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Canadian Arts Coalition’s Federal Election Platform 2019

Arts and culture are integral to the well-being and daily life of all Canadians. The Government of Canada plays a critical leadership role, and thanks to its well-placed incentives, tax measures and direct investments, additional support is leveraged from other public and private sources.

Canadians of all walks of life, including women and gender minorities, Indigenous peoples, Official Language minorities, people of colour, people with disabilities and LGBTQ2S persons, are increasingly reflected in our artistic landscape and cultural dialogue. Continued strong support of the arts and culture sector by the government will promote these values to ensure they are reflected and celebrated.

Arts and culture in communities large and small

Canadians benefit from an artistic landscape that represents the diverse cultural identity of our country. That landscape is changing rapidly. Several large and mid-size urban centres are comprised of over 200 cultural traditions and languages. The Canada Council for the Arts, Department of Canadian Heritage, and other major cultural agencies, need to invest in these changing circumstances.

The Canada Council for the Arts provides opportunities for all Canadians to explore and create, as well as for arts organizations to meaningfully engage with the public, and sustain their impact, to enhance quality of life for all Canadians.

  • We encourage the Government of Canada to follow through on the planned increment of $35M to the Council’s budget in 2020-21 and to maintain the Canada Council’s new base funding level of $362M in 2020-21 through 2024-25 to address important demographic changes.
  • The Canada Council must ensure all artists have fair and equitable access to their programs, so that all Canadians may enjoy the benefits of its impact and investments.
  • A broad consultation process with the arts community and key stakeholders to evaluate changes to the Council’s model is essential to validate and improve its impact, and to ensure equitable processes, accessibility and outcomes.

In order to safeguard that all Canadians can experience our remarkable artistic achievements there is a need for continued growth and investment in the domestic distribution of culture through the Canadian Arts Presentation Fund (CAPF), and the Building Canada through the Arts and Heritage Fund (BCTAH). Optimizing base funding levels for CAPF and BCTAH in 2020 (in concert with a renewed export strategy) will ensure the continued economic vitality of hundreds of communities, and will allow for expansion and economic development in centres large and small.

Canadians access arts and experiences through national cultural initiatives like Culture Days, an event which open doors to and within every community. Growing the Strategic Initiatives component by $2M per year within the Canada Cultural Investment Fund would help sustain these activities, and enhance the impact, research and development by NGO’s.

Indigenous Communities, their importance and value

Canadians are increasingly committed to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. The arts and culture sector can help support, and encourage the protection of, the many distinctive Indigenous cultures of these lands. We encourage the federal government to pursue meaningful relations with First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples built on respect and self-determination, and to support Indigenous languages, and dedicate funding to arts and cultural development, as well as cultural infrastructure and dissemination, both on and off reserve.


The CAC supports the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s report Shifting Paradigms (May 2019), and its recommendations pertaining to copyright reform. In particularly, recommendation #18 (fair dealing, educational institutions) and #22 (Artist’s Resale Right) are essential to the ability of literary and visual artists to be recognized and compensated for their contributions to Canadian culture.

Skills training & workforce preparedness / employability

Nationally and internationally acclaimed Canadian artists make us proud by representing our country on the world stage. They perfect their art training at institutions supported by the Canadian Arts Training Fund (CATF). Enhancing base funding for CATF by $10M per year would strengthen arts training and diversify aesthetic practices for the next generation of Canadian artists.

Many youth in Canada gain appropriate early career experiences through the Young Canada Works (YCW) program. Specifically, the arts administration component is highly subscribed and there are numerous deserving projects which currently cannot be funded. Increasing the YCW arts administration component to $500K annually will provide a greater number of opportunities to young Canadians.

Protecting and ensuring the safety of workers is imperative. Continued support for anti-harassment initiatives led by the Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC) is necessary to ensure that workforce training, safety and monitoring is available in a field where workers can be placed in vulnerable positions.

Smart public sector investment leverages additional support

Brand Canada” is promoted abroad in numerous ways by artists, athletes, individuals, corporations, and politicians alike with investments that are mutually beneficial. The arts serve as a soft power to strengthen international trade relationships and diplomacy. Continued investment in a creative export strategy that positions creative industries for export and sales, increases capacity at embassies and consulates and provides funding to help build business relationships via trade missions, events and partnership, is strongly encouraged.

Private investment is leveraged by institutions thanks to matching fund opportunities, such as the Endowment Incentives component of the Canada Cultural Investment Fund. Increasing this program component by $6.5M per year will encourage the generosity of citizens and corporations alike, ultimately improving organizational resilience and self-sufficiency in the cultural sector.

The arts = social and community engagement + quality of life + business and jobs.

That is the power of art!

Download a copy of the CAC’s Federal Election platform 2019 here: CAC_Election2019_Platform-FINAL_EN.

The Canadian Arts Coalition is a collaborative non-partisan movement spearheaded by a group of national arts service and membership organization, with a volunteer Steering Committee comprised of artists and arts administrators. We are united in our 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.

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