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Ontario Arts Council (OAC)
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Evaluation Rubric – Operating Programs

Artistic and/or Service Quality 25% 

Rating: Excellent (5) 

  • The organization’s mandate and vision are vital and relevant
  • Its achievements, initiatives, current activities and future plans are exemplary and embody its mandate and vision. 
  • The organization’s activities (creation, presentation, distribution of artistic work and/or the delivery of art services) are of excellent quality, challenge the field and influence the practice of other organizations. 
  • The organization is a leader in the development and/or presentation of Ontario and Canadian artistic work. 
  • Where relevant, the organization is recognized nationally and internationally as demonstrated by invitations (touring, showcasing, speaking, international audiences etc.) or artistic/service partnerships with organizations outside of Ontario. 
  • When appropriate and helpful for reaching artistic goals, it partners with other organizations to collaborate on the creation or presentation of artistic work, and collaborators are empowered to contribute in vital and meaningful ways. 
  • The organization is deeply embedded in the arts community as demonstrated by partnerships, engagement with other arts organizations (for example, for production, research, marketing) or activities that promote the value of the impact of the arts. 
  • The organization (or its project collaborators) has extensive relevant knowledge (artistic, cultural) to deliver its programming and activities. Note: Where relevant, assessors consider the rights of Indigenous peoples to practice, revitalize, transmit and maintain control of their cultural material, practices and stories, as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Similarly, they consider the rights of cultural groups to maintain control over their stories, artistic material and practices. 
 

Rating: Very Good (4) 

  • The organization’s mandate and vision are strong, clear and relevant.  
  • Its achievements, initiatives, current activities and future plans are ambitious and embody its mandate and vision. 
  • The organization’s activities (creation, presentation, distribution of artistic work and/or the delivery of art services) are of very good quality and contribute meaningfully to the field. 
  • The organization shows a consistent commitment to the development and/or presentation of Ontario and Canadian artistic work. 
  • When appropriate and helpful for reaching artistic goals, it partners with other organizations to collaborate on the creation or presentation of artistic work, and collaborators are encouraged to contribute in important and meaningful ways. 
  • The organization has solid relationships in the arts community as demonstrated by partnerships, engagement with other arts organizations (for example, for production, research, marketing) or activities that promote the value of the impact of the arts. 
  • The organization (or its project collaborators) has strong relevant knowledge (artistic, cultural) to deliver programming and activities. Note: Where relevant, assessors consider the rights of Indigenous peoples to practice, revitalize, transmit and maintain control of their cultural material, practices and stories, as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Similarly, they consider the rights of cultural groups to maintain control over their stories, artistic material and practices. 
 

Rating: Good (3) 

  • The organization’s mandate and vision are clear and relevant
  • Its achievements, initiatives, current activities and future plans are relevant to its mandate and vision. 
  • The organization’s activities (creation, presentation, distribution of artistic work and/or the delivery of art services) are of good quality and contribute somewhat to the field. 
  • The organization shows a certain commitment in the development and/or presentation of Ontario and Canadian artistic work. 
  • When appropriate and helpful for reaching artistic goals, it partners with other organizations to collaborate on the creation or presentation of artistic work, and enables collaborators to contribute in important ways. 
  • The organization is linked with the arts community as demonstrated by partnerships, engagement with other arts organizations (for example, for production, research, marketing) or activities that promote the value of the impact of the arts. 
  • The organization (or its project collaborators) has the relevant knowledge (artistic, cultural) to deliver programming and activities. Note: Where relevant, assessors consider the rights of Indigenous peoples to practice, revitalize, transmit and maintain control of their cultural material, practices and stories, as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Similarly, they consider the rights of cultural groups to maintain control over their stories, artistic material and practices. 
 

Rating: Below Average (2) 

  • The organization’s mandate and vision are unclear or not relevant
  • It is unclear how the organization’s achievements, initiatives, current activities and future plans are fulfilling its mandate and vision. 
  • The organization’s activities (creation, presentation, distribution of artistic work and/or the delivery of art services) are somewhat insufficient and generally of below average quality or contribute modestly to the field. 
  • The organization shows a limited commitment to the development and/or presentation of Ontario and Canadian artistic work. 
  • It rarely partners with other organizations when it would be appropriate and helpful for reaching artistic goals, or its collaborators are not empowered to contribute in important and meaningful ways. 
  • The organization is somewhat linked to the arts community, with limited partnerships, engagement with other arts organizations, and activities that promote the value of the arts. 
  • It is unclear whether the organization (and its collaborators) has the relevant knowledge (artistic, cultural) to deliver programming and activities. Note: Where relevant, assessors consider the rights of Indigenous peoples to practice, revitalize, transmit and maintain control of their cultural material, practices and stories, as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Similarly, they consider the rights of cultural groups to maintain control over their stories, artistic material and practices. 


