The Canada Council for the Arts, commonly called the Canada Council, is a Crown Corporation established in 1957 to act as an arts council of the government of Canada, created to foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts. It funds Canadian artists and encourages the production of art in Canada. The current chair of the Canada Council is Joseph L. Rotman.


The Canada Council is an arms-length agency based in Ottawa, Ontario, that reports to the Crown through the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Its annual appropriation from parliament is supplemented by endowment income, donations, and bequests. Its main duty is alloting grants to Canadian artists based on the merits of their applications. The council also funds and administers many of Canada's top arts awards, including the Governor General's Literary Awards.

The council has six main divisions. Each of these co-ordinates grant-giving to a different area of the arts:

These are complemented by three groups that work with all the sections:

  • Aboriginal Arts Secretariat, which fosters First Peoples art in all media
  • Equity Office, which encourages diversity in arts funding
  • Inter-Arts Office, to deal with proposals that combine or transcend traditional artistic disciplines


The Canada Council supervises the Art Bank, which has the largest collection of contemporary Canadian art in the world, including some 18,000 artworks, 6,400 of which are currently rented to more than 200 government and corporate clients.

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO and the Public Lending Right Commission operate under its aegis. It also operates a Musical Instrument Bank. Established in 1985, the Instrument Bank has acquired many valuable stringed instruments that are loaned mostly to Canadian musicians, often as a result of juried competitions.

The Council promotes public awareness of the arts through its communications, research and arts promotion activities. The Council administers the Killam Program of scholarly awards, the Governor General's Literary Awards and the Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts.

Each year the council receives some 16,000 grant requests, which are reviewed by panels of artists set up by each division of the council. In 2006-07, the Council awarded some 6,000 grants to artists and arts organizations and made payments to more than 15,400 authors through the Public Lending Right Commission. Grants and payments totaled more than $152 million.


The Canada Council is called from time to time to appear before parliamentary committees, particularly the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. Its accounts are audited by the Auditor General of Canada and included in an Annual Report to Parliament.

Chairs of the Canada CouncilEdit

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


fr:Conseil des Arts du Canada

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