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Peer Review

The Edmonton Arts Council (EAC) supports demonstrated and potential excellence in the arts and festivals. When awarding grants, the EAC places priority on artistic and community merit, based on criteria published in the program guidelines. In order to decide who will receive funding and the amount of funding, the EAC is usally guided by peer assessment review. Peer assessment review is based on collective decision-making. No applicant to the EAC is judged by a single person only, and funding recommendations are made by the consensus of peer assessment members. Each grant program is evaluated by a separate peer assessment committee. No two committees are composed of the same people. All peer assessment committees are chaired by an EAC staff member who does not participate in the decision-making. All grant recommendations are subject to the approval of the EAC Board of Directors. CIP grants over $30,000 go to Edmonton City Council for approval.

Peer assessors for the arts and festival operating programs are nominated by the recipients of grants from those programs. Community representatives are recruited from the public at large. Peer assessors for all other programs are appointed by the EAC Exectuive Director. The committee composition, including number of persons and relevant skills or backgrounds is determined by EAC staff and at all times the persons chosen will fairly represent the applicant community. Each jury must be approved by the EAC Executive Director.

The EAC directs committees to respect and consider the specific cultural context of applications from all cultural communities, and in the case of equivalent merits based on the published guidelines, to incorporate the Edmonton Arts Council’s policy of reflecting the full demographic diversity of Edmonton before making grant recommendations.

General Principles

These principles are currently under review and will be updated in 2019.
  1. Peer assessment committees appointed by EAC will fairly represent the parts of the arts and festival communities affected by the relevant grant program.  

  2. Peer assessors will be chosen because of their expertise in a specific arts or festival discipline and, at times, a specific community relevant to a program's applicant pool, and are expected to represent a point of view consistent with their background and experience.

  3. Peer assessors should have the ability to evaluate other people’s work and make comparisons, the ability to articulate opinions, and openness to the ideas of others. They should have the ability to work and debate in a group decision-making process.

  4. Peer assessors will be expected, at all times, to preserve the integrity and impartiality of EAC and of Edmonton City Council.

Assessment of Applications

  1. In assessing the merit of applications to programs administered by the EAC, peer assessment committees will be guided by the relevant evaluation criteria.  

  2. Peer assessors will reach a consensus or majority opinion on each request and clearly express their decision to the EAC through the responsible program officer. 

  3. Peer assessors must respect the overall process at all times. They will not discuss the proceedings with applicants at any time.

  4. Peer assessment committee should provide the EAC with feedback on programs, updates on the needs of the communities, and observations on the assessment process itself including observations on the integrity of the process as well as an evaluation of the EAC officer responsible for the program. 

Voting

  1. All members of a peer assessment committee will have an equal vote on all decisions except in a case of conflict of interest where the Jury member in conflict will not participate in a vote.


The exceptions to the peer assessment committees review process occur for programs whose criteria do not require an evaluation of artistic merit or community impact. In those cases the process of assessment is outlined in the grant guidelines.

Operating Grant Appeals

The Edmonton Arts Council intends its granting process to be fair. Therefore, in particular for ongoing operating grants, there are policies that define how and when a peer assessment committee might issue a concern or a grant reduction, and how an organization can present a formal appeal.

These policies can be downloaded below:

Appeals Policy     Grant Reduction Policy

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Edmonton Arts Council • Prince of Wales Armoury, 2nd Floor, 10440 108 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T5H 3Z9 • info@edmontonarts.ca • p. 780.424.2787 | f. 780.425.7620