Rating: Serious Concerns (1) 

  • The organization’s mandate and vision are unclear and not relevant
  • Its achievements, initiatives, current activities and future plans are unrelated to its mandate and vision. 
  • The organization’s activities (creation, presentation, distribution of artistic work and/or the delivery of art services) are insufficient or generally of poor quality or do not contribute to the field. 
  • The organization does not show a commitment to the development and/or presentation of Ontario and Canadian artistic work. 
  • It does not partner with other organizations when it would be appropriate and helpful for reaching artistic goals. 
  • The organization is not particularly linked to the arts community, with no partnerships, engagement with other arts organizations, or activities that promote the value of the arts. 
  • The organization (and its collaborators) does not appear to have the relevant knowledge (artistic, cultural) to deliver programming and activities. Note: Where relevant, assessors consider the rights of Indigenous peoples to practice, revitalize, transmit and maintain control of their cultural material, practices and stories, as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Similarly, they consider the rights of cultural groups to maintain control over their stories, artistic material and practices. 


Contribution to the quality of life of Ontarians 15% 


Rating: Excellent (5) 

  • Its activities provide (or help artists/arts organizations to provide) opportunities for meaningful access and engagement for audiences and/or participants through community-engaged or audience development programs as demonstrated by profound experiences, long-term engagement (over an extended period of time) or a significant number of participants.  
  • It regularly creates, presents or publishes work that spotlights the histories and stories of past and current Ontarians and those whose stories are being told are centered in the creation/presentation and are empowered to contribute in important and meaningful ways. Note: for arts service organizations, this could include promotional material such as newsletters, podcasts, e-blasts, event listings, etc. 
  • The organization is deeply embedded in their community as demonstrated by partnerships with community organizations or businesses, extensive exploration of topics or engagement on issues of relevance to the community, visibility in the community, or willingness of community members to become highly engaged with the organization (for example, as volunteers).  
  • The organization creates (or supports artists/arts organizations to create) an atmosphere that attracts and welcomes new and existing audiences and participants to engage in the arts (in large numbers and from diverse geographic and cultural communities), that encourages them to return, and that always provides a deep and meaningful experience (such as promoting discussion/reflection on current issues, stirring strong emotional connection, compelling attention, etc.).  
  • Where relevant, it celebrates and promotes the value of the impact of the arts (surveys, research, awards). 


Rating: Very Good (4) 

  • Its activities provide (or help artists/arts organizations to provide) opportunities for access and engagement for audiences and/or participants through community-engaged or audience development programs as demonstrated by long-term engagement (over an extended period of time) or a significant number of participants.  
  • It regularly creates, presents or publishes work that spotlights the histories and stories of past and current Ontarians and those whose stories are being told are consulted in the creation/presentation and are empowered to contribute in important ways. 
  • The organization has solid relationships in their community as demonstrated by partnerships with community organizations or businesses, regular exploration of topics or engagement on issues of relevance to the community, visibility in the community, or willingness of community members to become engaged with the organization (for example, as volunteers).  
  • The organization creates (or supports artists/arts organizations to create) an atmosphere that attracts and welcomes new and existing audiences and participants to engage in the arts (in large numbers and from diverse geographic and cultural communities), that encourages them to return, and that consistently provides a meaningful experience. 
  • Where relevant, it highlights and promotes the value of the impact of the arts (surveys, research, awards). 
 

Rating: Good (3) 

  • Its activities provide (or help artists/arts organizations to provide) some opportunities for access and engagement for audiences and/or participants through community-engaged or audience development programs.  
  • It creates, presents or publishes work that spotlights the histories and stories of past and current Ontarians and those whose stories are being told are consulted in the creation/presentation. 
  • The organization has some links to their community as demonstrated by partnerships with community organizations or businesses, exploration of topics or engagement on issues of relevance to the community, visibility in the community, or willingness of community members to become engaged with the organization (for example, as volunteers).  
  • The organization makes consistent attempts to create (or support artists/arts organizations to create) an atmosphere that attracts and welcomes new and existing audiences and participants to engage in the arts (from diverse geographic and cultural communities), and that sometimes provides a meaningful experience. 
  • Where relevant, it promotes the value of the impact of the arts (surveys, research, awards). 
 

