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Canada Council for the Arts poised for change

by aanationtalk on October 10, 2012497 Views

Ottawa, October 10, 2012 – In addition to allocating $157 million in financial support to professional artists and arts organizations, the Canada Council spent last year laying the groundwork for organizational and program change. Details on these activities are outlined in its 2011-12 Annual Report released today.

Holding strong to the five directions and three themes outlined in its Strategic Plan 2011-16 Strengthening Connections, the Canada Council reaffirmed its commitment to be responsive to societal change and to effectively manage its resources.

“At a time when Canada is being urged to accelerate its innovation agenda, investing in creativity should be a national priority,” stated Council Chair Joseph L. Rotman. “The Council is acutely aware of the impact of its funds on artists as well as the benefits to Canadians and will continue to demonstrate the highest possible standard in its investment of public funds.”

“By investing $157 million in some 1,900 communities across the country, the Council connects Canadians to art and artists who stimulate and educate, challenge and entertain,” said Director and CEO Robert Sirman. “As artists move into new realms of creativity, so must the Council. With stable funding for the next three years, Council has embarked on a significant change agenda, reviewing its programs and processes to ensure that it remains relevant.”

The Council also celebrated key anniversaries in 2011-12 that demonstrated its deep engagement with the public: 75 years of connecting Canadians to Canadian literature through the Governor General’s Literary Awards, 40 years of presenting contemporary art through the Canada Council Art Bank and 25 years of compensating authors for the free public access to their books in public libraries through the Public Lending Right program.

Highlights of the Annual Report include:

  • Over 2,013 artists received funding from the Council and 17,885 authors received Public Lending Right payments.
  • $122 million was allocated to 3,780 grants to arts organizations.
  • Over $3 million was awarded in prizes and fellowships to 193 individuals.
  • For the first time, the Council awarded grants to 17 Deaf and disability arts organizations through an expanded capacity building program.
  • A total of 484 grants were awarded to artists and arts organizations in official language minority communities.
  • The Alberta Creative Development Initiative ended in 2011-12 after five years and an investment of almost $8 million in the Alberta arts community.
  • In consultation with the arts community, Council launched a process to review and revitalize support to arts organizations.
  • The Canada Council costs $5.25 per Canadian; its Parliamentary appropriation represents .08% of total federal spending.

The Annual Report, detailed profiles of Canada Council funding by province or territory, the searchable grants listing and the list of peer assessment committee members are available on the Canada Council’s website

General information

The Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s national arts funder. Its grants and payments to artists and arts organizations benefit Canadians by ensuring a vibrant arts sector in Canada. Its awards celebrate creativity by recognizing exceptional Canadians in the arts, humanities and sciences. The Canada Council Art Bank is a national collection of over 17,000 Canadian contemporary artworks – all accessible to the public through rental, loan and outreach programs. The Canadian Commission for UNESCO operates under the general authority of the Canada Council.

Media Contacts:

Heather McAfee
Public Relations Officer
1-800-263-5588 or 
613-566-4414, ext. 4166
Email this contact

Grace Thrasher
Manager, Public Relations Team
1-800-263-5588 or 
613-566-4414, ext. 5145
Email this contact


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