About Us

About the Canadian Arts Coalition

The Canadian Arts Coalition is a collaborative non-partisan movement spearheaded by a group of national arts service and membership organizations, with a volunteer Steering Committee comprised of artists and arts administrators. We are united in the belief that the future of our citizens, their towns and cities, and the nation itself depends on a rich, vibrant and diverse arts and heritage community. Since its inception, the CAC has successfully advocated for increased support for the arts through the Canada Council for the Arts and the Department of Canadian Heritage.


  • To increase investments in arts and culture at the federal level; and,
  • To strengthen Canadian cultural policies.


The Canadian Arts Coalition conducts a broad range of activities for and with the arts sector:

Guiding principles

  1. We advocate on federal-level issues within Canada.
  2. We advocate for the betterment of the arts and culture sector, on behalf of artists and arts organizations.
  3. We aim to achieve broad-reaching consensus. We identify and rally behind major opportunities and issues that affect the professional arts sector. On occasion, we may support a policy recommendation that benefits a single or a few disciplines, to help ensure the strength and resilience of the overall sector.
  4. We establish mutually beneficial partnerships with other stakeholders from the culture sector and beyond, to broaden the conversation and to focus our advocacy in the public good.
  5. We are non-partisan. We seek to establish positive relationships, based on mutual respect, with all political parties. We encourage all parties to engage and collaborate on arts issues.
  6. We take a positive and constructive approach to advocacy. We acknowledge positive decisions and arts policies and when we provide a critical eye, we also attempt to propose solutions or alternatives.


The CAC was originally assembled to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Canada Council for the Arts and to advocate for the Government of Canada to further invest in stable, long term support that increases the Canada Council’s budget. We believe the Canada Council is fundamental to the cultural infrastructure of Canada as the key public vehicle for supporting the promotion and development of the arts in Canada.

In 2007, we applauded the federal government for a $30 million permanent increase to the Canada Council for the Arts.

In 2012, the Government of Canada recognized the role that the arts play in a productive economy by sustaining investment in the arts through the Canada Council for the Arts, and key programs at the Department of Canadian Heritage.

In 2016, following a decade of advocacy from the sector, the Government of Canada made a historic investment of $1.87 billion in arts and culture. The doubling of Canada Council of the Arts’ funding addressed a historical request from the Canadian Arts Coalition. It will enhance the activities of the arts sector and provide increased access to emerging and equity-seeking artists and organizations.

It is our contention that our sector can make an even greater contribution to economic recovery and growth with sustained—and, over time—increased strategic investment in Canadian arts and culture.

Past Chairs of the Coalition Steering Committee are Anne-Marie Jean, Micheline Mackay, Katherine Carleton, Eric Dubeau, Carmen Gibbs, and Frédéric Julien.

Meet the members      Become a member