Rating: Below Average (2) 

  • Its activities rarely provide (or rarely help artists/arts organizations to provide) opportunities for meaningful access and engagement for audiences and/or participants through community-engaged or audience development programs. 
  • It rarely creates, presents or publishes work that spotlights the histories and stories of past and current Ontarians and those whose stories are being told are sometimes consulted in the creation/presentation. 
  • The organization is not particularly linked to their community, with limited partnerships with community organizations or businesses, little exploration of topics or engagement on issues of relevance to the community, some visibility in the community, and a lack of willingness of community members to become engaged with the organization. 
  • The organization makes limited attempts to (or makes limited attempts to support artists/arts organizations to) attract and welcome new and existing audiences and participants to engage in the arts from diverse geographic and cultural communities.  
  • Where relevant, it somewhat promotes the value of the impact of the arts (surveys, research, awards). 
 

Rating: Serious Concerns (1) 

  • Its activities do not provide (or do not help artists/arts organizations to provide) opportunities for meaningful access and engagement for audiences and/or participants. 
  • It does not create, present or publish work that spotlights the histories and stories of past and current Ontarians or those whose stories are being told are not consulted in the creation/presentation. 
  • The organization is not linked to their community as demonstrated by a lack of partnerships with community organizations or businesses, no exploration of topics or engagement on issues of relevance to the community, no visibility in the community, and unwillingness of community members to become engaged with the organization (for example, as volunteers).  
  • The organization does not appear to (or does not appear to support artists/arts organizations to) attract new audiences and participants to engage in the arts or creates an atmosphere that is unwelcoming to audiences and participants from diverse geographic and cultural communities. 
  • It does not promote the value of the impact of the arts when it would seem appropriate for it to do so. 
 

Contribution to the careers of artists and arts workers 15% 


Rating: Excellent (5) 

  • It provides vital support for Ontario artists through significant opportunities for artistic creation, production, presentation, publication or engagements. 
  • Organizations with the capacity to do so provide robust services and resources to artists (ex. affordable rehearsal and presentation spaces, administrative or artistic professional development or other services). Note: For art service organizations, the quality of professional development activities and other services for artists is assessed within the “Artistic and/or Service Quality” criterion. 
  • Any professional development activities or other services it offers for artists are easily accessible and affordable for them. 
  • It prioritizes the interests of artists in determining fees for Ontario-based artists (including paying cancellation fees when feasible). 
  • It nurtures and builds relationships with artists in a manner that empowers them to contribute in vital and meaningful ways. 
  • It prioritizes providing stable employment for artists and arts workers (including administrative and technical staff).  
  • It demonstrates a strong and regular commitment to the creation, commissioning, presentation, purchasing and/or exhibiting of new artistic works (this could be many small-scale works or fewer large-scale works that require more time and resources) 
 

Rating: Very Good (4) 

  • It provides significant support for Ontario artists through substantial opportunities for artistic creation, production, presentation, publication or engagements. 
  • Organizations with the capacity to do so provide substantial services and resources to artists (ex. affordable rehearsal and presentation spaces, administrative or artistic professional development or other services).  
  • Any professional development activities or other services it offers for artists are accessible and affordable for them. 
  • It considers the interests of artists in determining fees for Ontario-based (including paying cancellation fees when necessary and feasible). 
  • It nurtures and builds relationships with artists in a manner that encourages them to contribute in important and meaningful ways. 
  • It is consistent in providing stable employment for artists and arts workers (including administrative and technical staff).  
  • It demonstrates a consistent commitment to the creation, commissioning, presentation, purchasing and/or exhibiting of new artistic works (this could be many small-scale works or fewer large-scale works that require more time and resources) 


Rating: Good (3) 

  • It provides support for Ontario artists through adequate opportunities for artistic creation, production, presentation, publication or engagements. 
  • Organizations with the capacity to do so provide adequate services and resources to artists (ex. affordable rehearsal and presentation spaces, administrative or artistic professional development or other services). 
  • Any professional development activities or other services it offers for artists are mostly accessible and somewhat affordable for them. 
  • It is fair and consistent in determining fees for Ontario-based artists (including paying cancellation fees when necessary and feasible). 
  • It works with artists in a manner that enables them to contribute in important ways. 
  • It provides appropriately stable employment for artists and arts workers (including administrative and technical staff).  
  • It demonstrates an occasional commitment to the creation, commissioning, presentation, purchasing and/or exhibiting of new artistic works (this could be many small-scale works or fewer large-scale works that require more time and resources) 
 

