The Canada Council for the Arts has embarked on a strategic plan that will pump new money into new creative works, indigenous art and digital technologies in time for the country's 150th anniversary celebrations.
The recent federal budget pumps about $1.9b into Canada’s cultural sector. That injection of funds will see the council’s annual budget double by 2021.
“The Government of Canada’s reinvestment in the arts is historic and we believe that it opens the door to an artistic renaissance, with outcomes that will benefit Canadians and the world,” said Simon Brault, Director and CEO of the Canada Council. “We – the Canada Council and the arts community – have been ready for this. Our plan and new programs are all designed to enable us to be flexible, to innovate and to move quickly so that what we do continues to resonate for the art sector and for Canadians.”
In 2016, the council will pump an additional $36 million into arts funding. Included in this is a one-time injection of $33.4 million into a creation fund called New Chapter. The fund is to be open to artists and arts organizations preparing new work for presentation in Canada and abroad through 2019 and beyond. An additional $1.8 million will go to reconciliation and indigenous arts initiatives.
A new digital strategy will also be developed to help the cultural sector use technology to create and share work more widely.
The council, which will celebrate 60 years in 2017, has previously announced a streamlining of its funding structure from more than 140 to six more flexible, open programs. The money will flow through these new programs starting in 2017.
This announcement comes as the Heritage Minister has been talking about the need to reform Canada’s cultural policies.