CPAF Bulletin

The CPAF Bulletin - Issue 12, August 2011

Coming soon: a new CPAF Bulletin

Over the summer, the CPAF Secretariat will explore new ways of sharing information with the CPAF network, including a new approach to the CPAF Bulletin.

We will consult with CPAF members over the next few months to help inform this new direction. Expect more details soon!

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Australia prepares for IFACCA world summit

For four days in October, Australia will host the fifth world summit of the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA). The theme of this year’s world summit, which will be held October 3–6 in Melbourne, is Creative Intersections. Government and cultural leaders from more than 80 countries will explore the ways in which artists can give voice to diverse communities and concerns through collaborations with experts in education, business, the environment, health and well-being, new technologies and cultural identity.

IFACCA and the Australia Council for the Arts, the event’s host agency, expect as many as 50 speakers to present at the summit. A detailed roster has already been announced, and more presenters are expected to confirm their participation in the weeks ahead.

For more details on the summit, visit

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Budget 2011 delivered

The federal government delivered its 2011 budget on June 6. The Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan includes new support for culture and communities, but the government aims to cut at least $4 billion in spending in an effort to reduce the national deficit by 2015. Departments and agencies have been asked to draw up scenarios for cuts of 5 per cent and 10 per cent in operating expenses.

The new budget also sets the stage for the launch of the government’s Digital Economy Strategy that aims to make Canada a leader in the creation, adoption and use of digital technologies and content. Specifically, the budget allocates  $60 million over three years to the promotion of increased student enrolment in key disciplines related to the digital economy, and $100 million annually to the Canada Media Fund to fund investments in the creation of digital content across multiple platforms.

Of interest to CPAF members are some of the budget’s new funding proposals. They include:

  • $60 million to CBC/Radio-Canada to produce Canadian programming;
  • $15 million per year to the Canada Periodical Fund to support a broad range of publications and ensure a diversity of Canadian content; and
  • $5 million toward the centennial celebrations of both the Grey Cup and the Calgary Stampede.

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News from around CPAF

Canada Council improves access to music programs
The Canada Council for the Arts announced changes to its music-production and touring grants programs. The changes are designed to give the public better access to Canadian music and foster awareness and appreciation of all music forms.

The Council has replaced its Concert Production and Rehearsal Program with the Production Grants in Music program that includes more activities. For example, the new program enables artists to apply for grants to present live concerts as well as record in a studio or live concert setting. The changes will give Canadian musicians more opportunities to be heard at home and abroad.

The Canada Council has also consolidated its Music Touring Grants and International Touring Assistance in Music programs. The resulting program offers support two deadlines per year for artists to apply for domestic and international tours and facilitates cross-border Canada/USA tours.

CALQ artists embrace digital technology
In a recent survey, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) examined the use of digital technologies by artists and arts organizations in that province. The data showed that artists are increasingly using digital tools in new and different ways to produce, distribute and market their works directly to the public.

The survey, performed as part of CALQ’s current digital technology monitoring activities, involved the participation of 1,749 artists and 341 organizations. Findings show that, over the past two years, artists and writers have increased their use of digital technology by 56 percent. Furthermore, artists and organizations anticipate collectively spending in the range of $37 million to $57 million on digital tools over the next three years. The full results of the survey are available in French at:

BC government restores arts-sector funding
The British Columbia Arts Council has received over $16.8 million from the provincial government to help fund artists and cultural organizations in 2011-12. Funding sources included:

  • $7.931 million from the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.
  • $2.150 million from the BC150 Cultural Fund, a $150-million interest-generating endowment fund.
  • $6.75 million from the 2010 Sport and Arts Legacy, a three-year, $30 million fund that aims to build on the success of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Cultural Olympiad by enhancing opportunities in the arts.

“Funding is the key to ensuring the long-term health of B.C.’s creative sector,” said BCAC chair Stanley Hamilton. “These resources enable the council to take the strategic steps required to ensure that the arts in this province will grow and thrive for years to come.”

