CPAF Bulletin

The CPAF Bulletin - Issue 10, February 2011

Reflections on CPAF's 2010 AGM

Members from CPAF member organizations across the country gathered in St. John's, Newfoundland between November 17 and 19 for CPAF's 2010 Annual General Meeting. Entitled Building Support for the Arts: Part II, the meeting built on the ideas presented at the 2009 AGM and afforded participants opportunities to share knowledge and experiences.

Jonathan Katz, CEO of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, gave the meeting's keynote address. He addressed the issue of sustaining the public value of an arts agency in an economic downturn, suggesting that:

  • some agencies have combined their funding applications with other, similar organizations to leverage larger economies of scale;
  • some state agencies have used innovative means such as new taxes, lottery funds and private-sector partnerships to secure new funds; and
  • social media such as Facebook and Twitter can be effective tools to help rally short-term public support for agencies in danger, but they should not be considered effective substitutes for traditional media.

Other meeting topics included shifts in arts participation, the recession's effects on public-arts funders, and ways to strengthen agency boards.

A full report of the 2010 AGM will be available to participants in the coming weeks and will also be available on the CPAF sharepoint site. CPAF's 2011 AGM is scheduled for November 16-18 in Whitehorse, Yukon.

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CPAF steering committee members, 2011

Chair: Jeffrey Anderson, Executive Director, Alberta Foundation for the Arts

Chair of Chairs: Martha Durdin, Chair, Ontario Arts Council

Director, 2011 AGMLaurel Parry, Manager, Arts Section, Cultural Services Branch, Yukon Department of Tourism and Culture

Past Chair: Yvan Gauthier, Président-directeur général, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec

Canada Council Representative: John Goldsmith, Director, Stakeholder Relations, Canada Council for the Arts


  • Boris Atamanenko, Manager, Community Programs - Culture & Heritage Division, Government of the Northwest Territories
  • Douglas Riske, Executive Director, Manitoba Arts Council
  • Darrin White, Executive Director, PEI Council of the Arts

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News from around CPAF

BCAC receives additional funding

The Province of British Columbia announced in December 2010 that the BC Arts Council (BCAC) would receive $750,000 in additional funding from the 2010 Sport and Arts Legacy fund.

BCAC will issue the funds to help community and professional arts festivals across the province develop programs that engage more BC-based artists. For example, BCAC will revise its Community Arts Festival Program to present more works by the province’s artists, and will launch a new program through which professional arts festivals can support more programming and commission new works.

The latest funding follows the BC Government’s decision last September to provide the Council with an additional $7 million. The Council’s grants budget for 2010–11 is $16.8 million. In 2009–10, the total budget stood at $19.5 million.

SAB releases its strategic plan

Following a series of consultations with the province’s arts community in 2009 and 2010, the Saskatchewan Arts Board (SAB) announced the release of its new, five- point strategic plan in February. The plan’s goals include: building a dynamic and culturally diverse environment, and enabling arts organizations to pursue their mandates and be viable.

For more information, download Strategic Plan (1.0).

Nova Scotia's new arts and culture plan

The Government of Nova Scotia announced a plan to chart a new course for arts and culture in February. The plan calls for the creation of Arts Nova Scotia, an independent body that will decide funding for arts in the province.

The plan will also: introduce Status of the Artist legislation that formally recognizes artists’ economic contributions; develop a communications strategy for arts and culture; and create a Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council that will advise government on arts and culture policy and lead the development of a provincial cultural strategy.

OAC launches Media Arts Office

As of January, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has separated its Media Arts and Visual Arts offices. The OAC enacted the change because the province’s independent media arts community has grown significantly over the past decade. The Council’s new office will align programs for media arts organizations with recent program changes in the Media Arts section at the Canada Council.

Partners revitalize Vivacité Montréal

The government of Quebec and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ), along with the Canada Council and other partners, announced in January 2011 that it would renew Vivacité Montréal, a program that supports professional artists in immigrant and visible-minority communities. The program would receive $490,000 to distribute as grants in the next three years.

Open to applicants of all ages, Vivacité Montréal recognizes immigrant and visible-minority artists’ contributions to artistic and cultural life in Montreal. During its first three years, the program helped 85 artists advance their careers.

