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Shoshana Wasser

Associate Director of Public Affairs and Communications
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058

OAC embarks on new strategic plan

May 5, 2021

The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) invites arts communities across the province to join in OAC’s next strategic planning process. Over the next eight weeks, Overlap Associates (Waterloo) will lead us through a range of activities to explore:

  • how OAC’s granting programs support arts activities and Ontario’s cultural communities
  • the current state of the arts in Ontario and available funding sources
  • the projected long-term effects of the pandemic on the arts
  • contexts that continue to shape OAC’s programs and services including equity and access.
“OAC plays a unique role in funding individual artists, groups and collectives as well as providing sustaining support to organizations. At the same time, we must ensure that our programs and priorities continue to respond to the changing demographics and needs of the people of this province,” said Rita Davies, OAC Chair. “The groundwork laid during this strategic planning process will prepare OAC for its activities in the coming years.”

We encourage all Ontario artists, arts workers and arts organizations to participate in this process through a survey that will be sent in June to all OAC applicants and to other stakeholders. Following internal staff and board consultations, OAC (led by Overlap Associates) will conduct 14 focus group sessions in May and June with a range of artists and stakeholders as well as several one-on-one interviews.

OAC will also host a virtual town hall later this summer, when we will report back on the information gleaned from the survey and consultations and gather further input. At the end of the information-gathering stage, we will produce a report that will be the basis for developing the final strategic plan, which will guide OAC’s next five years.

With a current budget of $65 million, OAC’s mandate is to foster the creation and production of art for the benefit of all Ontarians. OAC’s last strategic plan, Vital Arts and Public Value, focused on two themes: fostering the creation, production and presentation of art, and fostering participation in, and appreciation of, the arts.

OAC is the Government of Ontario’s primary agency investing in not-for-profit arts organizations and professional artists in communities across the province. Granting decisions are made through a peer assessment process managed by OAC. OAC operates at arm’s length from the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.