Canada and the Arts

Canada and Canadians have made many seminal and highly-creative contributions to cultural development and policy throughout the world…and it is time these contributions were recognized, broadened, deepened, and intensified. The world desperately needs the thoughts, ideas, and insights of Canadians on these matters. – D. Paul Schafer, Author, Age of Culture

Facts at a glance

87% of Canadians believe that the arts and culture help us express and define what it means to be Canadian. (1)

Canadians volunteered 97 million hours for arts and culture organizations in 2010. This is the equivalent to about 51,000 full-time, full-year jobs. (2)

Canadians believe that the presentation of performing arts brings energy and vitality to communities, improves quality of life and well-being of residents, makes communities more creative and fosters a stronger sense of pride and identity. (3)

Enhancing Canada’s international profile

The arts define who we are as a nation and help showcase Canada to the world. By exporting our culture, we leave Canada’s calling card in the international community.

Our artists, many of whom have benefited directly from Canada Council support, are among our best ambassadors to countries around the world. They help build our international reputation as a dynamic, prosperous, inclusive and fair society.

Supporting the Canada Council for the Arts

The Canada Council for the Arts is fundamental to our cultural infrastructure. It is the key public vehicle for supporting development and innovation in the arts. The Council provides the most efficient, fair and cost effective way of ensuring that public funds are directed to individual artists and arts organizations, in communities large and small, across the country.

Founded in 1957, the Canada Council for the Arts has honoured our nation with over fifty years of celebrating, fostering and promoting the rich and diverse talent base in this country. Imagine what the Council could do with more.

There is no way I would have any career without government support. I think it’s unfortunate that we all feel a bit embarrassed about the fact that artists need support, but historically that has always been the case. I would never have known that I could be doing what I am doing today if it wasn’t for the encouragement early in my career. – Atom Egoyan, filmmaker


(1) Phoenix Strategic Perspectives, The Arts and Heritage in Canada – Access and Availability 2012.

(2) Statistics Canada, Canada Survey on Giving, Volunteering and Participating, 2010.

(3) EKOS Research Associates, Survey of the General Public, The Value of Presenting, 2012.