This statement is in response to concerns regarding a recent project undertaken by Indig Inc. with financial support from Creative Saskatchewan.
UPDATE Sept 6, 2019
Creative Saskatchewan can now confirm that concerns recently brought to its attention, in addition to recent public comments made by Heather Abbey, have triggered a review of three previously closed grants she has received. Ms. Abbey and/or her companies have received five Creative Saskatchewan grants since the agency’s inception in 2013. Three of those grant files are complete. Two remain open pending final reports. The two grants currently open will be reviewed as per our standard policies and procedures stated below. This statement will be updated when these reviews are completed.
Creative Saskatchewan can confirm a financial commitment to Indig Inc. in support of a market and export development project. The commitment is a $61,310 grant via our Market and Export Development Grant. 60% of that amount has been delivered to the recipient. 40% remains withheld pending project completion, final reporting and Creative Saskatchewan review. The project was to send a delegation of Indigenous artisans to Japan in an effort to promote Indigenous artisans in an international setting and to open a new market. The Market and Export Development Grant covers half of the eligible expenses incurred by a project.
As noted above, Indig Inc., like all of our grant recipients, did not receive the full amount of the commitment up front. Creative Saskatchewan withholds a portion of every grant it disburses until the applicant completes the project and submits a final report for our review. Creative Saskatchewan generally expects final reports to be submitted within several weeks of the conclusion of a project.
For all grants, withheld amounts are only released after Creative Saskatchewan compares the recipient’s final report, which includes an accounting of all expenses and activities, to the project’s proposed plan and budget. Actual project activity must align with the proposed plan, all expenses must align with the proposed budget, and all expenses must be eligible under the guidelines of each grant.
Actual expenses and/or activities that are not aligned with the project proposal or the grant program are disallowed. In such cases, funding may be deducted from the withheld amount, or funds from the first payment may need to be repaid.
It’s important to clarify that only Saskatchewan residents are eligible to receive Creative Saskatchewan funds. For this reason, funding provided to Indig Inc. was based on the number of Saskatchewan-based entrepreneurs participating in the trip. No funding was provided to Indig Inc. in support of entrepreneurs based outside the province.
Our Annual Report lists a commitment of $84,840 for Indig Inc. to undertake this project. To clarify, this was the maximum amount conditionally approved by the Market and Export Development Grant jury pending the applicant's submission of more detailed documentation. After receiving this documentation, Creative Saskatchewan revised the amount of our commitment: $61,310. At the time of publication of the Annual Report, this revised commitment had not yet been determined, therefore we were required to report the maximum possible commitment.
All Market and Export Development Grant recipients are evaluated by a jury of experienced creative industry stakeholders according to specific criteria. One of these criteria is that the applicant, or members of their team, possesses the expertise, capacity, and ability to complete the project. This is just one of nine specific criteria the jury considers as they adjudicate an application. The complete list of criteria is available here.
As a Crown agency, Creative Saskatchewan is firmly committed to the responsible stewardship of public funds, and fiscal transparency. After receiving and reviewing the Indig Inc. final report, Creative Saskatchewan will post the actual final amount of its investment in this project to its website.
For complete details regarding our Market and Export Development Grant click here.