How ATB supports Alberta’s freelance artists
By ATB Financial 27 July 2023 2 min read
For many artists, going to the bank is an adverse experience. It may feel like you’re being talked down to. It can be difficult to try to explain to someone who’s always drawn a regular salary that your income just doesn’t look like theirs, and neither do your financial priorities.
The bank for artists
At The Branch for Arts & Culture, we’re trying to create a better experience—for both individual artists and arts organizations.
Erin Pankratz, a mosaic artist based in Edmonton, says it best: “You go into a regular bank and it’s like, ‘Convince us that you’re worthy.’ At The Branch, they’re eager to find a way to help you, because they know that if artists don’t get help, they’re not going to be able to make art.”
Art + banking = The Branch
Because all the bankers at The Branch have roots in the arts community, we understand where artists are coming from—and we’re equipped to meet you where you’re at. At The Branch, we’re interested in a more informal, holistic look at your financial picture, taking into account your different sources of income, your credit rating, your forthcoming grant and contract payouts and more.
Looking for a mortgage as an artist? That’s why we’re here. What about advice on how to invest without locking away your money forever (just in case you have to access it next year)? What about a loan to study with a master, fund your breakout album or take your studio to the next level?
Financial planning for freelancers
Even if you, like Pankratz, are in a limited financial position that’s been developing over years as you’ve built up a practice and honed your skills, getting support from your financial institution can help to expand your horizons, save for the future and create a financial plan for yourself and your family.
Financing artists, investing in the arts
As Erin says, “People don’t realize how much of a risk it is to be an artist. There’s that myth of the tortured artist—but actually artists don’t make really great art when they’re being tortured. It’s after the fact, when they’ve come out of it and they have a secure way to express what they went through.”
That’s where we come in. We believe that if artists in Alberta are able to enjoy a measure of support and security, we’ll all reap the benefits.