Canadian Public Arts Funders (CPAF) meet to discuss future directions in public arts funding

Whitehorse, November 24, 2011 – Representatives of arts councils and equivalent public arts funders from across Canada met in Whitehorse, Yukon, November 16-18, 2011, on the occasion of the Canadian Public Arts Funders (CPAF) Annual General Meeting.

The Executive Directors, senior staff and Chairs of CPAF discussed the impact of rapidly shifting social, technological, demographic, cultural, political, and economic environments on public arts funders, artists, arts organizations, citizens and the public. Furthermore, they explored a vision for a revitalized role of public arts funders, and strategies for ensuring that their public investment in the arts is as effective as possible in a time of fiscal restraint.

“The conversation between public arts funders and our invited guests was extremely valuable in these times of rapid change,” said Jeffrey Anderson, Executive Director of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and Chair of the CPAF Steering Committee. “It was invaluable to hear perspectives from several regions across the country on upcoming challenges and opportunities from this network of Canadian public arts funders.”

The CPAF members acknowledged the contribution of keynote speaker Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, and guest speakers Stephen Huddart, President and Chief Executive Officer, J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, and Cynthia White-Thornley, Director General, Arts Policy Branch, Department of Canadian Heritage. Mr. Davey and Ms. White-Thornley discussed external and internal environmental factors affecting arts policy in their jurisdictions, and the impact of investments in strategic initiatives. Mr. Huddart spoke to imaginative and practical approaches to arts funding, focusing on social innovation and the arts.

With a combined budget of approximately $430 million dollars, CPAF aims to foster and support the arts in Canada through cooperation and collaboration of the federal, provincial and territorial arts councils and equivalent public arts funders by increasing networking and partnership opportunities, sharing information and best practices, and commissioning research. Active since 2005, there is a CPAF member organization in each province and territory in Canada. The federal member of the network is the Canada Council for the Arts.

The Whitehorse meeting marked the first time the members have met in northern Canada. The next CPAF Annual General Meeting will take place in November 2012 in Quebec City.

For more information about CPAF and its mission, members, and activities, visit A series of recently commissioned papers on issues related to the current environment for public arts funding – from public engagement in the arts to new funding models to the democratization of culture – will be posted on the CPAF website in the coming weeks.

The 14 CPAF member organizations are:

  • Alberta Foundation for the Arts
  • British Columbia Arts Council
  • Canada Council for the Arts
  • Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec
  • Government of Yukon, Department of Tourism and Culture, Cultural Services Branch (Yukon Arts Advisory Council)
  • Government of Nunavut, Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth
  • Government of the Northwest Territories, Department of Education, Culture and Employment (Northwest Territories Arts Council)
  • Manitoba Arts Council
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council
  • New Brunswick Arts Board
  • Government of Nova Scotia, Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, and the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council
  • Ontario Arts Council
  • Prince Edward Island Council of the Arts
  • Saskatchewan Arts Board

Media Contact:

Jeffrey Anderson
Executive Director, Alberta Foundation for the Arts and Chair, Steering Committee, Canadian Public Arts Funders
Tel: (780) 415-0283

Important Notices

Date Modified: 2012-02-16