It was late 2003 and I was in trouble.
I took a job (my first after getting my master’s degree) at a market research firm in Ottawa.
At the end of one day, the boss called me into his office.
I was let go.
I went home and called my sister Kendra Kincade.
“You should come out West,” she said.
Watching western movies with my grandfather growing up, I had always wanted to live out West.
I loaded everything I owned into a hockey bag, and then I bought a one-way ticket to Edmonton International Airport.
While I didn’t know it at the time, the Alberta economy was about to boom. Like, 13 people in line at a grocery lane type boom. Signing bonuses for convenience store employees. It was crazy.
As luck would have it, I ended up with a couple jobs pretty quick. I was teaching Introduction to Political Science at a local college, and then I was offered an awesome job at the Alberta Legislature as a researcher for the Official Opposition.
My job was literally to look at government spending, draft questions for elected officials – who couldn’t be sued on the floor of the Legislature – and let them roll.
Unlike every other job I had in my life, digging for money through mountains of government jargon came naturally to me.
Finally, all those years in the library during my degrees in political science and research methods were paying off.
Before long I discovered “grants,” and I was hooked.
“I can’t believe the money governments give to businesses and non-profits,” I thought. “And they keep changing names. How does anyone keep track of all this?”
At the legislature, you are in this strange ecosystem with the media. Before long even the media was taking notice of our work. One journalist didn’t reveal my name, but he referred to me as a “diligent sleuth.”
I actually found the 2007 article online:
As an aside, how hilarious is it that 12 years later I would own a company called “Alberta Business Grants (ABG).” I’ve managed to allocate over $4M to my clients, but I think a lot more soon as long as I keep learning and improving.
I’ve learned about many pains in the grant business since 2007, and you’re about to read a sales pitch about a little product that I’m creating that solves a very big grant problem.
One problem preventing businesses from winning grants is that can’t stay on top of the hot mess (i.e. constant grant changes). They lack relevant and timely information. Free money opportunities are missed. If you’re still reading this far, you’ve probably experienced it.
I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve heard these statements:
- oh, I just missed that deadline!
- I didn’t even know that grant existed L
- I can get a grant for my flights and trade shows!
- You mean my customers can apply for this grant to buy my product. Are you kidding me?
- Here is one of my favourites: “first-come, first serve grants means that we just need to be the first to apply, and we can win the grant?”
- To get a summer grant I need to apply in January. I didn’t even hear about it.
For these reasons, I’ve created a private email list called the Alberta Grant Gazette. It’s brief and to the point. Designed for the busy executive boarding a plane and delivered the 1st and 15th of every month.
It addresses these problems:
- Upcoming grant conferences and events
- Upcoming grant deadlines
- Changes in grant programs
- Helps executives have adequate answers when their board or boss says, “what about grants,” and you don’t look like a fool
- Upcoming business award deadlines
- Brief tips on meeting elected officials – who have the final say in grants
Here is the September edition. Send me a text or call 780-297-6177 or email if you would like the 50% annual discount available until September 1, 2019. Regular price starts September 1, 2019 and is $500 annual.
Welcome to the Alberta Grant Gazette!
2019 is a historic year in Alberta politics. The new United Conservative Party was elected, bringing a conservative philosophy back to the Alberta legislature. Albertans are waiting for the fall budget to know exactly what this will mean for the government grant programs. With the federal election coming this fall, Alberta businesses can prepare for major spending announcements in the province. In fact, Justin Trudeau was in Edmonton in May with infrastructure funding. As I teach in my Grant 101 seminar, all government grants start in election platforms. Governments make promises to the electorate, and then they pass laws to make it happen.
Most grants in agriculture were frozen with the new government, but more and more are now excepting applications. 2018 is the beginning of the five-year Canadian Agriculture Partnership program. Several grants can be won 2 or 3 times over the five-year term. https://cap.alberta.ca/CAP/Programs/active
Alberta Business Grants attended AgSmart in Olds, August 13-14. The major agriculture news was this website: https://caain.albertainnovates.ca/. This site is so new, it’s a temporary site. Also, other companies beyond the core companies will be eligible for funding. Watch it closely!
On March 19, the Government of Canada announced $100 million dollars (over four years) committed to the Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN) from the Strategic Innovation Fund. The details about the $100 million over four years are still to be determined. Learn More.
Energy Efficiency Alberta. Before Kenny was premier, here was his quote, “We don’t need bureaucrats changing our shower heads and our light bulbs,” Kenney said at a news conference, adding programs under the agency would be “gone.” May 24 the Calgary Herald reported the new government is taking an “open mind” to each program at EEA. Stay tuned for updates.
