Thank you for your interest in the 2023 Festival and Events Micro Grant Program. The City is currently accepting applications. Applications will remain open until the remaining funding has been distributed.

Steps for application

  1. Read the grant information below
  2. Check to see if your event is eligible
  3. Determine what you need funding for and if it fits the application criteria
  4. Prepare your application answers and all necessary documentation
  5. Apply by completing the online form

Apply Online

About the Grant

Local festivals and events are important strategic investments in Edmonton. They provide opportunities for citizens and visitors to connect, be active in the community, celebrate our heritage and diversity, and contribute to the local economy.

This grant program has been created to support smaller, outdoor community (Niche) festivals and events that showcase local talent, celebrate local histories and cultures, and add vibrancy to our city throughout the year.

Grant Overview
  • This program is for registered not-for-profit, charitable organizations, and business improvement areas
  • This grant is meant to support local and publicly accessible programming
  • The Festival or Event must take place between January 1 and December 31, 2023. Organizations can apply retroactively for eligible festivals or events produced within the 2023 calendar year; however, organizations will need to make a strong case for their financial need.
  • The maximum grant is up to 50% of eligible expenses to a maximum of $10,000; the minimum grant amount will be $500
  • Grant funds can only be used for the purpose outlined in the grant application
  • Organizations are eligible to apply once per calendar year. Organizations that produce multiple events over the course of the year should include all eligible events in the application. Only one micro grant will be awarded per organization. 
  • There may up to 3 program intakes in 2023 including a deadline on April 30. To allocate any remaining funds, there may be a July 15 and/or October 1 deadline. 
  • The City may change or clarify the grant criteria at any time to be responsive to the needs of organizations. Updated information will be posted on this web page.
  • We have an allocated budget and may not be able to support every application. To improve your chances of success, please ensure that you have completed all sections of the form and added sufficient detail including how you intend to use the funds.
  • Funding decisions made by the City are final and cannot be appealed
  • Funding to successful applicants will be in the form of an EFT (electronic funds transfer) or cheque which will be mailed to the address that you provide
  • A final report must be submitted within 90 days of the completion of the festival or event, outlining the event outcomes and how the grant funding was used

The City reserves the right to audit applications and projects that receive funding. You may need to provide additional information to verify the funding was used for the intended purpose outlined in your application.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible types of outdoor events may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Cultural / multicultural festivals, events or recognition activities
  • Indigenous festival, events or recognition activities 
  • Concerts, performances, and music festivals
  • Food, art and historical celebrations 
  • Parades
  • Organized runs, walks, active living events and opportunities to try or learn a new sport or activities. 

Eligible events must also:

  • Take place within the city of Edmonton boundaries
  • Take place between January 1 and December 31, 2023
  • Be an outdoor event primarily located in the public realm (i.e. located on city parkland, public open space, or road right-of-ways)
  • Be a smaller outdoor city-wide community (Niche) festival or event, as defined by the City of Edmonton
  • Held in-person with a minimum attendance of 100 people or more
  • Be open to the public, not an event for members-only
  • Be free to attend, or have a participation fee or require a donation to attend and/or be a ticketed event
  • Produced by an organization (not an individual) that:
    • Is a registered not-for-profit, charitable organization or business improvement area
    • Is in good standing with an annual return stamped by Corporate Registries 
    • Is not in arrears with the City of Edmonton
    • Undertakes their work primarily in Edmonton, or has a history of significant activity in Edmonton when they also work elsewhere
  • Demonstrate initiative and success in generating diverse sources of funding
  • Submit application and required documents by the deadlines
  • Be insured with a minimum of $2 million in general liability
  • Held in compliance with permitting or licensing requirements as required (Edmonton Fire, Development Services, etc); and public health requirements, restrictions and guidance imposed by the City of Edmonton, Alberta Health Services or the Government of Alberta

Note: Events being hosted in multiple locations on multiple dates with similar program content will be counted as one event. One application per organization per year. Organizations wishing to host different events should include all events in their application. 