CADAC launches accounting template
Completing the forms of the Canadian Arts Data/Données sur les arts au Canada (CADAC) should now be easier, thanks to a new accounting template launched by the organization.

CADAC’s new accounting template will serve as a toolkit and reference document that enables auditors and arts organizations to follow a predetermined chart of accounts. Auditors will be able to easily break down or group together specific financial information, enabling arts organizations to better match their financial statements with respective line items in the CADAC financial forms.

For more details on the CADAC accounting template, contact Myron Kozak, CADAC Associate Financial Data Controller.

NLAC announces new chair
The Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (NLAC) has named Tom Gordon, a former professor of music at Memorial University, as its new chair.

Between 2000 and 2010, Gordon served as the director of Memorial’s School of Music. He is a trained music historian and an avid pianist whose performances have been broadcast by CBC. Prior to moving to Newfoundland and Labrador, he held teaching and administrative positions at Bishop’s University and the Ontario College of Art.

“Newfoundland and Labrador’s creative vitality is arguably its most important natural resource,” he said. “I look forward to working with artists, communities and governments to assure that this wellspring of creativity continues to bring distinction to the province and enrichment to its people.”

Gordon has been a member of NLAC since 2008.

AFA introduces grant-programming changes
In April, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) announced changes to two of its grants programs: the Arts Organizations Operation Grant Program and the Alberta Multimedia Development Fund. First, it introduced a new Arts Presenting grant stream as part of the Arts Organizations Operational Grant Program. The new stream combines the former Community Presenting and Arts Festival project grant streams.

Second, it transferred its Cultural Industries (book and magazine publishing, sound recording, small film production) grant streams to the Alberta Multimedia Development Fund, which already includes funding for Cultural Industries support organizations. The decision to transfer the grants streams came in response to a recent evaluation of AFA programming that determined that a funding model external to the AFA would better support the cultural industries, as described in The Spirit of Alberta, Alberta’s cultural policy.

Forum on disability and deaf arts in Ontario
In late June, the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Art Gallery of Ontario convened a one-day forum on issues of disability and deaf arts in Ontario.

During Front and Centre: Disability and Deaf Arts in Ontario, participants from the three organizing partners met with deaf artists and artists with disabilities to discuss experiences with, and perspectives on, these creator groups’ works. The forum featured a panel discussion on career experiences, art practices and the particular needs and unique natures of these communities. In addition, the forum included performances, guided tours of the AGO and a networking reception.

The Ontario Arts Council has conducted a survey to gather feedback on the event. The Council plans to use that feedback to inform future events, and to help increase these creator groups’ access to funding programs.

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CPAF Calendar of events, 2011-12

CPAF Professional Development Meeting on Media Arts, September 19–20, 2011, Vancouver

CPAF Annual General Meeting: Future Directions in Arts Funding: What are the Shifts Required? November 16–18, 2011, Whitehorse, Yukon

CPAF Professional Development Meeting on Literary Arts, March 2012, Saskatchewan (dates and city TBD)

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News from other arts funders

Dutch government announces plan to cut arts funding
The Dutch State Secretary for Culture recently announced that it would cut spending on arts and culture by 25 percent, a reduction of €200 million from its €900 million budget. In its plan, More than quality, a new vision on cultural policy, the ministry describes the steps it will take to reduce the arts and culture sector’s dependence on the public purse and increase the role of private funders in the system. Such changes, says the government, can be enacted without significantly affecting nationally significant cultural institutions.

Many arts sector critics disagree with the government’s position. Some have warned that private industry will follow the public sector’s lead and cut its funding to a similar degree. Others call the move “an attack” on the Netherlands’ cultural wellbeing. Hardest hit will be performing and visual arts groups, especially small and medium-sized organizations that rely heavily on government funds.

Chasing private money
Arts organizations across the United Kingdom are being given incentives to pursue funding from the private sector. Arts Council England, for example, recently launched its Catalyst Arts fund, a £40-million endowment created to help organizations build their fundraising potential. Of the money available, £30 million will be allocated to organizations that explore innovative new ways to raise money, £7 million will be directed toward small organizations with little fundraising experience, and £3 million will be given to organizations that offer practical advice on how to secure new sources of funding.

