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Environmental Scan of Access Practices in Arts Funding

October 30, 2023

An overview and analysis of access practices in granting processes in arts funding organizations in Canada.

Research goal

The following questions guided the scan:

  1. How is the thinking around access evolving in society?
  2. What access and accessibility related supports are arts funders in Canada offering?
  3. How are arts funders in Canada supporting access and accessibility in other ways?


The scan included a targeted literature review on Disability Justice informed understandings of access, a review of information on arts funding organizations in the public domain, and interviews with staff from arts funding organizations.


Findings from the scan included:

Application assistance and access support for Deaf artists and artists with disabilities were found to be the main types of access practices in granting processes.

There are emerging opportunities for access centered practices for granting processes in arts funding. This includes framing access through an intersectional lens with respect to applicant eligibility, redistributing the labor of access from applicants to arts funding organizations, valuing the relational work of access done by applicants and staff, and attentiveness to the impact of arts grants on disability and other income supports for applicants.

The following conclusions and key considerations for access practices in arts funding across Canada were identified:

  • Center the co-creation of access
  • Center intersectionality theory in policy and practice
  • Center the dismantling of white supremacy in the arts

The findings from the report will inform the Canada Council’s access practices going forward.


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