same formatting as the PDF document, so if you are not proficient in formatting Word documents, you may have issues maintaining the correct formatting. If this is the case, it is advisable to fill in a paper form.
For programs 3, 10 & 12, applications are filled in and submitted online through the CKCA website. 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 (regardless of the reason). If you do not have any access to a computer, contact the CKCA office at least a week prior to the deadline for assistance.
If you are clicking on “file” then “print” and the document is not printing (or printing blank), try clicking on the print icon in the upper grey border of the PDF document. If you are still unable to print a form off from the website, please contact the CKCA office (well in advance of the application deadline) and we can either e-mail you an application form, or mail you a paper application form. Alternately, application forms are also available through your local arts council.
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 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 heritage focus of the 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 have 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.
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 which are ineligible within the scope of the project application, the entire application will be considered ineligible.
Sometimes groups have a number of separate projects which they are lumping together to create one large project, making the project difficult in terms of eligibility for a number of funders. For example: Our organization wants to renovate a building to create an environment which will be appropriate for conservation of artifacts and have a curator come in to assess and catalogue the artifacts so we can have a public exhibition. These activities should really be considered three separate projects, which would fit into three separate programs.
Technically yes, but sometimes it is acceptable and sometimes it is not advisable. Some examples:
- you have three clearly separate projects, for example: capital construction, archival activities, and an exhibition. Yes. It is acceptable to apply to different programs for different projects such as these.
- If you have two activities which are related to one another, but each could stand on its own as a project without the other, for example: you want to record a CD and you want to tour your performance, the CD could be recorded and released on its own, and the tour could occur on its own. Yes, you can separate these activities into separate projects and apply to different programs.
- If you have two different project ideas and they fit within the same funding program, technically you can apply but you will be competing against yourself for what can be limited funding. This means that you are leaving it up to the committee to decide which project application they see as the strongest, so if you feel strongly about the importance of one project over the other you could choose to submit the one you feel is the best/most viable project. Although it is possible to have both chosen, and it is acceptable to apply more than once in the same program, it may be unlikely both will be funded depending on the number and quality of the other applications received.
- If you have one project, for example: overall expenses for a large festival or construction project, and you are eligible within a funding program, but you want more money than is available to that program, it is not advisable to apply to two programs to “double dip” to increase the CKCA funding available for that same activity.
Be aware that if you submit a number of funding applications within one funding cycle, you should demonstrate the ability to take on the workload you are proposing within the necessary timeframes. In addition, if you have more than one application submitted and one is approved, there is no guarantee the other will also be approved. This means that if one project is dependent on the completion of the other, you accept the risk that the dependent project may be the only one approved.
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 last year which is not complete because another source of funding fell through. Can I apply this year for more funds to support this same project?
No. When the CKCA approved the original application, the contractual agreement awarded a set amount of funds for the activities that were listed in that application. It would be considered “double dipping” to apply for more funding support for the same activity already approved. At this point, you will need to either: find an alternate funding source to replace the funding lost; make a request to the CKCA to propose scaling back the scope of the project based on the changes to the budget; cancel the project.
I received funding for a project which I have completed; If I want to undertake this same project again, is it eligible for funding?
Funding is for new projects. A project which is exactly the same may still be considered new a second time if it is a relatively new undertaking or a project which has happened before may also be considered new if the scope of the project has changed greatly. Some examples:
• a small event expands to become a large event or festival
• it is a new/different aspect of an existing event
• a festival wants to add a whole new aspect of programming (the new programming could be considered a new project unto itself)
• the project in question used to happen in the past and has been abandoned over the years so this is essentially a new undertaking (e.g. an organization used to have a project, the board changed, the project stopped happening and now a new board wishes to initiate the project again)
• it is a different phase of a larger project (see question below)
• it has not been funded by the CKCA at all in the past.
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 which 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 which 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, so even if you add the fundraising recipient as a budget expense to force the budget to balance, this will still make the project ineligible.
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) which has a defined budget, 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, culture or heritage.
This means the CKCA will not fund ongoing general operational expenses, only expenses attached to a specific project.
No. CKCA funding is project based: A project is a planned activity (or group of activities) which has a defined budget, 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, culture or heritage.
This means the CKCA will not fund ongoing operational expenses, only expenses attached to a specific project.
Additionally, the project must have a reasonable and realistic budget which cannot break even without the CKCA funding. By their very nature, budgets for business operations should be projecting a profit. Projects which are considered eligible for funding are those which are projecting a shortfall (without the CKCA funding) which would prevent the project from occurring. The CKCA funds would then cover the shortfall so the project may happen on a break even basis.
