Questions and Answers

Thank you for sending us your questions!

At our Annual Public Meeting on January 23, 2018, our Director and CEO Simon Brault answered questions from the public. Due to lack of time, we were unable to answer each question live at the event and are providing written responses here.

Questions have been edited for length, and to avoid reference to a specific applicant file. Please note that we do not respond to comments or questions sent anonymously.

For questions related to your application, please contact your Program Officer or If you have feedback or suggestions for the Canada Council, please send them to

  1. Question from Randall Dark

    “What is your five-year plan?”

    Our vision is set out in our Strategic Plan: Shaping a New Future, available on our website.

    Our strategic commitments include:

    • Increasing support to artists, collectives and organizations.
    • Amplifying the quality, scale and sharing of Canadian art through digital technology.
    • Renewing the relationship between Indigenous artists, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences.
    • Raising the international profile of Canadian art and artists.

  2. Question from Ann Summers Dossena

    “How has the 'new' funds given to CC by the government two years ago been utilized in this year's "available" budget?”

    Two years ago, the federal government announced it would be doubling the Council’s funding over a five year period. To date, 20% of that funding increase has been received. A full picture of the investments made in 2017-18 will be available in our Annual Report this fall.

  3. Question from Naomi Condo

    “How are you ensuring that Indigenous individuals are receiving just as much attention and funding when submitting their proposals for film development that are equally important and relevant, as other organizations who claim to be representing Indigenous people such as myself?”

    Indigenous artists and arts organizations can apply to all of our funding programs, as well as to the Creating Knowing and Sharing: the Arts and Cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples Program.

    This program supports Indigenous individuals, groups, Indigenous-led arts organizations and arts/cultural sector development organizations that foster a vital and resilient Indigenous arts ecosystem. It is designed and led by Indigenous staff, and applications are assessed by Indigenous peers.

    The Council encourages and supports the creative freedom of all artists. We also uphold the fundamental and inalienable right of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to cultural sovereignty. Therefore, when artists or organizations applying for grants through any of the Council’s programs propose projects that include unique aspects of the First Nations, Inuit or Métis culture they are required to demonstrate that authentic and respectful efforts have been made to engage with artists or other members of the Indigenous communities whose culture or protocols are addressed.

  4. Question from Sean Doherty

    “What causes the disparity between Hip Hop's market share in music consumption (Nielson reported in 2017 it was the most popular genre in the world) and the far lower percentage of your music grants being funded to Hip Hop artists?”

    This could be due to several factors, including a lower number of applications. Under our New Funding Model, hip hop artists have the same grant programs available to them as their counterparts in other musical genres.

  5. Question from Duncan Weller

    “As a suggestion, I would recommend giving grants not to Canadian publishers but to writers and illustrators who can prove that they can produce books as good or better than our publishers. Will you consider changing your focus and providing funding to individuals who self-publish rather than these failed gatekeepers?”

    Question from Mr. Jeff Kelland

    “Does the Canada Council for the Arts have any plans to update their policy with respect to self-published authors and their works; and, if not, why? And does the Council have any recommendations for deserving self-published authors in their efforts to gain an equal footing with traditionally published authors in these respects?”

    We realize that the publishing industry is evolving rapidly, and we continue to monitor the situation.

    While we do not fund individuals who self-publish exclusively, those who have self-published and also meet the eligibility requirements can apply for and receive funding to work on a new literary project through the Research and Creation component of Explore and Create. The program covers only the research and creation but not publication costs.

    Our Public Lending Right Program also accepts self-published books for registration, provided they meet all the program criteria.

  6. Question from Jack David

    “How will the new Digital Program help book publishers?”

    Our Digital Strategy Fund supports Canadian artists, groups and arts organizations in understanding the digital world, engaging with it, and responding to the cultural and social changes it produces. You will find more information on our website: Digital Strategy Fund.

  7. Question from Zoe Cunningham

    “Will a Registered National Arts Service Organization (RNASO) be excluded from applying to the Digital Fund with a not eligible profile status?”

    All applicants to the Digital Fund must have a validated applicant profile. National Arts Service Organizations with a validated profile are eligible to apply.

