Posted: August 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

Between my personal project and organizations I am involved in etc., there were four grant result envelopes delivered today.





Yet another year of no support. I have been involved in somewhere around 15 grant applications all told, and other than support from the City of Ottawa for Capital Slam (thank you City of Ottawa), there is rejection slip after rejection slip.

Yet the SAME NAMES appear on the recipient lists year after year. Where I see grants as a leg up to help a project get going or enable it to succeed, it seems that others are using it as a regular stream of income.

This really pisses me off.

Who in the arts community around here can claim more success, at a grass roots level, than Capital Slam can? We put on two shows a month, provide a stage for local poets, provide features to inspire, create a sense of community, put a team together to represent the city, put a CD together to highlight some amazing voices on the scene… rejected. Apparently that isn’t enough to warrent support when we want some help in expanding.

It looks like my personal CD project is never going to happen. Apparently I have nothing of value to share with the wider community.

Unlike… well, I am not going to call out individuals, because they are doing nothing wrong. But it is the same names OVER and OVER.

People always say that it must not have been a good application and I should ask for feedback. I have.
One year I was told that I had to emphasize my importance in the community more.
The next year I was told that the application should not be about the applicant at all – only the project is appraised.

So… the exact opposite message as the previous year?

This doesn’t even mention one of the other groups I am with that is in much worse straights than CapSlam, due to a shorter track record.

Then I am told, the trick is to get the first one. After that you are more likely to get one.

Can I express how ridiculous that is? What a messed up message that is?

I have a simple question. What is the goal of the program? To suport the arts or just support those who have been fortunate enough to get on the approved list?

I am angry and frustrated.

  1. Tha Duffman says:

    Hey Rusty,

    I feel you. The goal SHOULD be to support ALL the arts. Both established and up & coming individuals, groups, and programs. The fact is it’s simpler to hedge your bets on what you know vs what you don’t know. Seeing the same names again and again could mean politics are involved. More than likely though it’s a lazy evaluation process.

    Which I guess is fine in helping established artists. But that leaves the people pouring their blood sweat & tears into making something out of nothing out in the cold.

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