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Canada Council Releases Action Plan for 2008-11

by NationTalk on February 13, 20081054 Views

News Releases – 2008

Ottawa, February 13, 2008 – The Canada Council for the Arts today released its Action Plan for the next three years, including plans for the distribution of $31.5 million in new funding in 2008-09.

In July 2007, the federal government announced an ongoing $30 million increase to the Council’s parliamentary appropriation, bringing the government’s annual investment in the Council to over $180 million. The announcement followed one-time increases to the Council’s funding of $20 million in 2006-2007 and $30 million in 2007-2008. The Council has also increased its funding for arts project grants by $1.5 million on a permanent basis, which brings the total amount of new ongoing funding to $31.5 million.The Canada Council’s Action Plan cites specific strategies and activities aligned with the five broad directions in its Strategic Plan, which was released in October. The Strategic Plan committed the Canada Council to five specific directions:

~ Reinforcing the Council’s commitment to individual artists, working alone or collaboratively, as the core of artistic practice in Canada;
~ Broadening the Council’s commitment to arts organizations to strengthen their capacity to underpin artistic practices in all parts of the country;
~ Enhancing the Council’s leadership role in promoting equity as a critical priority in fulfilling Canada’s artistic aspirations.
~ Making partnerships with other organizations a key element in the Council’s approach to advancing its mandate; and
~ Enhancing the Canada Council’s capacity to support the arts and implement change by strengthening its structure, staffing and services.

Both the Strategic Plan and the Action Plan were informed by more than six months of consultations with over 1,700 artists, arts organizations, other funders and members of the general public across Canada. The Action Plan itself was developed through an extensive participatory process, whereby workgroups made up of Canada Council staff developed priorities and strategies for each of the five strategic directions.

“The allocation of our new resources is driven by the priorities that were established in the Strategic Plan, which in turn was informed by the largest consultation in the Canada Council’s history,” said Canada Council Director Robert Sirman. “We are investing these funds as strategically as possible in pursuit of our ultimate goal: that Canada have a rich and vigorous creative life that stimulates the imagination and gives Canadians the means to share their spirit and vision with one another and the world.”

Under the Action Plan, the Canada Council will, in 2008-09:

~ Invest an additional $4.9 million in grants and services to individual artists, including a $700,000 increase in payments to authors through the Public Lending Right Commission.
~ Invest an additional $20.1 million in operating grants, project grants and services to arts organizations, including theatre, dance, and opera companies, orchestras and music ensembles, art museums, galleries and artist-run centres, media arts production and dissemination organizations, book and arts magazine publishers, national arts service organizations and integrated arts (multidisciplinary) organizations.
~ Invest an additional $1.9 million in grants and services aimed at promoting equity, including specific initiatives earmarked to benefit Aboriginal, culturally diverse and official language minority artists and arts organizations (in addition to funding for these artists and organizations through the Council’s other programs).
~ Invest an additional $831,077 in partnership initiatives involving arts funders at other levels of government or other types of organizations within and outside the arts; and
~ Invest more than $3.6 million in the Council’s internal capacity to support the arts, including increased staffing, research, program evaluation and communications.

Other highlights of the Action Plan include:

~ Increased support for the promotion of Canada Council prizes, in an effort to enhance public awareness of the work and achievements of outstanding Canadian artists.
~ An increase of more than $1.4 million for international touring and dissemination by Canadian arts organizations.
~ Improved access by artists, including young artists, to professional development and networking through a portal on the Canada Council’s web site.
~ Research initiatives, in partnership with national arts service organizations, provincial and territorial arts funders and cultural policy experts, to better “map” Canada’s arts infrastructure in order to develop a deeper understanding of the evolving national arts ecology and to identify regional needs and opportunities.

Download the full text of the Action Plan.

For more information:

Donna Balkan
Senior Communications Manager
1-800-263-5588 or (613) 566-4414, ext. 4134

Heather McAfee
Acting Public Relations Officer
1-800-263-5588 or (613) 566-4414, ext. 4523

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