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The Art of Applying for the Advanced Artist Award

  • Read the guidelines to determine your eligibility. Make sure that you are eligible and that your project is also eligible.
  • The Advanced Artist Award supports projects that help artists advance their practice or their personal artistic development through innovative projects or educational pursuits. This can take many forms but often involves learning through workshops, courses, study, mentors, collegial working groups, critique, collaboration, exploratory work, etc. These can be the more risky or experimental aspects of practice. Applicants might also receive an award for an artistic work period if it can be articulated how doing the work will advance the artist’s practice, skills, or creative development. The focus of the award is on enhancing artistic ability.
  • An advanced artist is someone who:
    • Has specialized training and skill in an artistic field (not limited to training from schools or academic institutions);
    • Is recognized as an advanced artist by peers in the same artistic tradition;
    • Has produced a body of work and has established a "voice" in a medium;
    • Has a commitment to practice and considers it a major aspect of working life, regardless of income or other employment; and,
    • Has a history of public presentation. 
  • A-Level artists generally have a greater and farther reach of impact or presentation than B-Level artists. The degree of reach varies in each discipline. B-Level artists are still advanced; B-Level should not be interpreted as a new or emerging artist. In addition, artists who show significant talent may still not qualify as B-Level artists if they have not yet acquired independent and professional presentation credits.
  • Eligible applicants demonstrate artistic merit through a portfolio of work and a résumé that demonstrates significant credits (body of work, appearances at festivals, concerts, publishing credits, curated exhibitions, awards, speaking engagements, etc.).
  • Funding recommendations are made by a peer jury. Contact an Arts Advisor if you would like to discuss or review your project and application prior to the intake date.
  • There are three parts to an application: the résumé, the portfolio, and the project description with budget. All items are equally important so take care in assembling them.
  • Your résumé should be clear and concise and contain only arts-related references. (i.e., do not submit your employment résumé). List your education, exposure, and successes including relevant details.
  • Ensure that your portfolio is neat, labelled, and easy to view and provides the most positive “picture” of your work possible. For visual artists: photos or digital files must be free of other subject matter and have appropriate lighting and colour quality.
  • Submit works which best show your talent and which most directly relate to your proposed project. Describe in your application the context of the portfolio work and why you are submitting the specific examples (i.e. How do they pertain to the application?). For time-based works, submit a 10 minute excerpt or otherwise indicate which tracks/chapters to review. For literary works, submit no more than 15 pages.
  • Ensure that your project description, goals, and overall artistic objectives lead the jury to understand how the project relates to your artistic development. Start with a one sentence summary and then elaborate in a few clear paragraphs. You may wish to describe how the work differs from your previous projects or your previous experience. Be specific and detailed. The jury is interested in understanding the context of your practice at this point in your career. The project that you propose is important but your development as a result of it is as important. How will your project idea deepen your practice?
  • If you are working with other artists or mentors include their résumés.
  • Applications must be physically received or postmarked on the intake day. If mailing the application, contact an Arts Advisor to advise that it is en route.
  • The proposed project start date can be any time after the intake date. It typically takes 8 weeks to notify applicants of the outcome of the adjudication. If successful, the project will be able to claim any expenses which occurred on or after the relevant intake date.
  • Support letters are not necessary but in some cases, they can help the jury understand your career. If you wish to include them make sure that the writer holds artistic qualifications that would assist the jury in assessing your art and your application such as a curator, mentor, instructor, appraiser, publisher, critic, commissioner, etc. Letters from enthusiastic audience members, colleagues, and elected officials or non-arts employers almost never provide information that is helpful to the applicant. It is not a good idea to submit letters of rejection as support letters (occasionally a “no thank you” letter has a compliment in it which is tempting to pass on to a jury, but it rarely serves any purpose as a support letter). 
  • In your budget, include a detailed list of expenses. Among the costs, you may apply for your own living costs and artist fees for other artists who might be involved in your project, but not contract days for yourself. Indicate sources of revenue or funding including the AAA request and indicate if they are confirmed.
  • Sign the Cover sheet declaration and submit this in hard copy. Applications may be faxed, or emailed (as ONE attachment - not a series of files) with the exception of the signed Cover sheet and portfolio, which should follow immediately in the mail. Applications may also be dropped off.

Notes about the Advanced Artist Award (AAA) jury process:

  • Funding is for advanced Yukon artists in performing, literary and visual arts, for personal, artistic development that is not capital, nor commercial.
  • The Advanced Artist Award is supported with funding from Lotteries Yukon, administered by the Arts Section. Total is $150,000 per year, divided in 2 sessions of $75,000 each.
  • A new jury is formed for each session of artists who, through personal investment, have achieved an advanced level of practice.
  • The Advanced Artist Award program is targeted towards artistic development for individual established artists. Jurors assess the relevance of the submitted project’s outcomes to the applicant’s artistic development, given the artist’s goals, training, and experience. Other Yukon funding programs, such as the Touring Artist Fund or the Cultural Industries Training Fund address touring opportunities for professional artists, and cultural labour force development, respectively. Occasionally, projects can overlap in relevance to these funds. Consult an Arts Advisor to determine how a project’s focus meets the criteria of different funds.

In assessment, jurors consider this criteria:

  • The degree to which the proposed activity or project meets the objectives of the Advanced Artist Award
  • An assessment of the education, experience and skill level of the applicant
  • The performance history or public exposure of the applicant
  • The degree to which the project will meet the artistic development objectives of the applicant
  • The existence of a realistic and feasible budget and timeline
  • Available funds

If your application is turned down, do not be discouraged. There are often more eligible applications than funds to allocate. Call the Arts Advisor to discuss it. There are many reasons for applications to be turned down and learning how your application faired is often a useful exercise.


To apply, follow the instructions in the Application & Guidelines. [ 639KB]
Print a copy of this page. [ 77KB]
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Contact an Arts Advisor

Arts Section, Cultural Services Branch
Department of Tourism and Culture
Government of Yukon
Tel: 1-867-667-8789
Toll Free: 1-800-661-0408 ext. 8789 
Fax: 1-867-393-6456
Email: artsfund@gov.yk.ca

Office Location
100 Hanson Street
Whitehorse, Yukon

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 2703 (L-3),
Whitehorse, Yukon
Y1A 2C6