Rating: Below Average (2) 

  • It provides modest support for Ontario artists through limited opportunities for artistic creation, production, presentation, publication or engagements. 
  • Organizations with the capacity to do so provide limited services and resources to artists (ex. affordable rehearsal and presentation spaces, administrative or artistic professional development or other services). 
  • Any professional development activities or other services it offers for artists are not particularly accessible or affordable for them. 
  • It does not consistently pay appropriate fees to Ontario-based artists. 
  • It rarely works with artists in a manner that enables them to contribute in important ways. 
  • It provides inconsistent and irregular employment for artists and arts workers (including administrative and technical staff).  
  • It demonstrates a limited commitment to the creation, commissioning, presentation, purchasing and/or exhibiting of new artistic works (this could be many small-scale works or fewer large-scale works that require more time and resources) 
 

Rating: Serious Concerns (1) 

  • It provides Ontario artists with few or no opportunities for artistic creation, production, presentation, publication or engagements. 
  • Organizations with the capacity to do so provide few or no services and resources to artists (ex. Affordable rehearsal and presentation spaces, administrative or artistic professional development or other services). 
  • Any professional development activities or other services it offers for artists are not accessible or affordable for them. 
  • It does not pay appropriate artist fees. 
  • It does not work with artists in a manner that enables them to contribute in important ways. 
  • It provides inconsistent and irregular employment for artists and arts workers (including administrative and technical staff).  
  • It demonstrates no commitment to the creation, commissioning, presentation, purchasing and/or exhibiting of new artistic works (this could be many small-scale works or fewer large-scale works that require more time and resources) 

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Contribution to OAC Priority Groups 25% 

OAC’s priority groups are Indigenous artists, artists of colour, Francophone artists, new generation artists (18-30 years old), Deaf artists and artists with disabilities, and artists and organizations located in regions outside of Toronto. 
 

Rating: Excellent (5) 

The organization demonstrates exemplary leadership and commitment to OAC priority groups by having, as appropriate based on the mandate, activities and location of the organization: 
  • broad representation in senior leadership positions (staff and/or board) of individuals who identify with one or more OAC priority groups, and creates an environment that welcomes their perspectives and views. 
  • impressive achievements, initiatives, current activities and future plans that support one or more OAC priority groups. 
  • programming and artist involvement (including partnerships and collaborations) that reflect  strong, reciprocal and sustained relationships with artists, communities, audiences and/or participants from one or more OAC priority groups.  
  • integrated accessibility considerations for Deaf people and people with disabilities, including artists, audiences and participants, in the planning of all activities. 
 

Rating: Very Good (4) 

The organization demonstrates significant commitment to OAC priority groups by having, as appropriate based on the mandate, activities and location of the organization: 
  • some representation in senior leadership positions (staff and/or board) of individuals who identify with one or more OAC priority groups, and creates an environment that welcomes their perspectives and views. 
  • important achievements, initiatives, current activities and future plans that support one or more OAC priority groups. 
  • programming and artist involvement (including partnerships and collaborations) that reflects genuine relationships with artists, communities, audiences and/or participants from one or more OAC priority groups.  
  • integrated accessibility considerations for Deaf people and people with disabilities, including artists, audiences and participants, in the planning of all activities. 

Rating: Good (3) 

The organization demonstrates some genuine and sustained action in support of OAC priority groups by having, as appropriate based on the mandate, activities and location of the organization: 
  • some representation in senior leadership positions (staff and/or board) of individuals who identify with one or more OAC priority groups, and creates an environment that allows their perspectives and views. 
  • some achievements, initiatives, current activities and future plans that support one or more OAC priority groups. 
  • programming and artist involvement that reflects an effort to develop positive relationships (including partnerships and collaborations) with artists, communities, audiences and/or participants from one or more OAC priority groups.  
  • some considerations of accessibility for Deaf people and people with disabilities, including artists, audiences and participants, in the planning of its activities. 

Rating: Below Average (2) 

The organization shows minimal and inconsistent commitment to OAC priority groups, having: 
  • insufficient representation in senior leadership positions, staff and/or board, of individuals who identify with one or more OAC priority groups. 
  • limited achievements, initiatives, current activities or future plans that support OAC priority groups 
  • limited programming and involvement (including partnerships and collaborations) with artists from OAC priority groups, reflecting a lack of constructive relationships with artists, communities, audiences and/or participants from OAC priority groups.  
  • rare considerations of accessibility for Deaf people and people with disabilities, including artists, audiences and participants, in the planning of its activities. 


