Metcalf Foundation News
Fall 2023
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Over the last decade, we have seen tremendous growth in the impact investing market in Canada, with increasing opportunities and investments in environmental and social sectors — and yet, the cultural sector has remained notably absent.

In July, we convened some of the most innovative thinkers in the fields of culture and finance from Canada, the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom to explore the potential of impact investing for Canada’s cultural sector.

The inspiration was Nesta’s Arts & Culture Finance (ACF), an eight-year initiative in the UK that featured three separate impact investment funds dedicated to the cultural sector. A report capturing learnings from ACF — Impact Investing in the Cultural and Creative Sectors: Insights from an emerging field — co-authored by key architects of ACF Fran Sanderson and Seva Phillips as well as Metcalf Fellow on Arts and Society David Maggs will be released at the end of the month, coinciding with online launch events you can sign up to attend.

To date, ACF has been the most active impact investment initiative dedicated to the cultural sector in the UK, and quite possibly, the world. Over the course of several days, we were fortunate to have the opportunity to hear directly from Fran and Seva on the ACF experience, and to interrogate the possibility of launching a similar initiative in Canada. Such an extensive case study demonstrated to both the cultural leaders and investors present that there is significant potential to bring this form of finance to Canada’s cultural sectors.

We are currently collaborating with the Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council on the development and resourcing of a feasibility study to explore the opportunities associated with delivering a pilot project in Canada.

The most recently available figures from RIA Canada put the value of Canadian impact investments at $20.3 billion in 2019, a five-fold increase from $4.1 billion in 2013. Poised to continue to grow, the opportunity that impact investing could yield is significant.

We look forward to seeing if impact investing can nurture critical new capital and new capacity for Canada’s cultural sector to thrive in the post-pandemic world.

As always, I welcome your thoughts.

President and CEO
Inclusive Local Economies
Performing Arts Highlights
Inclusive Local Economies Highlights

Investing in people, ideas, and actions to build a just, healthy, and creative society.

Metcalf Foundation The George Cedric Metcalf
Charitable Foundation

38 Madison Avenue
Toronto, ON
M5R 2S1 Canada
Tel. 416-926-0366

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The Metcalf Foundation office is located on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. Today, the meeting place of "Tkaronto" (Toronto) continues to be home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to work together on this land.