CPAF Bulletin

The CPAF Bulletin - Issue 9, November 2010

Culture Days 2010 attracts hundreds of thousands!

The first edition of Culture Days was an unqualified success. For three days in September, hundreds of thousands of Canadians celebrated arts and culture in their communities in novel ways. They attended free classes, demonstrations, exhibitions and behind-the-scenes tours, all of which were designed to inspire greater public participation in the arts and culture.

In all, more than 700 arts groups, organizations and municipalities hosted 4,500 activities, making Culture Days 2010 the biggest event of its kind in Canadian history.

"The first edition of Culture Days was a resounding success," says Antoni Cimolino, Chairman of Culture Days' national steering committee. "Canadians from every corner of the country enjoyed an enormous variety of activities. We were thrilled by the strong attendance and enthusiastic responses."

Next year’s events will be held between September 30 and October 2, 2011.

Ontario invests $27 million in the arts

In late September, the Government of Ontario announced the creation of a three-year, $27-million Arts Investment Fund. Money from the fund will support not-for-profit arts organizations that already receive operating grants from the Ontario Arts Council (OAC).

“Our government is proud to celebrate, honour and support Ontario’s arts and culture sectors," said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism and Culture. "The new Arts Investment Fund will help our arts organizations continue to enrich our communities and strengthen our economy.”

OAC, which will manage the fund, will contribute a further $1.1 million for English- and French-language book and magazine publishers.

Arts funding in BC

The BC Arts Council (BCAC) received a $7-million funding boost on September 1. The provincial government announced that the Council would administer part of the province’s 2010 Sports and Arts Legacy fund totaling $10 million. Days later, BCAC approved funding for a number of new programs, including:

  • an innovation program that supports the commissioning, creation, development and production of new works,
  • a capacity and sustainability program that builds on the successful pilot program offered last year, and
  • a program that will help organizations hire co-op students for professional work experience.

The 2010 Sports and Arts Legacy fund allocates $60 million over three years to enhance sports, arts and cultural opportunities for all British Columbians.

The $7 million earmarked for arts and culture in 2010 will bring BCAC’s total budget to $16 million. In 2009, the total budget stood at $19.5 million.

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News from around CPAF

NWT arts activities attract thousands

Two major events in the Northwest Territories’ arts community combined to attract an astounding number of attendees. More than 200,000 people flocked to NWT Arts Week events in mid September and then to Migratory Passages, an exhibit that showcases Aboriginal art and design from Northern Quebec.

Events held during NWT Arts Week were part of Culture Days, and enabled creators to display their works and helped the broader arts community demonstrate the arts’ social and economic value.

Migratory Passages, which is on display through the end of November, showcases handcrafted objects that combine traditional Aboriginal craftsmanship skills with contemporary design.

NS government looks for input

In September and October, the Government of Nova Scotia sought input from those involved or interested in the creative sector regarding its role in supporting and fostering arts and culture activity.

A summary report of the input provided to government will be presented to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage this fall. The government will use the report as a resource to help design an arts strategy that meets the needs of Nova Scotia's creative community.

MAC looks forward

This fall and winter, the Manitoba Arts Council (MAC) will launch its strategic-

planning exercise called Focus Forward. Council members will hold extensive consultations with individuals, institutions, organizations and community groups and use the findings to guide MAC’s priorities, management and services for the future.

MAC hopes to share the results of the consultations—and a plan for the next three to five years—in the spring.

Canada Council holds APM, unveils strategic plan

The Canada Council for the Arts held its 2010 annual public meeting in Toronto on October 20. The major highlight of the event was the release of Strengthening Connections, the Council’s strategic plan for 2011–2016.

Strengthening Connections builds on the Council’s previous plan by reinforcing the five directions of the previous strategic plan and overlaying three themes: synergy, technology and public engagement. It will further the Council’s efforts to support interactions between the arts community and the public at large.

Corporate planning at the Canada Council

The Canada Council for the Arts officially launched its corporate planning process for 2011–2016 this fall. The Canada Council corporate plan, which will outline objectives and strategies related to the implementation of the strategic plan, will be made public in the spring.

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CPAF staffing news

NB Arts Board welcomes new chair

At its September 11 annual general meeting, the New Brunswick Arts Board appointed Moncton’s Tim Borlase as its new chair.

Borlase is the director of the Capitol School of Performing Arts, and serves on the board of directors of the Canadian Conference of the Arts Board. A longtime Labrador resident, he received the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador and an Honorary Doctorate from Memorial University for his work in arts education.

PWNHC-NWT names new community-liaison coordinator

The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre has appointed Debbie Matheson to serve as its newest community-liaison coordinator. In her new role, Matheson will promote outreach services and build on partnerships between community residents and arts and cultural organizations across the Northwest Territories.

