In 2005-06, the Canada Council for the Arts (CAC), which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2007, awarded 5 780 grants, with a total value of CAD 120.5 million, to some 2 100 professional Canadian artists out of a total of 131 000 professional artists in Canada and 2 000 arts organisations, as well as CAD 2.6 million in endowed prizes in 2005-06. The recipients reside in over 825 Canadian communities in dance, media arts, music, theatre, writing and publishing, interdisciplinary work and performance art, and the visual arts (Annual Report 2005-06). Grants are provided through programmes divided according to the following disciplines: visual arts, inter-disciplinary arts, writing and publishing, Aboriginal arts, theatre, dance, music / outreach, media arts (including film, video, new media and audio) and equity. Of these disciplines, music, theatre, and writing and publishing receive the largest funding although important levels of funding are also provided youth-related activities, Aboriginal artists and organisations and culturally diverse artists and organisations.
The Council also runs or houses the following programmes:
- Aboriginal Arts Programme, an outreach programme for domesticaudiences and marketing development and touring assistance;
- Canadian Commission for UNESCO, currently establishing, inter alia, a global network of UNESCO-associated elementary and secondary schools;
- Canada Council Art Bank which maintains a collection of 18000 paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures for rent and display to public and private institutions; and
- Public Lending Right Commission. The federal arm’s length Public Lending Right Programme (PLR) was established in 1986 to increase the revenues and improve the financial situation of Canadian writers and to give public recognition to their important contribution to protecting and growing Canada’s cultural identity. It is administered by the Public Lending Right Commission, comprised of representatives of national writers’, librarians’ and publishers’ associations and operates under the administrative aegis of the Canada Council for the Arts. The PLR makes payments to Canadian writers, translators and illustrators based on the holdings of their books by a representative sample of libraries across Canada. 15417 writers, translators and illustrators across Canada received just over CAD 9 million in public lending right payments in 2006-07, marking a growth of over 300% in authors, titles and payments over the last seventeen years.
The Council also operates the Artist and Community Collaboration Fund (ACCF), which brings together professional artists and the broader community in order to give the arts a stronger presence in everyday life. Priorities are given to youth and arts education and as with all Council programmes the ACCF is accessible to Aboriginal artists and arts organisations as well as artists and arts organisations of diverse regional and cultural communities of Canada. The ACCF for 2006-2007 increased the Canada Council for the Arts’ commitment to the diverse artistic activities that bring together professional artists and the broader community. Through this, it gives the arts a stronger presence in everyday life. The fund offers opportunities for communities to express themselves through creative collaborations with leading professional artists. The ACCF is delivered through participating programs in all sections of the Canada Council. Artists and community collaboration activities are also supported within other Canada Council programmes outside the framework of the ACCF.
The Outreach Programme of the Canada Council for the Arts provides travel assistance to the presenters and curators of professional Canadian artists needed to reach new audiences at home and abroad. Council’s Audience and Market Development Programme (AMDP) provides travel assistance to increase, enhance and broaden programming options for presenters and curators of professional Canadian artists and to assist professional artists and their managers to develop and reach new audiences and markets in Canada and internationally. Along with its grants programme and special initiatives, the AMDP maintains updated on-line directories of presenters, agents and festivals.