As well, the UK culture secretary Jeremy Hunt announced in 2010 a £55-million scheme to encourage arts organizations to shift their dependence away from the public funds to private investment. The plan will see arts organizations compete for 50 grants worth between £500,000 and £5 million, and will require organizations to raise approximately £2 from private sources for every £1 they receive from the public sector.

NEA funding cut
In July, a United States House of Representatives appropriation committee approved a bill to fund the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) at $135.2 million, a 13% reduction from current funding levels. The $20-million cut in the agency’s funding is the deepest to the NEA in 16 years, and is more severe than the seven-percent cut contained in the overall bill. At the moment, it is still uncertain when this bill will go to the House of Representatives Floor for final consideration.

No money for Kansas
State funding for the arts has been eliminated in Kansas. Republican Governor Sam Brownback made the controversial decision to eliminate public funding for the arts last Memorial Day weekend. The governor had indicated his preference for several months to relocate funding for the arts to the private domain. He believes that with the support of the private sector, the Kansas Arts Commission will re-emerge from these difficult times stronger than ever.

However, some arts groups across the United States have criticized Brownback’s decision. In an open letter to Brownback, Vermont Arts Council executive director Alexander Aldrich said, "every state should invest in the arts sector simply because it makes good economic sense.”

Americans for the Arts goes further, suggesting that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) should cancel all funding to Kansas-based arts organizations in a move to force the state government to restore funding. NEA has already said that Kansas will not receive funding for the arts because the state no longer finances its own arts agency. The Brownback administration says the NEA must deliver funding.

According to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA), 31 states arts agencies predict decreases in their appropriations for the 2012 fiscal year.

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News from all over

Arts and business: good partners
A survey conducted by the Australian Business Arts Foundation and the Australia Council for the Arts reveals the attitudes of a number of business executives toward arts sponsorships and partnership relations with the arts.

The 36 leaders who participated in the survey indicated that arts organizations face a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on the benefits they offer to business. Moreover, the corporate leaders say businesses want to work with arts agencies to reward staff, encourage tolerance and share arts groups’ unique world views.

"Well-designed [arts-business] relationships can unlock considerable value for both parties,” says Kathy Keele, CEO of the Australia Council. “Businesses understand this. They are embracing the creativity and passion of the Australian arts, and that provides a real opportunity for arts organizations."

Keele adds that, for any partnership to work, there must be a fit between an arts organization and a business.

“Arts organizations need to look at themselves and ask what they can offer. How could it fit with a business and which business will it fit with?”

NYC institutions reinvent their roles
A number of major cultural institutions in New York City are changing the way in which people interact with their projects. For example, this spring, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim and the New Museum launched programs in which experts gather to discuss solutions to problems such as housing, the mortgage crisis and waste management.

Museum directors say that these projects are logical evolutions of the roles of museums as institutions. "Museums have long been interested in education and community," says New Museum director Lisa Phillips. "But the interpretation of that is changing as cultural institutions recognize the influence they have in the community—how they have effected and can effect change and transform communities as destinations, architectural projects, civic projects."

Elsewhere, the New York Public Library has reinvented itself by launching some of the most innovative online publications in the United States. It now produces e-publications and crowdsourcing projects, and maintains a digital strategy that could serve as a model for major institutions and corporations.

Internet access is a human right: UN
A report delivered to the United Nations Human Rights Council last spring argues that Internet access should be a human right.

The document was written by Frank La Rue, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. It explores the need to ensure that all citizens have access to Internet connectivity and criticizes policies that block or restrict access to content, or fail to safeguard online privacy.

"The unique and transformative nature of the Internet [enables] individuals to exercise their rights to freedom of opinion and expression, as well as a range of other human rights, and to promote the progress of society as a whole," La Rue wrote. "Given that the Internet has become an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights, combating inequality, and accelerating development and human progress, ensuring universal access to the Internet should be a priority for all states."