A former employee of Canadian Heritage, Matheson managed funding programs to support arts, culture and heritage initiatives in Canada’s North.

CALQ names acting director of visual arts, media arts and literature

Réjean Perron is the newest director of Visual Arts, Media Arts and Literature at the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ).

A CALQ employee for close to fifteen years, Perron’s duties have included program review and management, and representing the cultural office at a variety of national and international events. He assumed the new position on a year-long mandate.

Mark Phipps is new AFA chair

The Alberta Foundation for the Arts named Mark Phipps as its new Chair. Mark brings a strong background in entrepreneurship, management and finance. He was Chair of the Alberta Performing Arts Stabilization Fund and was a public member of the board of governors at Bow Valley College. In 2005, he received the Alberta Centennial Medal for his volunteer service.

Five named to BC Arts Council

The BC government filled a number of vacancies on the BC Arts Council last month. Tourism, Culture and the Arts Minister Kevin Krueger announced that interim chair, Dr. Stanley Hamilton, who assumed the role after Jane Danzo departed in the summer, will continue as the council’s permanent chair. Supporting him as vice- chair is Jackson Davies, a former television actor.

In addition to these appointments, the council introduced three new members: Merla Beckerman, Gordon Harris and Lori Marchand.

Meet CPAF’s new Partnerships and Networks Officer

This fall, Melanie Yugo joined the CPAF team as its Partnership and Networks Officer. In her new role, Melanie will support CPAF members in a number of areas, including communications, research and analysis, and professional and leadership development. Melanie brings several years of policy and research experience to CPAF, and holds a master’s degree in social and cultural psychology from the London School of Economics. She is a practicing artist and educator.

CPAF members can email Melanie or phone her at 800-263-5588, ext. 5144.

Kelly Wilhelm on special assignment, maternity leave

Kelly Wilhelm, Coordinator at the CPAF Secretariat, is about to take an extended break. On November 22, she will take a special assignment to coordinate and write the Canada Council for the Arts’ new corporate plan. In mid-January, she begins maternity leave.

Claude Schryer is Kelly’s replacement. He currently works as a Coordinator in the Canada Council’s Inter-Arts Office, Arts Disciplines Division. He will begin his new duties on November 16 and can be reached at 800-263-5588, ext. 5142.

Staffing changes in Arts Disciplines at Canada Council

Following the departure of Nicole Doucet in September, Anne Valois (Head, Dance Section) assumed the role of Acting Director, Arts Disciplines. Ellen Busby (Program Officer, Dance Section) now assumes the role of Acting Head, Dance.

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Best practices in governance—board orientation

Note to readers: this article is the fourth 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 well constructed new-member orientation program is a critical element of effective governance for any board of directors. A formal program, with a structured agenda, provides new board members with the information they need to fulfill their roles, and helps to build strong working relationships among members.

A strong new-member orientation program should include some of the following:

  • a briefing session with the chair and executive director/CEO, followed by a session with senior management,
  • a review of the organization’s history, evolution and current short- and long-term goals, and
  • an analysis of the challenges the organization faces and any emergent trends that could affect governance.

New-member orientation programs should be supplemented by board manuals that include important information about the organization, board structure and operations.

When developing a manual, consider the following:

  • Don’t include too much information. Never duplicate items, and always offer summaries of longer documents.
  • Organize material using a table of contents and clearly defined sections.
  • Date all documents and ensure they remain current.
  • Direct readers to the website for additional orientation information.

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.

Board members new to the CPAF network are encouraged to attend an orientation session during the CPAF Annual General Meeting in St. John’s.

If you have not yet already confirmed, please email Melanie by November 10 if you are interested in attending.

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Is a national Canadian culture important?

In a recent article in the Toronto Star, journalist Kate Taylor wonders whether the notion of a distinctive Canadian culture is important. If it is important, she asks, how should it be defined? She argues that if Canadians want a popular culture, “we will have to be nimble and inventive, but most of all passionate in our belief that culture matters and that we should produce some ourselves.”

Taylor steadfastly argues against the notion that geography no longer matters. To her,

the idea of people defining themselves by their interests as opposed to their nations is invalid. Place matters, she says, because “it shapes the fabric of your daily life.”

The author concludes that Canadian culture matters, but cautions that articulating it will be difficult. It should be multicultural, she says, and not rooted in clichés such as playing shinny hockey on a frozen pond.

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Conferences & Events, 2010

CPAF Annual General Meeting, Building Support for the Arts, Nov. 17–19, 2010, St. John’s, NL

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News from the international arts community

The Seoul Agenda now available

During UNESCO’s Second World Conference on the Arts in May, delegates agreed on a new strategy to advance global arts education. The Seoul Agendacalls upon UNESCO member states, civil society and professional organizations to help develop the full potential of arts education for learners of all ages.

