"A voice is a human gift; it should be cherished and used, to utter fully human speech as possible. Powerlessness and silence go together."

Margaret Atwood

June 3, 2015 – CAPACOA greets with enthusiasm the new funding model at the Canada Council for the Arts: it is forward looking and presents many opportunities for artists and arts organizations to connect with audiences in Canada and abroad.

CAPACOA commends the Canada Council for the Arts for being proactive with the restructuration of its programs. As Simon Brault highlighted, the Canada Council undertook this exercise from a position of strength, rather than in response to budget cuts or external pressures. Such vibrancy and responsiveness should be both saluted and heralded.

List of all six programs from the new modelCAPACOA notes that three programs – Engage and Sustain, Arts in Canada, and Arts Abroad – will contribute to connecting artists and their works with audiences in Canada and around the world. Such a program structure represents a strong and opportune statement at a time when the arts community strives to ascertain the value of art as a public good.

By dedicating one of six programs to Creating, Knowing, and Sharing Aboriginal Arts, the new funding model also offers a positive affirmation about the importance of Aboriginal artistic expressions for all Canadians. CAPACOA welcomes this essential step towards reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples.

Finally, the new funding model offers a clear, accurate and concise portrait of the different areas of intervention of the Canada Council of the Arts. It speaks directly to all elements of the Council’s objectives as per the Canada Council for the Arts Act. It tells a simple story that enables any Canadian to understand what the Council does, for whom, and why it is important.

With the federal election coming up, the new funding model provides the arts community with a compelling story for candidates, parties and Canadians at large: the story of an innovative, responsive, relevant and responsible federal agency that serves all Canadians. CAPACOA will collaborate with the Canadian Arts Coalition to get this message out over the summer and throughout the fall. We invite every artist, cultural workers and arts enthusiasts to join the movement.

Sue Urquhart
Executive Director
CAPACOA