ArtsSmarts welcomes new executive director
Jason van Eyk, the former Ontario regional director of the Canadian Music Centre and founding director of the University of Toronto’s ArtsZone, is ArtsSmarts’ new executive director. His term began in May and his first formal act as leader of the organization was to open a new head office in Toronto.

Van Eyk holds a Master’s degree in music from the Eastman School of Music and an MBA in art and media administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University.

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Best practices in governance-in camera sessions

Note to readers: this article is the seventh 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.

In-camera sessions are closed meetings in which board members discuss information that is not to be recorded or disclosed to the public. To conduct such sessions effectively, boards must observe four rules.

1. Provide opportunities to hold in-camera sessions at each board meeting
In-camera sessions should be part of the normal governance process, but held only when sensitive matters must be addressed. Some boards prefer to hold in-camera sessions at the beginning of their meetings, allowing an opportunity to discuss items on the meeting agenda that may be sensitive or contentious. Others prefer to hold such sessions at the end of their meetings to discuss sensitive issues that were raised during the meeting.

In-camera sessions should be held to discuss topics such as CEO performance and compensation, sensitive matters such as litigation or human resources, and internal board governance business, such as conflicts of interest.

2. Limit the in-camera agenda
In-camera sessions are designed to deal with specific, sensitive matters. The meeting chair should therefore restrict the agenda of any in-camera session to such matters only.

3. Don’t make decisions in camera
All board decisions must be recorded in the minutes of a meeting (providing a legal record and an audit trail). Therefore, matters discussed in camera should be moved to open sessions for resolution.

4. Don’t exclude the CEO
The CEO should be included in all in-camera sessions, except when the board discusses the CEO directly. This approach enables the CEO to understand the board’s thinking on certain matters, and gives the board the benefit of the CEO’s insight.

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

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Research round-up

The Stratford Report: April 2011
As digital media transform the ways in which people communicate, Canadians must increasingly become aware of the role they play in shaping and participating in the digital society. That is the message delivered in The Stratford Report, a follow up to the 2010 discussion of the findings of the Canada 3.0 meetings.

In this year’s report, activist Ed Cowan argues that the cultural community must take its place among the leaders in the evolving digital world. He suggests that while digital technology can enable us to interact with the global market, we must do more to express ourselves in this forum, or risk being consumed by it.

Cowan proposes a national debate on culture and states that Canada must support its own cultural expression in a technology-enabled society that is enriched by cultural traditions from around the world.

IETM, KAMS launch international co-production manual
The International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts (IETM) and the Korea Arts Management Service (KAMS) have developed an analysis of, and manual for, international arts co-productions.

The journey which is full of surprises explores the process of international co-productions and lists the benefits and challenges associated with different co-production models. The report authors argue that the most successful international co-productions include those whose participants share high levels of interpersonal and intercultural communication skills, strong commitments to supporting creative processes, and steadfast determinations to deliver the production. The document also features a manual for staging international co-productions.

State arts agencies augment NEA’s performance
The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) has published a short report that describes the funding relationship between the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and state arts agencies. Return on Investment: The Federal Government, States and the Arts shows that state and public dollars fund nearly 30,000 arts projects annually. Of that, 2,000 are funded through direct grants from the NEA; a further 25,000 are supported in partnership with state arts agencies.

According to NASAA, by augmenting the funding delivered by NEA, state arts agencies increase NEA’s impact, influence and prominence, and help ensure that federal funds respond to the current needs of communities and their local economic, educational, civic and cultural priorities

Evaluating advocacy
The importance of advocacy, particularly in the nonprofit sector, is undeniable. It forces political and social change. Granting organizations often hesitate to fund advocacy organizations, however. Some worry about being associated with political or social interests; others believe that because advocacy’s effectiveness is difficult to measure, returns on investment are hard to prove.

In The Elusive Craft of Evaluating Advocacy, authors Steven Teles and Mark Schmitt argue that the effectiveness of advocacy can be measured—using unconventional means—and that grantmakers should not shy away from making important strategic investments in that field.

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Important Notices

Date Modified: 2011-08-17