CEA pushes for arts support from EU policies

Last month, Culture Action Europe announced the launch of its we are more campaign, an effort to augment the role of arts and culture in European societies. The three-year campaign will ask the European Union to improve the quality and quantity of support for the arts sector.

Organizers hope to increase support for cultural activities and stimulate Europeans’ participation in and enjoyment of the arts over the next ten years.

IFACCA board meets in Madrid

The board of directors of the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) met in Spain on September 27 and 28. Delegates discussed the organization’s proposed 2011–2014 strategic plan, objectives for the 2011 World Summit on Arts and Culture, and other projects being developed.

This year marks IFACCA’s 10th anniversary. Watch for special events to mark the occasion.

U.S. task force to promote international cultural engagement

The U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy recently announced the creation of a task force to encourage international cultural engagement. The International Cultural Engagement Task Force will examine existing and proposed forms of cultural diplomacy that enhance understanding, respect and trust between countries. In particular, the group will study partnerships between U.S.-based people and organizations, and those abroad in media such as dance, design, film, literature, music, opera, theatre, visual arts, and television and digital arts.

UK government cuts arts funding

On October 20, the British Government announced it would cut funding to Arts Council England (ACE) by 30 percent, and that it is asking ACE to pass on cuts of only half of that to front-line arts organizations. In real terms, ACE’s budget will drop from £449.5 million in the current fiscal year to £349 million by 2014. According to ACE chief executive Alan Davey, the cutback means that at least 100 arts organizations will lose their funding.

ACE itself has also been asked to cut its operating costs in half, despite the fact that the council has already cut one fifth of its operating expenses after an 18-month review. 

NEA celebrates 45 years

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) marked its 45th anniversary on September 29. As the United States’ largest grantmaker, the NEA awards approximately $100 million annually, and invests in arts groups in every state. It is also the agency of record on arts research, and produces thought-provoking reports on issues surrounding arts and arts education.

To mark its special anniversary, NEA released a compendium of statistics that demonstrates the endowment’s impact.

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Research round-up

Canada Council invested $158 million in arts funding in 09–10

Arts funding across Canada received a major boost last year. In its 2009–10 annual report, the Canada Council for the Arts announced it distributed more than $158 million in grants, payments, fellowships and prizes to Canadians. That money went to support the creation, production and dissemination of art that instills a sense of identity and inspiration in Canadians.

In all, the Council supported more than 21,400 authors, artists and arts organizations that work in more than 500 Canadian communities.

Visit the Canada Council website for detailed reports of annual Canada Council funding in the provinces and territories.

Arts funding in a holding pattern

The Canadian Conference of the Arts recently published its analysis of the federal budget on the arts and cultural industries. In a Holding Pattern—For Now offers three conclusions: first, funding to arts and culture agencies has remained stable for most organizations; second, the recession and planned measures to reduce costs may lead to arts cuts—possibly as soon as 2012; and third, the federal government lacks a long-term vision for the arts and cultural industries.

Arts’ vital signs are stable

Last month, Community Foundations of Canada released its Vital Signs reports—analyses of quality-of-life indicators such as poverty gaps, unemployment rates, the number of physicians per capita and property-crime rates in 15 of Canada’s largest cities.

In its analysis of Canada’s arts and cultural communities, the organization concludes that, although the absolute number of people working in this industry has increased since 1987, the size of the industry relative to the total labour force remains unchanged. Also, more people tend to work in arts communities in large urban centres than in smaller ones and rural communities.

Arts Research Monitor examines four new studies

The most recent edition of Hill Strategies’ Arts Research Monitor offers summaries of four major statistical reports: a national survey of arts participation and public perception of the arts and a Canadian index of leisure and culture, as well as an American index of the arts and a survey of arts participation in that country.

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In an era of austerity, reasons to fund the arts

A summer article in England’s The Arts Newspaper advances the notion that arts-promotion agencies, such as Arts Council England, struggle to formulate compelling arguments in favour of long-term arts funding.

Author Robert Hewison argues that short-term arguments against cuts to arts funding focus on the damage caused by the global recession. Since arts agencies rely on a balance of money from public- and private-sector sources, and because so many private-sector organizations have reduced funding to arts endowments, the public sector must continue funding the arts, he says.

Longer term, funding solutions must depend on factors such as the arts’ contribution to the economy. They should also take into account the arts’ contributions to social capital, which in turn contributes to social cohesion, creativity and overall societal wellbeing.

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Important Notices

Date Modified: 2016-06-08