The paper examines how the Alberta Foundation for the Arts has prioritized economic measures of sustainability and best business practices by including economic language and demands into arts funding applications. Analyzing ten years of granting documents from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts the research explores how the gradual inclusion of business language increases the demand on arts organizations to operate as sustainable organizations. The paper also considers how the very imposition of economic priorities onto non-profit arts organizations may, ironically, be the saving grace for such organizations in the face of global economic crisis. Forced to operate under the rigid fiscal demands of granting programs, arts organizations in Alberta are accustomed to efficient operation with limited resources. Therefore they may actually be poised to weather the economic storm better than other arts organizations in Canada.