Reset. Renew. Revitalize. – A Strategic Plan for the Ontario Arts Council (2022-2027)
Ontario is Canada’s most populous and culturally diverse province. Guided by this plan, OAC will ensure that equity is embedded at the heart of everything we do: our policies, programs, operations and practices.
Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities in Canada have unique histories, challenges and modes of creative and cultural expression. In order to embed these understandings in our processes, OAC will work closely with Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities and creators.
In Vital Arts and Public Value, our previous strategic plan, OAC committed to ensuring equitable access for all Ontarians, with particular emphasis on six priority groups: Francophone artists, Indigenous artists, artists and arts organizations located in regions across Ontario, artists of colour, Deaf artists and artists with disabilities, and new generation artists (18-30 years old).
With this new strategic plan – Reset. Renew. Revitalize. – OAC deepens its commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. The plan includes the specific priority groups and further embeds equity into the granting framework. The OAC has a responsibility to ensure that Ontario’s abundant diversity is fully reflected in the artistic activity it supports. This deepened commitment to equity requires a flexible approach and will be reflected in OAC’s granting framework. We will also constantly assess and reassess how we are doing.
Given that equity is at the core of all aspects of OAC’s work, each of the strategic directions detailed in this plan will establish concrete goals to address the systemic barriers that exist in the production and presentation of the arts. This fundamental shift will take time to implement. While the new strategic plan launches this journey, we expect it will take more than a year for OAC’s programs to fully reflect the transition.
Building principles of equity throughout OAC will support meaningful and genuine forms of diversity, equity and inclusion.
OAC’s Strategic Planning Process included:
- an online survey invitation sent to 2,406 participants (including applicants, assessors and other stakeholders);
- 14 focus groups with artists and arts workers from the following groups: Indigenous, Black, other racialized individuals, Francophone, recent immigrants, Deaf or with disabilities, seniors, those from regions outside of Toronto, and others including LGBTQ2S+ communities;
- sessions with staff, board, and community stakeholders;
- a community shareback session in late November 2021 attended by 50 artists and arts workers to report back on the survey and consultations to gather further input.