Eligible Expenses

  • Honorariums and wages for workers and artists who are not already employed as staff
  • Production and technical costs related to programming (staffing, performers, artists, volunteers, officials, etc)
  • Temporary or enhanced infrastructure and/or equipment; set-up, rehearsal or strike time (i.e., staffing, artist costs, rentals)
  • Volunteer support and training
  • City expenses such as road closures, transit detours, EPS personnel, permitting fees, parkland use fees, and other City expenses
  • Development and execution of health and safety, accessibility and sustainability plans
  • Marketing, advertising and communications
  • Other production costs.
Ineligible Events and Expenses

Ineligible festivals, events and organizations include:

  • Festivals and events taking place outside of the city of Edmonton boundaries
  • Mega, Major and Signature Attracted events that receive funding from Explore Edmonton and/or the City of Edmonton Partnerships and Event Attraction section
  • Signature or Foundational level events as defined and classified by the City of Edmonton, Festivals and Events Delivery Action Plan and receive Civic subsidies for their event
  • Festivals and events that host more than 10% of the event indoors in summer / shoulder seasons and 20% of the event indoors in the winter to provide opportunities for people to warm up or hold during inclement weather
  • Festivals or events that are a recipient of a Neighbourhood Grant (Neighbourhood Connections Grant or Neighbourhood Micro Grant) in the same calendar year
  • Events at indoor venues
  • Virtual events
  • Private events (examples include, but are not limited to: weddings, graduations, showers, celebrations of life, potlucks, awards ceremonies, roasts, and so on)
  • Tournaments where a membership is required to participate, including regular outdoor sport league play
  • Professional/semi professional spectator and/or sporting events
  • Events intended to raise funds for specific individuals, charities or groups
  • Community League Events
  • Block parties or play streets
  • Film productions
  • Protests, rallies, demonstrations, and marches
  • Stand alone markets (unless the market is a program element within a larger event seeking funding)
  • Commercial, promotional or marketing activities (such as, product demonstrations, merchandise sales, launches, and so on)
  • Events that require membership to observe or participate and are not open to the public
  • Primarily religious services or activities delivered by faith organizations
    • Note: The event cannot prevent participation based upon culture, faith or partisan politics
  • Events run by for-profit organizations
  • Events run by government; City agencies, boards or commissions; educational secondary institutions, or political parties
    • Note: Post Secondary Clubs and organizations such as international student clubs, children’s community groups may be considered
  • Political campaigning
  • Capital projects (for example, new construction, expansion or replacement of an existing facility)
  • Performances, exhibitions or activities that promote or incite racism, hatred or violence

Ineligible Expenses:

  • Capital expenses such as construction, renovations or repairs or purchase of major equipment such as computers, video recorders or power tools
  • Volunteer hours or gifts
  • The purchase of alcohol or cannabis or related expenses
  • Allowances or personal expenses for program registrants and participants
  • Organization’s base operational costs including 
    • Salaries and expenses of existing staff
    • Office and administration fees, utilities, rent and/or rental of an applicant organization facility
Assessment & Evaluation Criteria

Priority will be awarded to festivals and events in the following areas:

  • Cultural / Multicultural Events
  • Indigenous Led or Indigenous Serving Events
  • Events run or supported by a Business Improvement Areas

Grant funding awards will be considered based on the following criteria:  

  • Priority areas (Cultural / Multicultural, Indigenous, Business Improvement Area)
  • Event size, scope, and scale (including expected attendance and location capacity)
  • Benefit to the public (cultural, recreational, charitable significance and/or supports engagement and representation of communities who have historically been marginalized and underrepresented)
  • Public access (free versus charged/cost to participate)
  • Not-for-profit or charitable or business improvement area
  • Financial need (those organizations with sufficient funds to host the event without municipal support) and other City funding sources
  • Alignment to the City Plan which may include: 
    • Encourage Indigenous led projects, programs, events and services. (City Plan Direction
    • Embrace multicultural activities and events. (City Plan Direction
    • Encourage healthy and active living by supporting community focused recreational, leisure, social and cultural programs. (City Plan Direction
    • Edmontonians can connect, be active in their community, and celebrate Edmonton’s heritage, diversity and unique identity. (City Building Outcomes 1.2)
    • Animate open spaces at all scales through programming, activities and events that encourage daily and all-season use. (City Plan Direction
    • A wide range of community festivals in partnership with community organizations. (City Plan Direction 
    • Promote personal and community wellness and connection through inclusive and welcoming places. (City Plan Intention 1.1.1)
Preparing Your Application

Please review eligibility and grant information provided on this web page.

Please have the following ready:

  • General organizational and event information
  • Budget overview that provides details of estimated event expenses and revenues 
  • Understanding of event goals, public benefit and alignment with the City Plan  
  • Attachments including signed declaration in digital format and budget overview of event expenses and revenues

If you have questions or need help completing the application, please contact us at:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the deadline for applications?

