New Six-Part Collaboration With the Philanthropist Looks at Arts and Culture Philanthropy in Canada

Last fall when the Foundation was first approached by the editors of The Philanthropist to curate a series of articles on arts and culture philanthropy in Canada, Metcalf President and CEO Sandy Houston was immediately intrigued. In the first article released in April, Setting the Stage: A New Series on the Public Value of Arts and Culture in Canada, Sandy writes that the purpose of the series is to create an “opportunity to highlight the current state of the field, to animate some of the pressing questions it is facing, and to illuminate the impacts and the benefits that flow from arts and culture”.

In the second article released in May, author Kelly Wilhelm, an Ottawa-based strategist who has worked with organizations such as the Canada Council for the Arts and the Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, brings a wealth of knowledge to A Balancing Act: Supporting the Arts in Canada. Kelly begins with a brief historical outline of support for the arts in Canada, moves on to contrasting the Canadian funding model with those found in the United States and Europe, before summarizing the challenges the sector currently faces. She concludes by arguing that the sheer growth in the number and diversity of art forms and organizations necessitates the evolution of complementary new collaborations between public and private partners.

The third article, The Art of Impact: Reflections from Five Canadian Artists, is a collection of personal and evocative statements from a group of artists reflecting on the value that their art brings to their communities. Those featured include artistic director and playwright Marcus Youssef, playwright Hannah Moscovitch, actor and director Antoni Cimolino, cellist Cris Derksen, and dancer and choreographer Mélanie Demers. The article provides an intimate look into how these artists imagine that their work resonates with the public, why they feel it matters, and how they sense their intentions will be received; unfiltered sense-making from the artist’s perspective.

Following a brief summer break, we will resume in September with a series of videos featuring artists and administrators from The Musical Stage Company, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, and Why Not Theatre, who will discuss how philanthropy has helped them, as well as sharing their ideas about the role philanthropy can play to bolster better cultural engagement in Canada.

In October, cultural journalist Kate Taylor will drill down on the critical issues shaping arts and culture in Canada today.

Metcalf’s Performing Arts Director Michael Trent will conclude the series in November by contributing his thoughts on how we can better harness the power of philanthropy to enhance the public value of the arts in Canada and further unleash our creative potential.

We look forward to you coming along with us on this provocative journey and to hearing your thoughts on which issues resonate with you the most.