Rating: Serious Concerns (1) 

The organization does not demonstrate commitment to OAC priority groups, having: 
  • insufficient representation in senior leadership positions, staff and/or board, of individuals who identify with one or more OAC priority groups. 
  • no achievements, initiatives, current activities or future plans that support OAC priority groups 
  • minimal or no programming or involvement of artists from OAC priority groups, reflecting an absence of relationships with artists, communities, audiences and/or participants from OAC priority groups.  
  • no considerations of accessibility for Deaf people and people with disabilities, including artists, audiences and participants, in the planning of its activities. 


Administrative/Financial Viability 20% 

Rating: Excellent (5) 

  • The organization has sound financial strategies and sufficient resources to execute organizational plans and manage financial obligations, cash flow and risk. 
  • Human and financial resources are allocated strategically
  • The organizational model and staffing structure are appropriate to support their goals and plans Note: assessors will take into consideration varying approaches to organizational structures. 
  • Board and staff skills and expertise are appropriate for the size and scope of the organization. 
  • The organization’s internal structures, policies and processes contribute significantly to the safety and well-being of staff, contractors, board members, volunteers, audiences and participants. 
  • The level of board governance, oversight, support and involvement is appropriate for the size and scope of the organization. 
  • The organization demonstrates forward-thinking planning based on the current context and responds in innovative ways to changes in circumstances, including staff and board transitions. 


Rating: Very Good (4) 

  • The organization has sound financial strategies and sufficient resources to execute organizational plans and manage financial obligations, cash flow and risk. 
  • Human and financial resources are allocated wisely
  • The organizational model and staffing structure are appropriate to support their goals and plans. Note: assessors will take into consideration varying approaches to organizational structures. 
  • Board and staff skills and expertise are appropriate for the size and scope of the organization. 
  • The organization’s internal structures, policies and processes contribute to the safety and well-being of staff, contractors, board members, volunteers, audiences and participants. 
  • The level of board governance, oversight, support and involvement is appropriate for the size and scope of the organization. 
  • The organization demonstrates realistic planning based on the current context and responds thoughtfully to changes in circumstances, including staff and board transitions. 

Rating: Good (3) 

  • The organization has reasonably sound financial strategies and demonstrates the ability to obtain necessary resources to execute organizational plans and manage financial obligations, cash flow and risk. 
  • The organization pays sufficient attention to the appropriate allocation of human and financial resources. 
  • The organizational model and staffing structure are sufficient to support the goals and plans. Note: assessors will take into consideration varying approaches to organizational structures. 
  • Board and staff skills and expertise are sufficient for the size and scope of the organization. 
  • The organization’s internal structures, policies and processes contribute in some ways to the safety and well-being of staff, contractors, board members and volunteers, audiences and participants. 
  • The level of board governance, oversight, support and involvement is sufficient for the size and scope of the organization. 
  • The organization demonstrates mostly realistic planning based on the current context and responds appropriately to changes in circumstances, including staff and board transitions. 

Rating: Below Average (2) 

  • The organization has vague or underdeveloped financial strategies, and it is not clear that they have the ability to obtain necessary resources to execute organizational plans and manage financial obligations, cash flow and risk. 
  • The organization pays insufficient attention to the appropriate allocation of human and financial resources. 
  • The organizational model and staffing structure are inappropriate to support the goals and plans. 
  • The board and staff’s skills and expertise are inappropriate for the size and scope of the organization. 
  • The organization’s internal structures, policies and processes insufficiently contribute to the safety and well-being of staff, contractors, board members and volunteers, audiences and participants. 
  • The level of board governance, oversight, support and involvement is inappropriate for the size and scope of the organization. 
  • The organization demonstrates unrealistic planning based on the current context and responds ineffectively to changes in circumstances, including staff and board transitions. 


Rating: Serious Concerns (1) 

  • The organization has unrealistic financial strategies and is unable to obtain necessary resources to execute organizational plans and manage financial obligations, cash flow and risk. 
  • The organization pays little or no attention to the appropriate allocation of human and financial resources. 
  • The organizational model and staffing structure are inappropriate to support the goals and plans. 
  • The board and staff’s skills and expertise are inappropriate for the size and scope of the organization. 
  • The organization’s internal structures, policies and processes do not contribute to the safety and well-being of staff, contractors, board members and volunteers, audiences and participants. 
  • The level of board governance, oversight, support and involvement is inappropriate for the size and scope of the organization. 
  • The organization demonstrates unrealistic planning based on the current context and is unable to respond to changes in circumstances, including staff and board transitions.