Applications for the grant must be received by April 30, 2023. To allocate any remaining funds, there may be a July 15 and/or October 1 deadline. Organizers can apply retroactively, but must make a strong case for financial need.

What are common reasons an application is unsuccessful?

We have an allocated budget and may not be able to support every application. To improve your chances, here are some of the most common reasons why an application is unsuccessful:

  • Incomplete application. All form fields are necessary unless they are marked as ‘optional’. Please all include all required attachments.
  • The description of the grant funding does not provide enough detail to assess  how the funding will be used. Please be as specific as possible.
  • The description of how grant funding will be used does not align with the objectives of the grant.
  • Other Neighbourhood Grant Funding (micro grant or connections grant) has been awarded to the applicant for the event(s) listed in the application.
  • Ineligible events and/or costs were identified in the application. 
  • Required attachments were not submitted.
If my application is unsuccessful, can I reapply?

If funding remains, two additional deadlines (July 15 and/or October 1) will be opened and applicants may reapply.  This will provide you with flexibility to change an application if your business needs change, or if your original application did not contain sufficient detail to justify a positive award decision. Please remember to clearly identify how the funding will be used as well as the circumstances of need and address any deficiencies from your initial application.

If my application is unsuccessful, can I appeal the decision?

No. The City’s decision is final, however you can reapply if additional intakes are advertised. 

Can I use grant funding towards eligible expenses incurred prior to approval of my grant application?

Yes. Please identify the expenses that you intend to use the funding towards in your application.

Where can the event be held?

Events must be held in the boundaries of the city of Edmonton. Events must also be located outdoors in the public realm (i.e. on City parkland, open space, and/or roads).

Is there a minimum attendance?

Yes. Events must be held in-person with a minimum of 100 people in attendance.

Can I apply if I have never organized a public event?

Yes. This funding is available to new event opportunities as well as to those event producers who have organized public events previously.

What is the funding amount?

The Festivals & Events Micro Grant allocations will vary based on the size, scope and scale of each event and will range from $500 to $10,000.  Grant funding may not exceed 50% of eligible expenses to a maximum of $10,000.

When will I be notified of the grant decision?

We will do our best to notify you of the grant decision within eight (8) weeks of the grant deadline, provided we receive a complete application. 

When and how will I receive the funds if my application is successful?

If your application is successful, you will receive the funds by electronic transfer or cheque within eight (8) weeks after you’ve been notified of the grant decision.

I’m producing more than one event. Should I submit an application for each event?

No. An organization may only be granted one Festivals & Events Micro Grant per calendar year. Events being hosted in multiple locations on multiple dates with similar program content will be counted as one event. Organizations wishing to host different events should include all events in their application.

Do I require event insurance?

Yes. If your festival or event is located on City of Edmonton property it must be insured with a minimum of $2 million in general liability coverage with the City of Edmonton listed as an “Additional Insured”. Depending on the size and scope of your event, additional coverage may be required.

I have applied for other City of Edmonton funding. Can I also apply for the Festivals & Events Micro Grant?

Grant funding awards will be considered based on an established formula and criteria, including receipt of funding from other City of Edmonton sources. However, if your organization has received a Neighbourhood Micro Grant or Neighbourhood Connections grant for the event you are applying for, you are ineligible for the Festivals & Events Micro Grant.

How does the City of Edmonton define Niche events, Cultural events, Multicultural events and Indigenous Led / Indigenous Serving events?

Niche Festivals and Events – These are specialized and emerging one-time or recurring festivals, events and parades that hold a local, community or neighbourhood profile, encourage community participation, and align with civic priorities. Primarily held on a single day, these events are typically smaller, homegrown, and run by Edmonton-based non-profits associations, volunteer groups, community leagues, etc. This classification includes local and provincial level sporting events. 

Cultural Event – Cultural festival programming includes performing arts, visual arts, literary arts, interdisciplinary arts, craft, design and expressions of cultural identity. 

Multicultural Event – An event that supports the practice of promoting human and group relations, in which ethnic, racial, religious and linguistic similarities and differences are valued, respected and exchanged. 

Indigenous Led / Indigenous Serving Event – These are national, regional or local Indigenous and Indigenous-serving not-for-profit or charitable organizations that operate within Edmonton or serve Indigenous people in Edmonton.