About the Emerging Artist Awards

The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation established the Emerging Artist awards to support and encourage Alberta’s most promising artists at an early stage of their careers.

The awards are not project grants, but designed to support the unique development needs of emerging artists whether it be supplies, further study or experiences, funding to travel for auditions, study or work, or even income replacement for non-arts related employment. Each applicant determines the investment need that would most advance his or her career.

Pamma FitzGerald - Montage, charcoal, pastel. Step Inside the Magic Slipper


Up to 10 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Awards are presented in the competition, which takes place every other year (even years). Each Emerging Artist Award recipient receives a medal and $10,000. (In odd years, the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation presents its Distinguished Artist Awards.) The awards are presented by the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta in a private ceremony at Government House in Edmonton.

Who is an emerging artist?

Emerging Artists are defined as those who have mastered their art form through education or apprenticeship and are in the early years of launching a professional career. Emerging artists have created and publicly presented a modest body of independent work and are ready for the next steps in their artistic development.

Who can apply?

Artists may come from any of the following disciplines and are not limited by the examples:

  • The Performing Arts – creators, composers, choreographers, interpreters, and performers in music, dance, theatre and opera
  • The Visual Arts – painting, print making, sculpture, performance and installation art, photography, new media and fine craft
  • Cinematic Arts – film and video drama, documentary and art film/video
  • Design
  • Architecture
  • Literary Arts, both English and French, – fiction including novel, short story, blended genres, poetry and drama, creative non-fiction

Adjudication process

The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation Board of Directors appoints knowledgeable adjudication panels in consultation with The Banff Centre, which coordinates the process. Results of the adjudication are reported to the Board of Directors, which makes the final decision.

Evaluation criteria

  • Artistic merit
  • Artistic potential
  • Clarity and achievability of the artistic goals
  • Capacity of the applicant to meet artistic goals
  • Potential for the award to advance the applicant’s artistic development