Canada Council Announces Its Strategic Plan 2016-21

The Canada Council for the Arts aims to set out an ambitious vision for the arts sector in Canada with the release of its latest strategic plan, Shaping a New Future, 2016-21 and the announcement of several major funding initiatives for the current year.

This news comes shortly after the release of the March federal budget, which includes doubling the budget of the Canada Council by 2021.

“The Government of Canada’s reinvestment in the arts is historic and we believe that it opens the door to an artistic renaissance, with outcomes that will benefit Canadians and the world,” said Simon Brault, director and CEO of the Canada Council in a news release.  “We – the Canada Council and the arts community – have been ready for this. Our plan and new programs are all designed to enable us to be flexible, to innovate and to move quickly so that what we do continues to resonate for the art sector and for Canadians.” The increase to the Council’s budget over the five years of the new Strategic Plan will make the arts sector more resilient and its development strategies more sustainable. 

Strategic Plan 2016-21 is structured around four commitments, each which will largely be achieved through the six programs to be launched in 2017 as part of the organization's New Funding Model:

  • Increase support to artists, collectives and organizations striving for artistic excellence and greater engagement in the arts by an increasingly diverse public.
  • Amplify the quality, scope and sharing of Canadian art through digital technology.
  • Renew the relationship between Indigenous artists, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences, for a shared future.
  • Raise the international profile of Canadian art and artists.

The Council has committed to upholding a fundamental commitment to equity, inclusion and supporting young and emerging artists.

With the new government investments kicking in this year, the Council will launch a special, one-time $33.4 million creation fund by May 2016, called New Chapter. Open to artists and arts organizations on the occasion of Canada’s 150th anniversary, this one-year funding program will support major creation projects to be presented across Canada and internationally through 2017 and beyond. An additional $1.8 million will be invested into {Re}conciliation and Indigenous arts initiatives. Council will also begin to implement a new digital strategy to support the professional arts sector to more effectively use digital technologies to create and share its work with audiences here and around the world. More details on the respective initiatives will be available later this spring.

The transformation of Canada Council to its new funding model entails a vast restructuring of its programs - from over 140 to 6 more flexible, open programs. Beginning in 2017, the increased government funding will be channeled through the Canada Council’s new funding model directly.

More information

Click here to read about Strategic Plan 2016-21 and download the document in its entirety.

Q&A Event

Simon Brault and other members of the Canada Council will answer questions during a special Facebook Live Q&A event on:

Thursday, April 28 at 8 a.m PST in French and
Thursday, April 28 at 10 a.m. PST in English.

Follow Canada Council on Facebook to join the event, and continue the conversation over Twitter using #ArtisSeriousBusiness.

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