Member Spotlight: Canada Council for the Arts

The Canada Council for the Arts – Canada’s public arts funder – has a new strategic plan for 2021-26: Art, now more than ever. The plan has a strong focus on rebuilding a more just and equitable arts sector in Canada.

The plan builds on decades of equity-related work at the Council. Already in place, for example, was the organization’s Expanding the Arts II: Deaf and Disability Expression and Engagement Strategy. This strategy advances Deaf and disability arts, recognizing fundamental human rights and addressing power imbalances and inequities that are the result of political, social, and economic discrimination. The Council supports Deaf and disability arts as a distinct field of practice that brings unique perspectives and ways of being into the common cultural experience and shifts perceptions and understanding of the human condition and artistic experience.

The Council’s new strategic plan deepens support to equity in several new ways – including its $200 million Strategic Innovation Fund. Among other things, organizations can apply to the fund for activities that address systemic problems in the arts sector, including those related to equity, diversity, and inclusion and the impacts of colonization.

All this runs parallel to the Council’s ongoing journey toward a decolonized future for the arts. Indigenous staff at the Council, with the support of Indigenous peoples across the country, are leading these efforts. Toward these efforts, the Council has committed $100M over five years for Indigenous arts and culture, including through its ongoing program Creating, Knowing and Sharing: The Arts and Cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples.

Explore the Canada Council for the Arts 2021-26 Strategic Plan, Art, now more than ever, and its vision for a more just and equitable arts sector.

You can also visit Canada Council for the Arts photo gallery on GIA’s Photo Credits page.

Image: Frédérick Duchesne.