Progress on the 2021-26 Strategic Plan
In 2021-22, we launched our Strategic Plan 2021-26: Art, now more than ever. We are advancing and delivering on many of our strategic commitments and actions. Some of our most impactful accomplishments are highlighted below and we will update these pages regularly as we continue to move forward in the years ahead.
We are on track to meet our strategic funding commitments, as illustrated in the tables below.
Our funding commitments seek to foster increased access to the arts across Canada; improve access to the Council’s funding, especially to historically underserved and marginalized communities; strengthen and expand the international presence of Canadian artists, arts groups, and organizations; and contribute to a strong rebuild of the arts sector.
NOTE: This information is current as of March 31, 2022.
Direction 1: Invest in rebuilding and innovation
- In 2021-22, we delivered targeted emergency and reopening support to the arts sector. The Digital Now initiative delivered $50 million of emergency support funding to groups, collectives and arts organizations to adapt existing works or create new ones to be shared online with various audiences. Through the Explore and Create program, we delivered an additional $70.5 million in emergency support funding to individual artists and groups to create, produce and disseminate artistic works. Additional funds were invested in the Creating, Knowing and Sharing: The Arts and Cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples program, and a further $25 million in reopening funds were distributed to over 1,000 arts organizations receiving core funding to resume in-person activities.
- To support a strong rebuild of the arts sector, we launched a Strategic Innovation Fund as part of a $200 million investment in innovation over five years. The Fund provides support for new ideas, experimentation, and collaboration, which will enable the sector to solve problems and become more resilient, inclusive, equitable, and sustainable.
Direction 2: Amplify the benefits of the arts for society
- In fall 2021, we hosted virtual Community Conversations to exchange ideas and proposals with the sector to move toward a sustainable recovery and rebuild, covering the key themes of equity, innovation and partnerships.
- In the past year, our Director and CEO, Simon Brault, participated in a number of forums advocating for the fair remuneration of artists. In addition to participating in the National Culture Summit hosted by Canadian Heritage, he appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage for their study on the Status of the Artist Act, as well as before a Senate committee to discuss Bill S-208, An Act Respecting the Declaration on the Essential Role of Artists and Creative Expression in Canada. We additionally published a CEO blog post on the working conditions of artists.
- We undertook a research project grounded in Indigenous ways of knowing to explore the vital role that Indigenous arts and cultures play in the lives of all Canadians, and the value of public investment in Indigenous arts. This research aligns with our commitment to respect and uphold the cultural sovereignty and self-determination of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.
Direction 3: Nurture and expand collaboration and partnerships
- We co-hosted the Arctic Arts Summit in June 2022 with the Government of Yukon. Participants from across the circumpolar region engaged on subjects of shared interest, including support for northern artists, organizations, and communities; international collaborations in the arts and cultures of the circumpolar Arctic regions; and self-determination and sovereignty of Indigenous peoples. As a result of the Summit, we launched two significant co-delivery partnerships with the Inuit Art Foundation and the Government of Yukon to better support arts and culture in the North.
- We also launched the College and Community Social Innovation Fund in partnership with the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to support projects that promote social innovation in communities. This partnership will help arts organizations, groups and collectives collaborate with other sectors to support equitable, durable solutions to complex social problems, such as social justice, decolonization and the climate crisis.
- In an effort to continue to increase diversity and representation at the Council, we launched a major recruitment campaign in February 2021. The campaign was open to all but prioritized applicants who self-identified as Indigenous, Black, racialized, Deaf and/or living with a disability. The campaign exceeded its goals within a year with important increases in representation across all priority groups and across all levels of staff in the organization.