A new arts initiative welcoming refugees to Canada

Welcome to the arts
  • Overview
  • How To Get Involved


Arts and culture in Canada can be a refuge, a celebration of diversity and a source of inspiration and connection. Canadians from coast to coast have been global leaders in welcoming Syrian refugees, and the Canada Council for the Arts and Sun Life Financial have created an initiative to welcome our new citizens and connect these new members of our communities to arts organizations.

From April 1st 2016 to March 31st 2017, this new initiative will support eligible arts organizations that wish to provide free admission to recent Syrian refugees to a performance, exhibition or arts event in their communities.

The Canada Council for the Arts has committed $150,000 in savings. Sun Life Financial will contribute $50,000 through its Making the Arts More Accessible™ program - the focus of is support of arts and culture.

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Working Together
The "Arts and Culture Welcome Refugees" is a Canada Council for the Arts and Sun Life Financial initiative for welcoming Syrian refugees. The initiative, which will run from April 1st, 2016 to March 31, 2017, will enable arts organizations currently receiving operating funding from the Canada Council to offer Syrian refugees free access to their activities.

How To Get Involved

Eligible participants are organizations currently receiving operating support from the Canada Council, and which carry out activities that provide arts or cultural experiences to the public. No more than one proposal per organization will be accepted.

Eligible expenses are the cost of admissions for Syrian refugees to participate in arts and cultural activities during the period of April 1st 2016- March 31st 2017.

Proposals are reviewed for completeness, eligibility and alignment to the initiative objectives. Based on the proposals, Council will commit maximum amounts for each successful participant, based on the available budget.

Deadline for proposals is April 29th, 2016.

How to register: Send your proposal as a .word or .pdf document to welcome@canadacouncil.ca by April 29th, 2016.

The document should contain the following information:

  • Name of Organization
  • Name of Contact
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Proposed Initiative
  • Requested Support Amount

We ask that participants be sensitive with respect to the cultures, beliefs and difficult experiences of refugees, as well as sensitive to the workload and capacity of the settlement sector and refugee sponsors at this time.

Questions? 1-800-263-5588 ext 5060