  8. Question from Pamela Royal

    “Can you please tell me if the Canada Council offers funding for Animation feature productions, here in Canada?”

    Professional independent filmmakers creating animation feature productions are indeed eligible for Canada Council funding. More information is available in the guidelines for each component of our funding programs: Grants.

  9. Question from Diana Kirkwood

    “Will the Council be adding more virtual and interactive content [to its website] going forward?”

    While there are no immediate plans, our website is constantly evolving and we may consider adding virtual or interactive content in the future.

  10. Question from Mamma Smith

    “This year the Canada Council informed applicants in their result notifications that artists would not be able to receive feedback on individual applications as part of the granting process. Is it the policy of the Canada Council to make available to individual applicants the jury or program officer assessment notes for all applications?”

    Question from Michael Herring

    “How are the artists who are applying to these new programs supposed to understand what the programs are looking for if no feedback is given and there is no time to get assistance with your next application?”

    The transition to our New Funding Model placed temporary constraints on our ability to provide feedback to individual applicants, as the volume was substantial. We recognize the value of feedback and are delighted that we are now in a position to offer high level feedback for most program components. We also continue to be available to answer questions related to your next application.

  11. Question from Chantal Cadieux

    “Was due consideration given to Canada’s linguistic minorities?”

    We’re taking positive steps to support the artistic vitality of official-language minority communities. For example, we now offer both a Market Access Strategy for Official Language Communities and an Official Languages Fund. We are also in ongoing dialogue with representatives of service organizations from linguistic communities. More information on these initiatives is available on our website: Official Languages.

    A complete report on Council investments in 2017-18 will be available this fall in our Annual Report.

  12. Question from Jean-Marie Michaud

    “Why is dramaturgy the ‘poor relative’ of the Canada Council?

    The Canada Council supports dramaturgy. In theatre, we support authors, dramaturges, creation companies, dramaturgical organizations, drama centres, author residencies, and translations of dramatic works. The theatre organizations we support are also involved in creating new works.

  13. Question from André Dudemaine

    “When will applicants to the program for Indigenous artists (Creating, Knowing and Sharing) receive responses to their submissions?”

    The results of each program component are communicated after each program competition closes. Please contact your Program Officer if you haven’t received your results yet. You can also consult our website for information on the most recent deadlines and notification of results. : FAQ, Deadlines and Results.

  14. Question from Purna Bhattacharya

    “As a woman who is a producer, songwriter, and emerging artist coping with a recent vocal disability, I'm very interested to know what can the Canada Council do (or what is the CC doing) to assist creators and artists like myself who require additional expenses in order to work (ex: hiring interpreters, communication software to collaborate with artists and songwriters, etc.)?”

    We offer assistance to applicants who are Deaf, have disabilities or who are living with mental illness, in the form of the Access Support Strategic Fund. These grants provide a contribution towards costs for specific services and supports required to complete a project funded through a Canada Council program. Beyond this Fund, we also offer Application Assistance to contribute to costs for services to assist applicants specifically with the intention of helping them complete a grant application and/or submit a final report.

  15. Question from Sheri Somerville

    “Can you tell me why the Alberta arts community still receives an inequitable level of funding in relation to our population and what new strategies Council plans to implement to correct the decade’s long historic imbalance in a meaningful way in the coming months?”

    We don’t have regional per capita targets. However, we closely monitor the distribution of funding across the country and track this against external benchmarks data from Statistics Canada, including population, artistic labour force and the Culture Satellite Account. We look forward to working with the arts community and other funders in Alberta to prioritize our outreach and support to artists and arts organizations.

  16. Question from Isabelle L’Italien

    “What has happened to the $50,000 minimum (floor) core operating grant for arts organizations?”

    Funding floors and ceilings are no longer predetermined. The main yardstick is now the quality of the proposed projects and their applicant organizations, as assessed by peers according to the criteria and objectives of the program concerned.

    For more information about organization core grants, please see our Core Grant Competition Results.

  17. Question from Edward Hillel

    “Have you looked at the profiles of peer assessors and whether they truly reflect the contemporary cultural landscape in Canada?”