CALQ names acting director of planning and programs

Marie Daveluy was recently named to the position of acting director, planning and programs. Daveluy was responsible for programs in music and dance within the Directorate of music, dance and territorial action since 2002. Before she arrived at CALQ, she served as director general, artistic director of communications, project supervisor, development officer and researcher for various employers, including RIDEAU and Opération Enfant Soleil.

Staffing changes at Canada Council

Anne Valois, former head of the Canada's Council Dance Section, assumed the role of Director, Arts Disciplines Division, in November 2010.

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News from all over

Copyright bill concerns continue

Bill C-32, the Copyright Modernization Act, has been at the centre of controversy since it was introduced in early June. In November the bill passed second reading in the House of Commons. It has been passed to a legislative committee for further debate. While it is before the committee, no new items may be added to the document, although existing language can be changed.

In February, a coalition of close to 100 concerned artists groups issued Bill C-32 Weakens Canada’s Global Competitiveness, a joint statement of their concerns related to the Bill.

Federal government unveils digital-economy strategy

Minister of Industry, Tony Clement, announced in November 2010 that Canada's Digital Economy Strategy will be launched in spring 2011. Clement outlined that within the strategy, there are five areas in which the government will focus its efforts to create an environment where information and communications technologies and digital innovation can flourish. They include:

  • training a digitally skilled workforce,
  • developing a world-class infrastructure,
  • encouraging business to adopt digital technologies,
  • encouraging Canadian companies to supply digital technologies to the world, and
  • broadcasting Canadian content on all digital platforms.

New president and CEO appointed at McConnell Foundation

Stephen Huddart has been appointed as the McConnell Foundation’s next president and CEO. Huddart, who is currently the foundation’s vice-president and COO, joined the foundation in 2003. The appointment will take effect during the summer of 2011 when the current president Tim Brodhead retires.

Creative New Zealand invests more money in arts in 2009-10

Creative New Zealand appears to have been less affected by the global economic slowdown than most international arts-funding organizations. In January, the group announced it had invested $33.7 million in the arts in 2009–10, $800,000 more than it did in 2008–09. The group also forged important, lasting partnerships with local governments, and completed major research projects into the health of Pacific and Māori heritage arts.

BBC reporters examine international arts-funding models

The BBC recently compiled a series of reports on how arts-funding models vary across different countries.

In India, for example, the national government takes arts funding very seriously because of a lack of private-sector support for artists. As a result, the government issued more than $217 million in funding during 2009–10.

Italy is very different. In its 2008 budget, the government announced it would cut $1.3 billion from the heritage ministry's budget over the next three years. Further cuts are planned this year.

In the United States, the National Endowment for the Arts distributed $155 million in federal funding in 2008–09. However, funding from state sources varied significantly. Florida, for example, spends approximately $0.14 per person per year on the arts; Minnesota spends $5.80 per person annually. Private-sector donors are often counted upon to address shortfalls.

Finally, the French government strongly asserts the importance of the arts in their country. In its March 2010 budget, the Sarkozy government announced a 2.7-percent increase in arts spending.

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Research round-up

Arts are important to Ontarians

The Ontario Arts Council recently released the findings of a survey that studies the relevance of arts in Ontarians’ lives. The Arts And The Quality Of Life: The Attitudes Of Ontarians shows that:

  • 95 percent of Ontarians believe the arts enrich quality of life;
  • 89 percent believe that if their community lost its arts activities, people living there would lose something of value;
  • 95 percent believe that the success of Canadian artists gives people a sense of pride in Canadian achievement; and
  • 81 percent agree that the government should spend public dollars to support the arts.

The survey is the first of its kind issued in Ontario since 1994.

The Impact of Digital Technology on the Cultural Sector

The Canadian Human Resources Council recently launched a study into the effects of digital technology on the cultural sector. Led by the Nordicity Group, the study will assess technology’s effect on eight sub-sectors of the cultural sector’s labour force: visual arts and crafts, live performing arts, film and television, broadcasting, writing and publishing, music and sound recording, heritage (archives, libraries, museums and built heritage) and digital media.

