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Ontario Arts Council

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Shoshana Wasser

Communications Coordinator (Government & Media Relations)
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Vital Arts and Public Value: Ontario Arts Council's New Strategic Plan Now Online

October 3, 2014


Click here to view an ASL version of the strategic plan

Vital Arts and Public Value, the Ontario Arts Council’s (OAC) strategic plan for 2014-2020, is now available on the OAC website. The plan will provide a framework to guide OAC activities, funding programs, and services in the years ahead.

“Last year, we celebrated OAC’s 50th anniversary. Ontario’s remarkable arts community that exists today is due in no small part to the Government of Ontario’s investment through OAC over that timeframe,” said Martha Durdin, OAC Chair. “It is appropriate that we embark on the next 50 years with a clear vision of how to not only protect that investment, but ensure that our programs and priorities continue responding to the changing needs of Ontario communities."

“The title,Vital Arts and Public Value, encapsulates the plan’s focus on the twin aspects of OAC’s mandate, which is to serve both the arts community and the public. While strategic plans are aspirational, the consultation process that went into its development yielded some very clear directions. In particular, the word ‘vital’ was chosen to reflect the qualities OAC considers most essential to a healthy arts sector, including artistic merit, relevance, impact, risk-taking and effectiveness,” added Peter Caldwell, OAC Director & CEO.


Strategic Planning Process

OAC began developing the strategic plan with an environmental scan in the spring of 2013, followed by a comprehensive online questionnaire to 28,000 people – individual artists and organizations who apply for grants from OAC, as well as many other funders and stakeholders.


The survey covered a variety of topics including: the key needs and issues facing the arts sector, those that OAC should address, the appropriate focus of OAC’s activities, and an exploration of public value. A total of 1,858 individuals responded to the survey. This was followed by a full-day focused session with 50 arts community representatives who dug more deeply into key themes that emerged from the survey. The findings from the environmental scan, survey, and focus group session are provided in the Summary of External Consultation Phase.


Informed by these consultations, OAC board and staff participated in numerous facilitated sessions over the fall and winter of 2013-14. The entire process culminated in the creation of  Vital Arts and Public Value.


OAC will be hosting meetings in various communities over the coming months to give people an opportunity to discuss the strategic plan and OAC programs.