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The Ontario Arts Council's 50th Anniversary

Stirring emotion for 50 years and counting!

Stirring emotion for 50 years and counting!

The arts, in all their forms, are remarkably powerful. They move us. They make us think. Because the Ontario Arts Council understands the importance of the arts in our lives, it will continue to support artists and artsorganizations whose work touches us and lasts a lifetime. Here’s to the next 50.

Live Love Art… Vive l’amour de l’art...

Fifty years of provincial arts funding through the Ontario Arts Council is worth celebrating. To mark this important milestone, OAC commissioned Live Love Art…Vive l’amour de l’art, from filmmaker Gloria Ui Young Kim.


In 1962, several visionary Ontarians approached John Robarts, Premier of Ontario, with the idea of establishing a provincial arts council. This group, led by Arthur Gelber, represented the fledgling arts infrastructure that existed then in Ontario. On April 26, 1963, Bill 162 – the legislation setting up the arts council – was given its final reading in the Ontario Legislature. The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) was created with a mission to foster the creation and production of art for the benefit of all Ontarians.

Ontarians, through their elected officials, had decided that the arts were important to their lives and deserved support through public funding. It was the beginning of a system that, with the assistance of other municipal, provincial, and federal funders, has enabled Ontario to flourish as an artistically rich and creative province.

OAC’s first annual report notes that we allocated 58 grants around the province. Last year, OAC grants, to 1,681 artists and 1,125 organizations, supported the creation of over 12,000 new artistic works in 216 communities around Ontario. Now in its 50th anniversary year, the Ontario Arts Council is embarking on a strategic planning process that will guide its direction over the next five years.

Learn more

Milton Carman – Looking Back 50 Years After Heading OAC