Cultivate Initiative

Equity Office
Cultivate Initiative

About Equity

The Canada Council has a history of embedding values of equity within its operations. The practice of linguistic duality, the investment in regional artistic institutions, the creation of the Aboriginal Arts and Equity Offices, as well as equitable practices within policy development, grant programs and processes, have all contributed to our diverse and vital arts ecology. The Council has equity policies that cross the whole organization as well as dedicated programs for arts communities facing sizable barriers to arts production and access. For more, read the Equity Framework.

About Cultivate

The Canada Council offers Cultivate, a pilot program nurturing diversity in the arts. Delivered through the Equity Office, Cultivate replaces the Equity Office's previous Capacity Building Initiative. Highlights of the Capacity Building initiative can be found here [PDF, 108.5 KB] and a Program Review can be found here [PDF, 468 KB]. The Cultivate programs are described in detail below.

Cultivate will be offered in 2016. As the Canada Council prepares for a transformation of its funding models, this initiative will inform our future directions and be integrated into our new programs.

Expanding the Arts: A Guidebook for Working with Artists who are Deaf or have Disabilities

This is an outstanding resource for organizations large and small who are seeking to implement more equitable practices into their workplace. We can use this handbook to guide our work and are delighted to make it publicly available for you.

Sector Development Grants

Application deadline: September 15, 2016

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For Aboriginal, culturally diverse, Deaf, disability, and official language minority arts professionals and organizations

  • promotes the development, recognition and understanding of diverse artistic practices
  • advances professional development, networking, and knowledge-sharing
  • increases public access to the arts, and community engagement
  • nurtures partnerships, collaborations, resource-sharing and intercultural understanding
  • increases accessibility for artists and audiences with disabilities
  • End result: A healthier and more vibrant arts sector that reflects Canada’s diversity

Organizational Development Grants

Application deadline: September 15, 2016

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For culturally diverse, Deaf and disability arts organizations

  • builds human resources and administrative capacity
  • enhances governance and board participation
  • improves financial management and revenue generation
  • develops new marketing and audience development strategies
  • End result: More sustainable and effective arts organizations serving Canada’s diverse artists and audiences

Creative Development Grants

Application deadline: September 15, 2016

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For artists who are Deaf, have disabilities or who are living with mental illness.

  • stimulates the creation and production of new and original artworks
  • contributes to creative development of artists
  • advances the development of Deaf Arts, Disability Arts and Mad Arts practices
  • raises the profile and vitality of these sectors
  • End Result: Increased creation and production opportunities and innovation within Canada’s Deaf and disability arts communities

Professional Development Grants

Application deadline: anytime until 30 November 2016

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For artists and arts professionals who are Deaf, have disabilities or who are living with mental illness

  • supports professional development activity
  • encourages peer-to-peer learning, networking and knowledge exchange
  • provides flexible and responsive support
  • End Result: Enhanced skills, connections and visibility for Deaf and disability arts practitioners


If you need alternative forms, please contact:

Vanessa Novack
Senior Administrative Assistant
Equity Office
1-800-263-5588 (toll-free) or 613-566-4414, ext. 4102
TTY: 1-866-585-5559