Towards a New Arts Funding Model

We Heard You

Our aspiration: Clearer and simpler applications, fewer more meaningful programs

The arts community across Canada has actively participated in consultations with the Canada Council over the past two years.

The report Conversations Towards Change: How dialogue with the arts community is informing the new funding model [PDF, 619.5 KB] synthesizes the main themes of these conversations and dialogues, which are actively informing the development of the new funding model.

We are working towards that model now, and look forward to sharing more about it in June. Thank you for your patience!

Conversations Towards Change: How dialogue with the arts community is informing the new funding modelDownload the report [PDF, 619.5 KB]

"The idea is to revise and reconfigure how we support artists… to move from a system where artists must adapt to our multiple programs to one in which the Council adapts to the evolving needs of the sectors, our artists and arts organizations for the benefit of all Canadians."Simon Brault,
Director and CEO,
Canada Council for the Arts

What We’re Doing

At our Annual Public Meeting in January 2015, we announced our plans to create a new arts funding model. With this new model, we'll reduce the number of programs from 142 to less than 10 national non-disciplinary programs.

The new model will address emerging trends and issues facing the arts sector, based on our ongoing conversations and consultations with artists and arts organizations across the country. Curious about what we’ve heard? Read a synthesis in our new report Conversations towards Change - How Dialogue with the Community is Informing the New Funding Model. [link]

Why a New Funding Model?

In the broadest terms, we’re creating a new funding model to

  • offer applicants a simpler, more artist-centred application process
  • respond proactively and constructively to current trends and issues in the arts
  • to maximize the social, creative and economic impact of the arts in Canada

Our aspirations are ambitious: The new funding model is part of a transformation to redefine the Council's mandate in the 21st century. We want to more effectively support the creation and enjoyment of the arts in Canada, while remaining committed to our fundamental values:

  • our commitment to supporting artistic excellence
  • our profound conviction that peer assessment is the best system for determining the distribution of public funds for the arts
  • our respect and promotion of Canada’s Official Languages, ethnic and regional diversity as well as the artistic practices of Aboriginal peoples and of equity groups, including deaf and disabled artists

What's Next?

We know that many of you have questions. Thank you for your continued support and patience as we work to advance this transformation. The design of the new funding model is well underway and here is a high level timeline for what you can expect:

  • June 2015: Announcement of the new funding programs (their names and intentions), our guiding directions and orientations on
  • Fall 2015: Release of more detailed program information
  • 2016-17: Launch of the programs and web-based grant application system

In the meantime we're taking every opportunity to share updates. We'll continue to share news on our blog and social media channels (Twitter and Facebook). You can also check out the recent and upcoming opportunities to learn more from our Director and CEO Simon Brault:

  • April 10, 2015: Canadian Arts summit (An Inspired Future for the Arts)
    • Simon Brault addressed an audience of some 100 arts leaders from across the country who gathered around the theme “An inspired future for the arts." His speech can be read here
  • May 4, 2015: Lecture: Grant MacEwan University, Edmonton, “Re-imagining the future of the arts in Canada” 
  • May 12, 2015: Culture Series: CORIM, Montréal

Follow us at #newfundingmodel