Canada Council to increase funding for arts organizations, individual artists and public access to the arts

Ottawa, October 30, 2006 – The Canada Council for the Arts will increase its funding to arts organizations and individual artists, as well as to activities aimed at improving public access to the arts, as a result of the increase to its Parliamentary appropriation announced in last May’s federal budget.

The Council announced today the process for distributing the new funds, which will be allocated based on the following priorities:

* Enhancing the work of Canada’s highest-achieving arts organizations in all regions of the country, including symphony orchestras, theatre, dance, new music and opera companies; art galleries, art museums and artist-run centres; book publishers, arts and literary magazines and organizations involved in the production of film, video and new media.
* Providing increased support to individual artists across Canada in all artistic disciplines; and
* Increasing support for activities aimed at increasing public access to the arts and bringing the arts to Canadian and international audiences.

The May 2 federal budget provided a total of $50 million in new money over the 2006-07 and 2007-08 fiscal years. The Canada Council’s plan is subject to approval of the new funds by Parliament through the Supplementary Estimates.

“We will be taking a strategic approach to the allocation of this new funding,” said Robert Sirman, director of the Canada Council. “Key objectives are to enhance the long-term growth potential of the Canadian arts sector and to have a significant impact on Canadians across the country.”

Mr. Sirman said the new money will be allocated through a competitive process, either through a special competition (in the case of arts organizations which currently receive operating funding) or through the Council’s regular programs for individual artists and activities aimed at increasing public access to the arts.

Approximately two-thirds of the new funding will be allocated for supplementary grants to arts organizations, while the remainder will be divided equally between support for individual artists and public access activities.

Arts organizations currently receiving operating funding from the Council – approximately 900 organizations in all – will be eligible to apply for a supplementary grant. Organizations will be required to propose two-year plans showing how the additional funds will strengthen their current operations or enhance their current activities. The applications will be assessed by a peer committee made up of arts professionals in the specific arts discipline. Applications from arts organizations which have a major national and international impact will also be assessed by a multidisciplinary peer committee, including international peers.

Detailed information on the application process, including guidelines and application forms, will be available on the Canada Council web site (www.canadacouncil.ca) on Monday, November 6. Organizations currently receiving operating funding, which must submit an application for enhanced support, will also receive information by both e-mail and regular mail. The deadline for all supplementary grant applications will be December 15, 2006.

The supplementary operating grant funding for organizations will cover a two-year period (2006-07 and 2007-08). The increased funding for artists and public access activities will be incorporated into the regular budgets for Canada Council programs which support individual artists and public access activities, including touring, circulation, dissemination and festivals.

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Media contact: Public Affairs, Research and Communications
Donna Balkan: 613-566-4305 or 1 800 263-5588, ext. 4134
E-mail: donna.balkan@canadacouncil.ca
Carole Breton: 613-566-4414 or 1 800 263-5588, ext. 4523
E-mail: carole.breton@canadacouncil.ca

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