2017 UPDATE!

On March 16, the Alberta government released details of Budget 2017. Funding for the Alberta Foundation for the Arts has been increased by $5 million this year, for a total of $31.6 million for 2017-18.

In 2015, the AFA only cut funding to two grant streams, one being the Artists and Education program. We believe the $5 million being put back into the AFA should be used to bring the Artists and Education funding back to what it was prior to the 2015 cuts.

2015 Funding Cuts

2017 New Funding

As you can see, 50% of the 2015 AFA Funding cut was taken from the Artists & Education Grant stream. Asking the AFA to bring the Artists & Education Grant back up to it's previous $1 million funding will take only 10% of the 2017 funding increase.



As of April 1 approximately 200 or more schools made applications to the AFA to do residencies in 2017-18. The AFA jury will meet to allocate funds at the end of May. Will they have the current allocation of $500,000 to give out, or the $1 million that was in the program until 2015? Even better, will they return the program to its high of $1.3 million funding? Time is of the essence. Unless the cut is reversed by mid-May it is likely that at least 2/3 of those 200+ projects will be turned down. 



Calling is the best option as emails will receive a generic response.

Email, call or write these people. Especially the Minister of Education, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, and your MLA:

Hon. David Eggen, Minister of Education | Email: education.minister@gov.ab.ca | Phone: 780.427.5010

Hon. Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism | Email: culturetourism.minister@gov.ab.ca | Phone: 780.422.3559

Paul Pearson, AFA Acting Executive Director | Email: paul.pearson@gov.ab.ca | Phone: 780-907-5516

Contact YOur MLA as welL MLA Contact info→



  • Tell them how important the AFA Artists and Education (Residency) program has been to your school. 
  • Tell them how many kids have participated in residencies at your school over the years
  • Tell them how important it has been for your students or family
  • Tell them how important the residency program has been to your overall community
  • Tell them how important it has been to the development of teacher classroom practise 
  • Tell them that this program has been around for 25 years and is a key part of both the Education and Arts fabrics of the province. Both the Minister of Education and the Minster of Culture and Tourism need to hear this.
  • Tell them that $500,000 in funding (that's the entire program) is no where near enough money per year to bring professional artists into 2,000 Alberta schools 
  • Tell them that funding 30% of the schools that apply is just not enough. 
  • Tell them that is it very unfair to make a 50% cut to this program when other programs received either no cuts or small 5-10 % cuts.
  • Tell them to do the right thing for Alberta schools and students and REVERSE THE CUT.


These groups and individuals support the reinstatement - and increase - of funds to the AFA Artist and Education Program, as well as call for a meeting with the Minister of Culture to discuss the value of the program.



