October 29, 2012 - The Canadian Council for the Arts announced, during a meeting of the National Arts Service Organizations (NASO), on October 22, that they have initiated a comprehensive review of their funding grant programs to Canadian artists and art organizations in anticipation of a new operational structure designed to better engage Canadians with the arts.
The Council's current operating grant program has been deemed unsustainable and the Council's new Leading the Change Agenda seeks to "better support the work of the organization in serving the best interests of all Canadians," said Robert Sirman, Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts. "The Council is following a very rigorous methodology in how it approaches the transformation agenda currently underway," which includes "thoughtful consultation both inside and outside the organization to understand the implications of available options".
The Council is now assessing the impact of annual operating grants which many art museums and artist run centres receive. Such programs as the Flying Squad organizational assistance program and the Public Lending Right program, which presently compensates authors for free public access to their works, are presently under review. Mr. Sirman also stated that the Council will be presenting the initial results of these reviews to its Board in January 2013.
This new agenda is being announced as a means of taking the lead in the face of economic, demographic, technological and generational changes. The Council has seen an increase of 65% in the number of organizations receiving operating support while the per capita parliamentary appropriation in constant dollars has decreased by 4%.
As part of this Change Agenda and of its 2011-16 Strategic Plan, the Canada Council is inviting the arts sector to join a national conversation. A discussion paper on Public Engagement in the Arts was published and everyone is invited to provide feedback online.
Reproduced and adapted with permission from the Canadian Museums Association
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