    In selecting artists and arts professionals to participate in our peer assessment process, we look for individuals who have the experience, knowledge and open-mindedness to make a fair and expert evaluation of the comparative merits of applications and nominations for grants and prizes. Peers are respected and credible within their artistic community or field (and scholarly communities in the case of prizes) and have professional experience and knowledge related to the assessment criteria and the types of applications or nominations submitted.

    We are committed to ensuring that the choice of peers reflects the diversity of Canada’s population, including arts professionals who are culturally diverse, Deaf and/or disabled, or from Official Language Minority communities as well as representative of different regions, generations and gender. The total number of peer assessors from each demographic group is monitored on an annual basis to ensure that there is appropriate participation from these groups.

  18. Questions from Barry Rooke

    “What is viewed as presenting other people's music Vs creating your own artistic expression through a medium like radio or podcast? Can a host be viewed as an artist because of selection of music/sound and mixing, and as a result have access to a funding mechanism?”

    A profile in Music and Sound, Curator in the Performing arts, enables you to access our programs as an individual who curates presentation of works by other artists. Proper rights must be obtained and fees paid for broadcast, streaming and/or live recorded performances. More information on our granting programs can be found on the website: Grants.

  19. Questions from Mehdi Dowlatshahi

    “Does the Canada Council for the Arts sponsor political satire specially when there is a strong relation between art and politics, and arts take on political as well as social dimensions?”

    We have funding programs for professional artists working in all genres. Applications for funding are assessed by peer committees on their merit as compared to that of all other eligible applications to the competition. More information on our grants can be found on the website: Grants.

  20. Questions from Miriam Ginestier

    “How are new Core funding amounts determined? Is the project funding history of the organization taken into account? How? Can the public access the metrics used by agents, and the decision-making process?”

    Funding decisions are based on strong peer assessment against program criteria and strategic priorities. Applications are evaluated by a peer assessment committee with a combined total score and a minimum threshold for each criteria.

    Recommendations for funding are then reviewed and vetted by Program Directors. Grant amounts take into consideration the ranking, the available budget, the amount requested, and the overall context of the competition. Grant amounts may also take into account the previous project funding history of the organization. Final approvals are made by different decision-making levels, based on grant amounts.

    Details can be found in our Granting Policy and in our Application Assessment Process document. You may also be interested in consulting the recent release of 2017-18 Core Grant Competition Results.

  21. Question from Santee Smith

    “What are the fall out plans for assisting art companies who are now dealing with substantially less funding as a result of the late outcomes relayed last week?”

    Core funding applications were received in the summer and assessed in the fall of 2017, with the intention of notifying applicants in December or January. For these applicants, minor delays in notification should not have resulted in cash shortfalls, as advancements were provided based on 2016-17 grants.

    In a few cases, for some project grants with time constraints such as touring and travel proposals, there have been longer than expected timelines for notifications of results. We are communicating up to date information on the timeline for expected results on our website. We are also currently working to shorten the delivery time for results.

  22. Question from @LostDiminion

    “Why is the @CanadaCouncil not archiving works that get funding? You should partner with @LibraryArchives and make it happen”

    We fund a substantial volume of projects and works produced by artists and arts organizations, and cannot commit to ensuring that it is all archived.

  23. Question from Eugénie Congi Question from Eugénie Congi

    “How do you propose to collaborate with the world of education in response to digital developments in the arts?”

    Canada Council grant programs are offered to professional artists and arts organizations. For more information about our Digital Strategy Fund, please see our website: Digital Strategy Fund.

  24. Question from Vern Thiessen

    “One of the priorities of the new portal and grants was to speed up reply times. However, the individual travel grant response time, for example, has now gone from 6 week to over 3 months. This seems counter to the idea of creating the new programs. Please comment.”

    The volume of applications we received in the first year of implementation of our New Funding Model was substantial, requiring a record number of peer assessment and internal assessment committees. This is especially true for high-volume program components like Travel grants. Therefore, some result notifications targets were adjusted to better reflect processing times. We are currently working to shorten the delivery time for results. Eventually, notifications of results will be sent via our online portal, which will provide faster delivery than our current paper based process.