Every year the Canada Council for the Arts awards a wide range of prestigious prizes to more than 200 Canadian artists and scholars in acknowledgement of their quest for innovation and excellence. Their outstanding achievements inspire and enrich the lives of Canadians. The total value of the prizes and fellowships awarded annually by the Canada Council is up to $3 million.

Many of these prizes are privately endowed and given in perpetuity in memory of generous and visionary donors who have contributed significantly to the cultural legacy of Canada.

Individuals, corporations, foundations and organizations may make donations and help build Canada's artistic future, enabling the Canada Council to sustain and encourage the arts in Canada.

Donors receive recognition for their contributions through a variety of communications initiatives including invitations to award ceremonies, in the Canada Council's Annual Report, on our website, in news releases, and through social media campaigns that promote the awards.

Forms of Donations to the Canada Council for the Arts

Donors may contribute by direct gifts, bequests, life insurance policies (the premiums of which are creditable for tax purposes) and gifts in kind (real property, stocks and bonds, artworks or fine stringed instruments). The terms of all major gifts are set out in an agreement with the Canada Council, and gifts are acknowledged by an official tax receipt.

Management of Donations by the Canada Council for the Arts

The Canada Council's Investment Committee is responsible for managing these funds to maintain and increase their value in terms of purchasing power, while producing the maximum sustainable net annual returns. The Council's investment portfolio, which includes the initial endowment that established the Canada Council, and other endowments from individuals and organizations are worth, based on the fair market value, about $331.7 million (at March 31, 2016).

Donated funds are managed within the Canada Council's general endowment portfolio but are accounted for separately. Merging the principal of donated funds with the larger managed fund increases their revenue and growth potential.

In order to protect the integrity of donated funds and to minimize administrative costs, gifts are normally accepted according to these principles:

  • The Canada Council will accept any amount, large or small, intended for general purposes.
  • The amount of a conditional donation must be appropriate to the purpose and should include provision for administrative costs (such as peer assessment, publicity and presentation costs) in addition to the cost of the award or grant.
  • Ordinarily, costs incurred by the Canada Council in administering donated funds will be charged against the income of such funds.
  • The Canada Council should have the right to determine the frequency of an award in circumstances in which perpetual awards are provided with insufficient endowment funds to sustain the original schedule of awards.

The Canada Council manages and coordinates all activities dealing with distribution of information, adjudication, awarding and publicity. The Canada Council will:

  • Develop, review and enforce eligibility criteria and rules.
  • Select the Peer Assessment Committee, following Council's Peer Assessment Policy.
  • Chair, manage and facilitate the Peer Selection Committee deliberations.
  • Handle all announcements, press releases and coordination of the prize ceremony.
  • Report to the Donor at the end of each Prize cycle.

For more information

Caroline Lussier

Director, Arts Promotion

Canada Council for the Arts

150 Elgin St. P.O. Box 1047

Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5V8