The Canada Council for the Arts is entering a new era - one that promises to transform its relationship with artists and arts organizations across the country for the better, and that will scale up the impact of the arts for all Canadians.

Our funding principles, decision making process and commitments are the cornerstones of our operations.

The Canada Council would like to thank all the artists and arts organizations who contributed images to this video.
View the artists and artwork featured in the video.


Strategic Plan 2016-21

Shaping a New Future

Between 2016 and 2021, the Council will strengthen its support for the arts community by enabling a culture of participation, inclusion and diversity.

The Canada Council’s vision for the future is also a vision for the future of our country, a response to our changing social environment and an expression of our shared values. This vision is set out in our 2016-21. Strategic Plan.

Read our Strategic Plan (PDF 639 Kb)

Strategic Investments

By 2021, our direct investment in the arts will gradually increase from $150 million annually (in 2015) to $310 million annually (in 2021).

The Council has set specific benchmarks to maximize the impact of its investments and deliver on its commitments.

View the video on our investments

Commitments for a New Future

The 2016-21 Strategic Plan is structured around four key commitments. Each commitment includes specific actions for meeting our equity objectives and supporting next-generation artists and audiences.

These commitments will be achieved primarily through our 6 funding programs, our initiatives and our strategic funds.

Feathers - banner for Indigenous Commitment


We commit to supporting the ongoing relationship between Indigenous artists, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences, for a shared future. The Canada Council is adopting an approach that respects and acknowledges First Nations, Inuit and Métis artistic expression, cultural protocols, rights, traditions, and worldviews. We will support projects that stimulate Indigenous artists, enrich their artistic practices, and inspire their communities. This new approach represents a transformation of the way the Council funds, supports and acknowledges the Indigenous arts and cultures of Canada. It recognizes the cultural rights of Indigenous peoples and respects the principle of First Nations, Inuit and Métis self-determination.

Creating, Knowing and Sharing:
The Arts and Cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples

Digital lines - banner for Digital Commitment


We will amplify the quality, scale and sharing of art through digital technology, which is changing the way we relate to the arts and culture, and how we connect with each other and the world. In 2017, the Council hosted the Arts in the Digital World Summit. That same year, we launched the Digital Strategy Fund to support Canadian artists, groups and arts organizations in understanding the digital world, engaging with it, and responding to the cultural and social changes it produces. Between 2017 and 2021, the Canada Council will invest 88.5M$ through this Fund.

Digital Strategy Fund
Bright lights - banner for International Commitment


We will raise the international profile of Canadian artists and arts organizations, giving them the opportunity to share the best of the arts created in Canada with global audiences. With the help of partners here and abroad, we will help grow Canada’s international presence and complement the efforts of other federal funders to support Canadian artists abroad. We will also foster reciprocity by welcoming international artists to Canada, and by supporting bilateral and multilateral co-productions and artistic residencies and exchanges.

Americas Cultural Summit2018 Venice Architecture Biennale
Bridge - banner for Increased Support Commitment

Increased Support

We will invest in artistic research and development, and help next-generation artists to build sustainable careers. We will increase support to artists, collectives and organizations striving for artistic excellence and greater engagement in the arts. And we will measure our impacts to demonstrate results to Canadians.

Our programs

Ongoing Commitments

In addition to the four commitments in its 2016-21 Strategic Plan, the Canada Council will create opportunities for youth and will continue to deepen its longstanding commitment to equity, inclusion and official languages.

Performance - banner for Equity


The Canada Council aims to support a vital and diverse arts ecology that enriches the lives of Canadians, and equity is a critical means to achieve this. All citizens deserve to benefit from a vibrant, accessible and pluralistic arts sector, and all creative expressions should have the same chance to flourish.

Letters A through H - baner for Official Languages

Official Languages

The Canada Council promotes Canada's two official languages, English and French. It also employs positive measures to support the artistic vitality of Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs): groups of people whose maternal or chosen official language is not the majority language in their province or territory – in other words, Anglophones in Quebec and Francophones outside of Quebec.

The Canada Council believes in the distinct contribution that Canada’s two official languages and its OLMC artists and arts organizations make to the diversity and richness of the arts in Canada.

It also recognizes the important role the arts can play in promoting linguistic duality and the vitality of OLMCs.

Children's hands holing yellow and red maple leafs - banner for Youth


The Canada Council is determined to be a public arts funder that is truly focused on the future. This means we will create more opportunities for the next generation — including for emerging artists, who often face barriers to funding opportunities. Young artists in particular will be encouraged to master their art forms and invent new models for artistic creation and dissemination. We will also find new ways to engage young audiences, children and youth.