A New Future Takes Shape

Now that we are in the second half of our 2016-21 Strategic Plan, we can see our vision for an even more vibrant, inclusive, and connected arts sector taking shape.

The strategic plan has four commitments, which focus on arts support, digital technology, Indigenous creation, and the international presence of the arts. The plan also reaffirms our longstanding commitment to equity, inclusion, and official languages, as well as to the next generation of artists and audiences.

This plan presents a vision for stronger support of the arts sector to enable a culture of engagement with citizens across Canada—and beyond.

Overall Investment: $487M

In 2016, the Government of Canada announced the doubling of the Council’s budget over the next five years.

Of the additional $550M promised between 2016 and 2021, we are on track to invest $487M (or 88.5%) directly into the arts sector. The additional 11.5% of that investment will go to services to the community, partnerships, program delivery, and general administration. The Council has committed to investing this additional money to maximize its impact on the arts and strengthen the presence of the arts in the lives of Canadians.

We have already delivered on several of our funding commitments, and we’re on track to deliver the remainder of our commitments by 2020-21.

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Overview of our Commitments

 Increased Support

Arts Support

Our increased support for the arts responds to the evolution of artistic creation, engages an increasingly diverse public, and fosters renewal and growth.

Target Progress
 Target Icon $137.5M or 25% of new funds to new recipients  on track
 Target Icon 50% / 50% split between project and core funding by 2020-21       achieved Checkmark icon
Digital Commitments Preview


Our digital investment fosters the sharing of artistic creation, enhances skills, and supports the transformation of organizational models and practices across the arts sector.

Target Progress
 Target Icon $88.5M for a digital strategy fund  on track 


Our support for Indigenous creation centres on cultural self-determination and supports the renewal of the relationship between Indigenous artists and Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences.

Target Progress
 Target Icon Triple the support to Indigenous creation  on track


Our international investment supports the strong and sustainable presence of Canadian artists and organizations and their work in the world.

Target Progress
 Target Icon Double the support for international activities  achieved  Checkmark icon

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.


Annual Report

The Canada Council for the Arts issues an Annual Report that details its activities and work towards its strategic plan commitments. The Report touches on the Council’s major accomplishments and initiatives, as well as the contributions of artists and organizations that bring these accomplishments to life. The Annual Report affirms the importance, necessity and impact of public arts funding for Canadians.

Read the Annual Report