I am an artist who has an art practice and also operates a business. Am I eligible to receive funding for an art project?
Yes, as long as the art project meets the goals of the CKCA, is actually a project (as defined in the question above) and is not commercial enough to break even (or generate a profit) within the scope of the project.
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, CD’s, 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. The CKCA will only fund the development and production of marketing, advertising and promotional materials as part of a larger arts, culture or heritage project, not as a stand-alone project.
This means that if you have a project which is eligible for funding (ex. creating a body of work for exhibition, recording/touring a CD, publishing/touring a book, creating/touring a theatre production) as part of that project you may promote/market the work being exhibited/toured/presented to the public so there is an audience for your funded art/heritage project.
To be eligible for funding, the primary emphasis of project proposals must be artistic, cultural or heritage.
Art therapy projects or projects of a primarily social nature are not eligible. The Columbia Basin Trust has other funding programs available for social issues, economic development, the environment, water and youth.
Proposals that are not primarily focused on artistic, cultural or heritage activities should investigate other Trust funding programs.
To determine if your project is primarily art/heritage, or (for example) environmental, it might help to consider what is your primary intention for creating this project? Why did you decide to do this project and what is the main goal you want your project to achieve? 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 decide 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 goals of environment education for the purpose of waste reduction.
Please see the current Funding Policies and Guidelines document for a full list of ineligible requests.[/caption]
- read the CKCA policies and guidelines carefully
- note that different funders have different instructions – it is important to follow the CKCA guidelines
- start applications earlier 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 last page of 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 earlier, 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)
- asking for a very large proportion of the funds available in a program, without looking for any other sources of revenue
- 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 artistic or heritage 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 some meaningful information on key participants or contractors who you plan to pay significant amounts to deliver the project
- in Major Heritage: failing to include an estimate for very large capital expenses
It is advisable to read through the funding brochure, primary policies and guidelines, and the application package for the program you are interested in.
If you still have any questions please call or e-mail 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/e-mail immediately.
If you want to visit the office for advice, please call in advance to make an appointment.
Phone: 250-505-5505 Toll Free: 1-877-505-7355 E-mail: email@example.com
Applicants are solely responsible for the contents of their applications. Although CKCA staff are available to provide clarification on policies and guidelines, and provide advice in regards to what makes (in general) 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 which could affect eligibility. All funding decisions are made by the CKCA Steering Committee.
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Normally you apply to your local community arts council (the one which has jurisdiction over your community for the purposes of CKCA funding). A possible exception might be: if your project will take place in and/or benefit a different community (e.g. a mural in a different town). If that is the case, you can apply to the arts council in that community, and your application should be sent directly to the arts council in the community you are applying to.
A list of arts councils and the jurisdiction they cover is available on the CKCA website: www.basinculture.com/artcouncils.htm or you can call/e-mail the CKCA office for guidance.
Application deadlines differ depending on the program you are applying to. Deadlines can be found either in the current CKCA Arts, Culture and Heritage Funding Programs Brochure or on the application form for the program you are applying to.
Can I have someone from the 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?
Upon request, and well in advance of the deadline dates, CKCA staff will endeavor to check applications for technical errors. Contact the office to arrange sending in a copy of your draft application for review and comment.
Additionally, if you submit your application well in advance of the deadline, this gives staff an opportunity to contact you about potential technical errors they may catch. If time allows, staff will endeavor to check applications for technical errors and contact you before the application deadline. No changes can be made to applications past the deadline.
Be advised that these are services provided to assist applicants, but that these services are not guaranteed and staff are not in any way responsible for proofing applications, nor notifying applicants of errors. Receiving advice from CKCA staff in no way guarantees approval of any application, nor guarantees your application is free of errors or issues which could affect eligibility. All funding decisions are made by the CKCA Steering Committee.
If the application has been sent to the office and you need to add/change something, this is only possible if it is prior to the application deadline. Please contact the CKCA office (or if it is a Program 1 or 2 application, contact the arts council you sent it to).
It is solely the applicant’s responsibility to send in a complete application. Staff will endeavor to assist applicants who need to add/change documents, but are not responsible if documents sent after the original application are not received or attached to the original application. If you contact the office very close to a deadline date it may not be possible for staff to be available to assist you before the deadline.
No changes can be made to applications past the deadline.
Fax or E-mail applications will not be accepted for funding. Applications submitted by other electronic methods will not be accepted for funding, with the exception of Program 3, 10 & 12 which will be submitted online only through the CKCA website.