Emission Reduction Alberta. According to the Edmonton Journal, “The UCP promises to nix the 100-megatonne oilsands emissions cap under the NDP climate leadership plan. The current large emitter tax would be replaced with a new Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) program. Check out the website here. The first $100 million of TIER would fund new technologies to reduce carbon emissions and $20 million would go to the energy “war room.” The rest will fall into general revenue.
Alberta Innovate’s largest grant event of the year isJune 3-6, 2020. You can meet grant agency staff at this event. Get this event into your calendars. ABG strongly recommends staying downtown as this year Stephen Ave. had several “after party” events. An excellent opportunity to build relationships!
Grants are back open! As many of you know, many of Alberta Innovates programs were on hold pending the new government. Many are starting to open back up. Check out two of the most popular programs: https://albertainnovates.ca/funding-entrepreneurial-investments/alberta-innovation-voucher/
If you’re looking for a fall grant, you need to start your application now. Check out the Community Facility Enhancement Program: https://www.alberta.ca/community-facility-enhancement-program.aspx. The intact is September 15. I strongly urge you to read the program guide now. If you do, you’ll find this clause: “Cash funding must be supported by current financial statements signed by two signing authorities (statement of revenue and expenses, and balance sheet) of the organization or current bank records to confirm that the cash is available. Substantial cash donations relative to total project costs must be confirmed with a letter by the donor.” In other words, you need your fundraising done BEFORE you apply. Major “grant trap” clause. With this information in hand, you can plan your fundraising goals accordingly.
Because many municipalities across Canada continue to face serious infrastructure deficits, Federal Budget 2019 proposed a one-time transfer of $2.2 billion through the federal Gas Tax Fund to address short-term priorities in municipalities and First Nation communities. This will double the Government of Canada’s commitment to municipalities in 2018–19 and will provide much needed infrastructure funds for communities of all sizes, all across the country. https://www.infrastructure.gc.ca//plan/gtf-fte-eng.html
If you’re an Indigenous organization, you could check out the Indigenous Forestry Initiative: https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/forests/federal-programs/13125#contact
7. Government Funded Testing Centre of the Month
The federal and provincial government pile millions of dollars into facilities that can test and demonstrate new technologies. This month we feature the Centre for Grid Innovation. It will house a microgrid, or local energy grid, where energy companies can develop, test and validate their technologies under realistic field conditions before scaling up to use the larger, traditional power grid. The feds kicked in $1.9 million and the province $2 million. Learn more: Centre for Grid Innovation.
8. Upcoming Trade Missions
The federal and provincial government are trade missions all the time. You can learn about trade missions in this video. Watch this section for upcoming missions.
9. Grant Events
Grant events are the great ways to meet grant agency staff in a relaxed environment.
– June 3-6, 2020 in Calgary is the Alberta Innovates Inventure$ mega conference. Tickets are cheap if you get them now: https://inventurescanada.com/. Book your calendar at a minimum.
– October 28-30 Edmonton. Emissions Reduction Alberta SPARK: https://eralberta.ca/spark-2019/
– The list of 2019 Agriculture Events is here: https://www.agric.gov.ab.ca/app55/events
10. Business Award Deadlines
Alberta Agricultural Hall of Fame: Get started soon as the call will be in 2020: https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-agriculture-hall-of-fame.aspx
Alberta Chamber of Commerce Business Awards. Deadline November 9, 2019: https://abbusinessawards.com/nominate/
EY Entrepreneur of the Year taking nominations for 2020: https://geoy.ey.com/
11. Meet Your New Minister
If you look at any grant guideline, you will find a clause that looks like this:
Screenshot from the Community Facility Enhancement Program Grant Guidelines
All grants have this clause, regardless of your industry. You should be learning who the minister is in your department and setting up a visit. Ministers love getting site tours, connecting with businesses, or using your office location for a grant announcement. The best way is to be proactive. Find your minister here: https://www.alberta.ca/premier-cabinet.aspx
12. Urgent Grant Deadlines
Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada. Deadline September 11, 2019. $3M
Climate Action Incentive Fund. The SME project stream will be open for applications on July 17, 2019 and will remain open for 90 days or until the funding for this round has been exhausted.
Here is a complementary September 1st edition. Send me (David Kincade) a text or call 780-297-6177 or email if you would like the 50% annual discount available until September 1, 2019. Regular price starts September 1, 2019 and is $500 annual.