The Canadian Conference of the Arts is the focal point where issues relevant to the Canadian arts, culture and heritage sector are identified and debated and through which sound cultural policies are promoted. We build and support strategic partnerships and alliances, facilitate the identification of common priorities and act as a catalyst for change.
The Canadian Conference for the Arts recognizes that arts and culture hold our individual and collective identity, in the education of our children, in our economy, in the integration of our communities, and in our quality of life. The Canadian Conference of the Arts believes access to arts and culture can’t be limited to the privileged but should be for all Canadians. The Canadian Conference of the Arts favors an open national dialogue based on Canadian literacy and on the cultural diversity which categorizes Canada as a nation.
The Canadian Conference of the Arts presents open and informed debate on all policy issues which affect the cultural life as Canadian Citizens. The Canadian Conference of the Arts maintains, in cooperation with other levels of government and the private sector, that the federal government has an important role to play in regards to Canadian artists and to the cultural sector. That particular value is very important.
“Imagine a world without music, without poetry, without books, without paintings on the walls, without photographs, without legends, without the movement and the energy of dance, without theatre, without cinema, without the kind of imagination and creations which would force us to live only the realities of day to day life, the economy, the politics… Arts and culture are the fourth dimension we need to be humans: a country without arts and culture would be a country without a soul and a nation without identity.”
On October 30, 2012, the Canadian Conference of the Arts released a press release announcing that it would be discontinuing operations. The release identified this decision was due to the loss of federal government support, which the organization had received regularly since the 1960s, and which during its final years accounted for approximately 60-70 per cent of its total operating budget.
The Canadian Conference of the Arts has left its research, archives and ongoing projects in the hands of a volunteer trustee board, with the intention that another cultural or academic organization will be able to continue its work in future.
Making a Single case for the Arts
There is a wealth of arts advocacy work and resources in Canada which would gain significantly more effectiveness and clout by pooling their efforts to better serve the arts. To reach this objective, it would appear crucial to expand the networking outside the cultural sector as such to other stakeholders in Canadian civil society.