What is a Context Brief?

Our context briefs contain information and resources about emerging, minoritized and less-understood arts communities and practices. They are intended to equip our peer assessment committees, and they are updated to evolve with the ongoing dialogue about a given topic.

Culturally Diverse Arts (arts of racialized artists)

The Canada Council defines “culturally diverse” (racialized) artists as those of African, Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern and mixed racial descent. Comparisons of their practices with Western forms and stereotypes too often undermine the understanding of their practices. This document provides contextual tools to understand the scope of work of culturally diverse artists and organizations.

Read the full context brief on Culturally Diverse Arts

Indigenous arts and cultures

Indigenous arts and cultures are different from mainstream arts practices that we have come to see as the standard, even universal frame that then tries to “include” work from other cultures and races. At the same time, Indigenous arts in all of their dynamic manifestations, are not completely separate from the rest of the art world. This document provides tools to better understand Indigenous arts and cultures.

Read the full context brief on Indigenous arts and cultures

Deaf and Disability Arts Practices

The arts of Deaf artists, artists with disabilities and artists living with mental illness are artistic practices in which disparate, collective cultural experiences of being Deaf or having a disability are central to the exploration of narrative, form and/or aesthetics. Despite an increase in Deaf and disability artists, limited infrastructure curbs training, creation, production and dissemination in these artforms. This document provides tools to better understand the aesthetics, topics and issues Deaf and disability arts faces.

Read the full context brief on Deaf and Disability Arts Practices

Official Language Minority Communities

Official language minority communities (OLMCs) are groups of people whose maternal or chosen official language is not the majority language in their province or territory. Their artistic development often encounters various issues: training, dissemination, local financial support and more. This document provides tools to better understand the contribution of OLMC artists and arts organizations to culture in Canada.

Read the full context brief on Official Language Minority Communities

Cultural Appropriation and the Canada Council's approach

The Council considers that “cultural appropriation” applies when cultural borrowings or adaptations from a minoritized culture reflect, reinforce or amplify inequalities, stereotypes and historically exploitative relationships that have direct negative consequences on impacted communities. This document provides tools to help understand the issues involved in defining, identifying and dealing with alleged occurrences of cultural appropriation in the context of public arts funding.

Read the full context brief on Cultural Appropriation

Artists and Community Collaboration

Artists and community collaboration activities bring about the active participation and engagement of community members in the creation of art with professional artists and organizations. The goal is to collectively contribute to the creation of art. This document provides tools for better understanding the impact of the relationship resulting from the creation process.

Read the full context brief on Artists and Community Collaboration