Jeannie Everett, Superintendent of Learning Services, Calgary Board of Education

John Bailey, Superintendent, Foothills School District 38

Colleen Munro, Chair, Rockyview Schools

Simon Bird, Superintendent, Stoney Education

Lorrianne Tenove, Education Director, Tsuut'ina Nation

Angie Good Running, Education Director, SunChild First Nation

Lynn Stanley Director of Education, Frog Lake Education

Chris Meaden, Director of Learning Services, CBE

Christine Pretty, Chair, Foothills School District 38

Marilyn Bergstra, Chair, Edmonton Catholic School Board

Michael Janz, Chair, Edmonton Public

Glenys Edwards, Chair, St. Albert Public School Board

Cheryl Dumont, Trustee, St. Albert Public, Chair ASBA Zone 2/3

Ray Martin, Trustee, Edmonton Public School Board

Patricia Grell, Trustee, Edmonton Catholic School Board

Julie Barton, Fine Arts Specialist, Calgary Board of Education

Taylor Rubin, Cultural Liaison, Various Edmonton Schools



Heather Chorley, Don Knott School , Edmonton

Brian Mullay, Principal,  Greely Road School, Fort McMurray

Nicolettta Papanicolas, Principal, St. John Bosco, Edmonton

Susan Parker, Principal, Elizabeth Barrett School, Cochrane

Lisa Henderson, Teacher, Lymburn School, Edmonton

Paul Pichursky, Principal, Isabelle Sellon School, Crowsnest Pass

Annette Smith, Teacher, Avalon Junior High, Edmonton

Kyla Horvat, Ecole Dansereau Meadows School, Beaumont

Shannon Roy, Wilma Hansen School, Calgary

Natalie Sturch, Christ the Redeemer School, Brooks

Andrea Gleddie, Windsor Park Elementary School, Edmonton

Jodie Schwartz, Avalon Junior High, Edmonton

Mary Ellen Serafini, Black Gold Regional School, Leduc

Jenelle de Jesus, Cecil Swanson School, Calgary

Joan Andrea, St. John Paul II School, Stony Plain

Lori Whillier, Virginia Park Arts Core School, Edmonton

Joyce Miller, Tutor at Athabasca University

Owen Morris, VP Elementary, Chief Napeweaw Comprehensive School

Angela Lee, Teacher at Crawford Plains School, Edmonton

Dennis Ralston, Teacher, Edmonton

Lisa Hauk-Meeker, Teacher at Victoria School of the Arts, Edmonton

Dave Bennell, Principal, Riverdale School, Edmonton

Andrew Raczynski, Teacher, Edmonton

Lori Mahacsy, Drama Instructor, Kings University, Edmonton

Jennifer Spencer, Playwright Instructor in Theatre Arts, Grant MacEwan University

Linda Lowe, Retired Teacher


Mary Rozsa de Coquet, The Rozsa Foundation

Brittany Harker Martin, Associate Director Werklund School of Education (Arts Ed Research)

Thomas Peacocke, Professor Emeritus University of Alberta Drama Program, Order of Canada

Vivien Bosley, Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta

Christy Morin, Arts on the Ave, Edmonton

Nolan Crouse, Mayor of the City of St. Albert


Parents and Parent Councils

St. John Bosco School Parent Council, Edmonton

Alison Kulak, Parent, Ross Sheppard, Edmonton

Robin Westervelt, Parent, St. John Bosco School, Edmonton

Coreen Shamchuck, Parent, St. John Bosco School, Edmonton

Cathy Pater, Parent, St. John Bosco School, Edmonton

Rosie Riddell, Parent, St. John Bosco School, Edmonton

Mark Kirvan, Retired Teacher & Arts Supporter

Wes Doyle, Edmonton


Artists and Arts Companies

Joanne Baker, Education Director of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks

Nikki Loach, Artistic Director of Quest Theatre

Sean Fraser, Executive Director, Evergreen Theatre

David Chantler, Producing Director of Trickster Theatre

Robert Greenwood, Artistic Director of Sun Ergos - A Company of Theatre and Dance

Mark Henderson, Artistic Director of Theatre Prospero

Allure Gooliaff, Artistic Director of Three Left Feet

Jordan Dack, Artistic Director of Sound Kreations

Ellen Chorley, Artistic Director of Promise Productions

Vern Thiessen,  Artistic Director of Workshop West Playwrights Theatre

Gilbert Parent, Artistic Director of Les Bucherons

Gerry Morita, Artistic Director of Mile Zero Dance

Randall Fraser, Artistic Director of National Stiltwalkers of Canada

Michael Clark, President of Serca Festival of Irish Theatre Society

Chris Dela Cruz, Technical Director of L'Uni Theatre

WP Puppeteers

The One World Drum Co.

Evergreen Theatre

Rooney and Punyi (Maureen Rooney and Paul Punyi)

Marty Chan, Writer, Edmonton

Robert Clinton, Playwright, Edmonton

Lana Skague, Theatre Artist

Kimberly Smith, Glass Artist, Creative Adventures Caravan, Edmonton

Debra Bryan, Ceramics Artist

Jennifer Stables, Jenny Dale Designs

Paula Roberts