The study will also consider digital technology’s effects on various links in the creative chain: creation, production, manufacturing, distribution/dissemination, and preservation in not-for-profit and for-profit businesses and organizations.

Nordicity will hold consultations on these matters through June. Claude Schryer,

acting coordinator of the Canada Council’s Partnership and Networks Office, has been asked to be an observer on the advisory committee for this study.

CAPACOA's Qualitative enquiry on performing-arts presentation

Canada's performing arts presenting networks will conduct a large-scale enquiry into the value and benefits of presenting for Canadians. The study will also raise awareness of the role of the live arts presenter in the creative chain. Organizers hope this enquiry will initiate a series of dialogues that will strengthen the connections among stakeholders.

Arts Research Monitor, January 2011

The latest edition of Hill Strategies’ Arts Research Monitorfocuses on arts education and arts participation among children and youth. Itincludes a report on music education in Canadian schools, a Manitoba study on arts education, an assessment of the performance of Canadian youth in reading, and a report on discussions regarding youth engagement in arts, culture and heritage organizations.

Digital audiences: engagement with arts and culture online

Through its Digital Opportunities Program, Arts Council England has enacted a three-year study of the ways in which digital technologies affect the creation, distribution and consumption of the arts.

Digital audiences: engagement with arts and culture onlineis the most current publication in the series of reports that stems from this exercise. Published in November 2010, it is a detailed survey of the ways in which members of the public engage with arts and culture online, and an analysis of the public’s attitude toward using online media to engage the arts.

A 'blitzkrieg' on the arts?

Naomi Russell + Partners, a cultural-sector consulting firm in the UK, recently published a study on the impact of arts cuts on cultural organizations. In A ‘blitzkrieg’ on the arts?, the authors studied the impacts of cuts to arts funding on UK-based organizations, and attempted to answer questions such as:

  • What effects have these cuts had on day-to-day operations?
  • Are these cuts the most serious threat to arts organizations in 70 years, as some critics have suggested?
  • Do cuts threaten the existence of some arts organizations, or simply force overdue organizational change?
  • Do cuts stifle arts or provide exciting creative opportunities?

Many of the responses listed in the report show that the sector is taking pragmatic and imaginative steps to cope with testing circumstances.

Creative Placemaking

A new report on the National Endowment for the Arts’ website focuses on how communities use arts and other creative assets to share their physical, social and economic characters. Aimed at mayors, arts organizations and the philanthropic sector, the report describes strategies for leveraging arts’ benefits to revitalize urban centres. Some of the examples listed in the report include building living and working spaces for artists in abandoned warehouses, designing youth employment programs around mentoring relationships with artists, and curating performing-arts series in urban spaces.

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Best practices in governance-board profiles

Note to readers: this article is the fifth in a series that features best practices in governance for arts councils. Thanks to the Canada Council for providing this content. Look for more governance articles in future issues of The CPAF Bulletin.

A board profile is a snapshot of the composition of a board. It can be used for succession planning, and to help any board identify the qualities and skills it needs to guarantee an appropriate mix of representatives. Although the exercise of developing a board profile should be unique to every arts organization, the process should follow at least three important steps:

  • Develop a profile of the required and desired skills and attributes.
  • Develop an inventory of the current board’s skills and attributes.
  • Conduct a gap analysis.

To obtain a full copy of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Best Practices in Board Orientation, email Melanie Yugo, CPAF Partnership and Networks Officer.

CPAF Calendar of events, 2011-12

Joint Meeting: CPAF and Canadian Heritage, March 9, 2011, Ottawa, ON

CPAF Strategic Development Meeting on Digital Transitions, March 10, 2011, Gatineau, QC

CPAF Strategic Development Meeting on Equity, June 2011, Edmonton, AB (Dates TBD)

CPAF Professional Development Meeting on Media Arts, September 2011 (Dates and location TBD)

CPAF Annual General Meeting,
November 16-18, 2011, Whitehorse, YK (Theme TBD)

CPAF Professional Development Meeting on Writing and Publishing, Winter 2012 (Dates and location TBD)

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Important Notices

Date Modified: 2011-03-16