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Evaluation of Components of the Supporting Artistic Practice Program

September 14, 2021

The Canada Council for the Arts engaged BDO Canada LLP to evaluate the Professional Development for Arts Professionals and Sector Innovation and Development components of the Supporting Artistic Practice program from 2017 to 2021.

Research goal

The evaluation addressed the relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency of these program components.


BDO conducted a document review, interviews and focus groups. 53 applicants, recipients, peer assessors, and staff participated.


The evaluation concluded that: 

  • The program components fill gaps in the arts support ecosystem for support for arts professionals, building capacity, encouraging the sharing of knowledge, and contributing to the sustainability of the arts sector. 
  • The components provided funding to recipients from a variety of regions, fields of practice, and to applicants from the Council’s designated priority groups. 

Recommendations from the evaluation included: 

  • Further encouraging, incentivizing, and supporting sector innovation. 
  • Improving access for historically under-served and marginalized communities. 
  • Simplifying and improving application processes. 
  • Supporting multi-phase projects and offering micro-grants. 
  • Further support for new and emerging arts professionals. 
  • Further support for unsuccessful applicants. 

The Canada Council is integrating the findings and recommendations from the evaluation to guide its support for professional and sector development. The evaluation informed changes to the Sector Innovation and Development component as well as the design of the Strategic Innovation Fund.


Please contact the Research, Measurement and Data Analytics Section at research@canadacouncil.ca