No. To facilitate fairness and more equitable access, hand delivered applications will NOT be accepted at the CKCA office. Applications will be accepted before the funding deadline by mail through the CKCA post office box, or by courier service only to the CKCA office. DO NOT drop off your application at the CKCA office in person as it will not be considered for funding.
No. Application deadlines are “received by” deadlines. Forms must be submitted prior to the appropriate funding deadline. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted for funding, regardless for the reason for the late submission (for example: mail delay, internet service outage). Applicants assume the entire risk that the complete application is received by the addressee before the deadline. CKCA assumes no risk or responsibility that any application will be received by the deadline, even if the applicant uses a method suggested by the CKCA for delivery or uses the online application forms provided by the CKCA.
If you want confirmation that your application has been received by the arts council or the CKCA office, you should use a traceable method of delivery and contact the carrier to confirm delivery. Due to the volume of inquiries received around the deadline dates, CKCA (or arts council staff for Program 1 & 2) may not be able to confirm receipt of your application upon request. Program 3, 10 & 12 applications submitted online will receive a confirmation email. Add firstname.lastname@example.org to your safe senders list to ensure you receive all system communications.
No. CKCA does not allow deadline extensions, regardless of the reason for the late submission (for example: mail delay, internet service outage, computer issues). Forms must be submitted prior to the appropriate funding deadline. All deadline dates are received by deadlines (NOT post-mark deadlines).
Adjudication results will be mailed to applicants after May 31. Do not ask your local arts council or the CKCA for adjudication results before the end of May.
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.
Program 1 & 2 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.
No, the decisions of the Steering Committee are final.
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. As a result, sometimes eligible, 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 apply again in the future.
After the grants have been awarded you can contact the office to schedule a telephone appointment to receive feedback on your application. Feedback regarding your application is a service provided to assist you in future with the application process. It is not intended as an opportunity for applicants to dispute the decision made. Please respect that funding decisions will not be overturned.
Yes. Projects approved for CKCA funding are listed (by year) on the CKCA website under Funded Projects. This process is not instant – there is usually some delay between when applicants are notified of results and the updating of the website.
In addition, the 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 CBT website is ourtrust.org
- the project does not have a primary focus on arts and/or heritage
- the organization does not have a primary focus on arts and/or heritage in a program which requires it
- the organization does not have non-profit status in a program which requires it
- the project includes a for-credit education component
- questions on the form are not answered
- one of the intentions is to raise funds for activities or a purpose outside of the project
- in Major Heritage: failing to include a copy of the leasehold agreement if the organization does not own the building being improved
- the project description and/or budget includes other ineligible activities (not listed above)
- the budget form is unbalanced or missing key information (ex. not listing revenues)
- the budget form contains extra information (brackets, subtractions etc.) which makes the numbers confusing or makes the budget appear not to balance – make the numbers as clear as possible, lining up in a column on the right hand side and attach any breakdowns of figures as a separate sheet
- in kind donations are not listed as both revenues (the amount of the donation) and expenses (what the item/service would cost if it were not being donated)
- the budget includes capital purchases in applications to programs where capital expenditures are not allowed
- applying to a program which is not appropriate either to the applicants experience or to the activities or scope of your project – if you are uncertain which program to apply to, contact the CKCA office
- too much demand for the program, meaning not enough funds to support all of the strong applications submitted – you can do everything technically correct and still not receive funding
The Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance (CKCA) administers and manages Arts, Culture and Heritage funding for the Columbia Basin Trust. This funding is for all arts disciplines (visual art, theatre, music, dance, media, literary and inter-arts), includes grants to individuals as well as arts, culture and heritage organizations. Working with community arts councils, individual artists, performers, heritage workers and cultural organizations, the goal of the CKCA is to help build long-term sustainability for artists and to strengthen and support arts, cultural and heritage organizations. Based in Nelson, BC, the CKCA has a staff of two and a Steering Committee of 14 volunteers from around the Columbia Basin, elected for two year terms.
14 Steering Committee members are elected for two year terms and are expected to represent the broader needs of arts, culture, and heritage sectors in the Columbia Basin rather than individual arts councils/organizations, heritage organizations, or the communities in which they live.
Nominations are put forward by the 18 local arts councils in the Basin as well as the Heritage Federation of South Eastern BC. Nominees can be any member of a community with a background in arts, culture or heritage, are involved in the cultural work of their region, have an awareness of arts, cultural and heritage needs and issues within their community and have a background in working on committees and/or program development.