Canadian Public Arts Funders (CPAF) celebrate growth in support for public arts funding

Ottawa, November 28, 2007 – Arts councils from across Canada celebrated the growth in support for public arts funding at the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Public Arts Funders (CPAF).

The Executive Directors and Chairs of CPAF — Canada’s network of federal, provincial and territorial arts councils and agencies — noted that 8 of the 14 CPAF members saw increases to their budgets over the past year, representing an additional $54 million dollars for fiscal year 2007-08.

“These new funds confirm that governments perceive the value of public funding for the arts in our country,” said Martha Durdin, Chair of the Ontario Arts Council and CPAF Steering Committee member. “The arts are powerful not only because they enrich us personally, but because they also contribute to the identity, vitality and economic growth of Canadian communities.”

During the CPAF meeting, the Government of Nova Scotia announced in its Speech from the Throne that it will double its spending on culture. Over a three year period, culture will receive over eight million dollars in additional funds.

At the CPAF Annual General Meeting, the main topic of discussion was how to support the next generation of artistic leaders and arts organizations in a significantly larger workforce. From 1981 to 2001, Canada’s core culture workforce grew three times faster than the total workforce, according to a recently released Statistics Canada Study, Culture Employment in a North American Context: 1981 to 2001.

“We have heard young artists and arts professionals talk about what is important to them,” said Yvan Gauthier, Président-directeur general of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Chair of the CPAF Steering Committee. “Now, the CPAF members have an opportunity to collectively explore how we can work together to best meet the unique needs of the next generation of artists.”

This collaborative approach to facing shared challenges in arts funding is at the heart of the CPAF network. During the first half of 2007, the Canada Council for the Arts partnered with its CPAF colleagues to undertake a ground-breaking series of nine dialogues with close to 200 artists and arts administrators aged 18-30. Each generated wide-ranging discussions on new areas of practice, training and career development needs, the impact of the arts on communities, and the role of arts funding in supporting young artists and administrators.

The consultations with the next generation have already fed into the Canada Council’s 2008-2011 Strategic Plan (released Oct 2nd), as well as other provincial and territorial planning exercises currently underway. 

At their Annual General Meeting, the CPAF members were also joined by representatives of the Australia Council for the Arts and the Washington-based National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, in order to exchange information about different approaches to supporting the next generation of artists in Canada, Australia, and the United States.

Over the course of the next year, the CPAF member organizations will continue to foster and encourage public support for the arts throughout Canada, and work together to ensure that all Canadians have access to diverse arts experiences.

The next CPAF Annual Meeting will take place November 12-14, 2008 in Moncton, New Brunswick, and will be dedicated to exploring support for arts organizations. 


Increases to CPAF Members’ Budgets for 2007-08:

Member 2007-08 Increase

Alberta Foundation for the Arts

$4.5 million

Canada Council for the Arts

$30 million

Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec

$8 million

Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council


Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage


Ontario Arts Council

$5 million

Saskatchewan Arts Board

$5.25 million

Tourism and Culture,
Government of Yukon


Media contacts:


Douglas Riske
Executive Director, Manitoba Arts Council and Past Chair, Steering Committee, Canadian Public Arts Funders
(204) 945-2239


Yvan Gauthier
Président-directeur general of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Chair of the CPAF Steering Committee
(514) 864-4333

Important Notices

Date Modified: 2011-03-02