Canada Council remade: Six new ways to distribute $154M to artists

Initial reaction: I like!

Ottawa Citizen

The Canada Council for the Arts has written the obituary for a way of doing business, that, if left alive, may have someday resulted in there being more art funding programs than there are artists.

That’s an exaggeration (artistic licence, ahem), but the assertion is real. For now, the Canada Council distributes $154 million in about 4,000 grants and payouts to artists each year through a labyrinth of 147 different programs — and council director and CEO Simon Brault estimates 50 additional programs would be needed to address all the new trends and issues that face artists today. For too long the federal agency has reacted to “any new issue, any new trend, any new artistic practice” by creating a new, discipline-based program, Brault says, but no more.

As of 2017, those “147 discipline-based programs” will be replaced by “six national, non-disciplinary programs:” Arts Across Canada; Arts Abroad; Engage and Sustain; Creating, Knowing…

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