[Skip to Content]
Ontario Arts Council (OAC)
Grants Advanced Search
Grants Advanced Search


Shoshana Wasser

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

New OAC investments aligned with strategic plan

February 8, 2023

The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) is highlighting one-time investments aligned with the recently launched five-year strategic plan, Reset. Renew. Revitalize. The investment in arts sector renewal, made possible by the Government of Ontario, has the potential to generate up to $79 million in additional revenues from sales, donations and other sources, along with 4,800 new jobs in the arts. It also has the potential to increase the number of arts events in the province in the funded year by 6,500, with 1.5 million additional attendees.

OAC board chair, RIta Davies
“Strategic investments help ensure that communities across Ontario, Canada and abroad, continue to have access to diverse Ontario stories,” said OAC chair Rita Davies. “They support the innovation of professional arts organizations, which is one of the key reasons why Ontario’s culture sector has a bigger GDP impact than any other province or territory.”


OAC CEO, Michael Murray
“I could not be prouder of the arts community for being one of the best job creation engines and vehicles for social benefit in Ontario,” said CEO Michael Murray. “This investment recognizes those impacts. I want to thank OAC’s board and staff for their support and vision in our continued work, as well as Minister Neil Lumsden and the Ontario government for its continuing commitment to social and economic impact through the arts.”

The majority of the investment will be made through one-time grants to almost half of the 500 plus professional arts organizations that receive ongoing operating support from OAC to increase their impact at this crucial time for the arts in the province.


Investment Details

Support for Indigenous Arts

  • As part of a continuing commitment to prioritize and increase ongoing support to the Indigenous arts community:
    • OAC is increasing the number of Indigenous arts organizations receiving operating support by 24%.
    • All Indigenous arts organizations currently receiving operating support from OAC will receive an ongoing (rather than one-time) increase to their operating grant.
    • The total investment in all Indigenous arts organizations currently supported through OAC’s operating programs will increase by 56%, in addition to the ongoing support provided for Indigenous arts in OAC project programs.

Recognizing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  • A total of 205 professional arts organizations will receive a one-time addition to their operating grant.
    • These organizations have been identified among those currently receiving OAC operating support that make significant contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion in their fields and are well-assessed, but are underfunded relative to other organizations of similar scope and impact.

Continued Arts Sector Renewal

  • 39 innovative arts organizations that contribute to renewal in the sector have been admitted into the operating funding stream.
  • These new commitments, located in 24 Ontario ridings, include funding for:
    • 9 organizations mandated to serve racialized artists and communities;
    • 4 Indigenous arts organizations;
    • 3 Francophone arts organizations; and
    • 3 organizations dedicated to artists with disabilities.
  • Together, these organizations are projected to produce 1,040 events with an estimated 520,000 attendees in the funded year.

Recognizing Exemplary Support for Artists

  • Connected to the artist-centred approach of the new strategic plan, OAC is recognizing 21 Ontario arts organizations who together generate nearly half of all artist fees paid by professional not-for-profit arts organizations funded by OAC.
    • These organizations will receive an investment to continue their proven track record in making exceptional contributions to artists.

Supporting Artist Driven Innovation

  • OAC is increasing the budgets for project grant programs that support innovation for the 2022-23 fiscal year.
    • This will enable more artists to create, produce or present artistic work – resulting in new, innovative and original Ontario stories expressed through literature, film, theatre, music and many other forms.

Growth Through Partnerships

  • To help the arts sector emerge from the effects of the pandemic, OAC will leverage its capacities as a convenor and connector by reserving part of the investment to share knowledge and seed new partnered initiatives for medium and longer-term impacts.

With these investments, OAC’s 2022-23 funding from the province comes to $65 million.