2018 highlights from Ontario's arts, culture & heritage sector


(Liz Forsberg) #1

I know, it’s 2019 already and I’m a little late to the game but before we fully dive into a new year I wanted to share five 2018 highlights from our sector as seen from the Inspired People Hub here on the Knowledge Centre… in no particular order. What are yours?


1. Igniting & sustaining the arts in rural & remote Ontario
I was very inspired after meeting rural arts instigators from the Supporting Performing Arts in Rural Communities network who gathered this past May in Cobalt Ontario to talk about how they can continue to support each other in creating vibrant rural and remote communities through the arts. Watch out for more from them in 2019! Here’s a post about that gathering.

2. Evaluating the impact of the arts
The conversation about how we can measure the intangible & intrinsic benefits of the arts continues to advance. Back in the Spring we partnered with the fine folks at Animating Democracy, UBC and the Arts for Social Change project to bring you a series of 3 very popular webinars that introduced a set of incredible arts evaluation tools. We recorded those webinars & you can continue to access them here!
What makes arts for change work excellent?
How do arts and culture make a difference?
Evaluating arts for social change & community-engaged arts projects

3. Growing a grassroots cultural policy movement
Mass Culture is a growing movement of folks in the arts, culture and heritage sectors who recognize the need to proactively engage in cultural policy and they are continuing to gain ground. For those who instantly fall asleep at the mention of the word policy (I know, I used to), it is policy that dictates who & what gets resourced and how public funding is allocated to arts, culture and heritage. It affects EVERYBODY in the sector. Learn more about how to get involved here. And check out Mass Culture’s MC Minds podcasts featuring Margo Charlton & Michael Maranda.

4. Indigenous arts resurgence
We are witnessing a resurgence of Indigenous artists and arts practice across the country and with Ontario being the cultural hub that it is, we are lucky that so much of this is unfolding in our own province! These artists are showing us new ways forward for co-existing on this land. Back in September, the AGO played host to an international gathering of Indigenous artists, curators and scholars who came together to imagine what they want the global art world to look like and how they can transform that system in keeping with their values and philosophy. It was an incredible gathering that offered up an inspiring vision for the future of the arts in Canada, on Turtle Island, and beyond.

5. Working towards equity in our sector
Throughout the fall we put a spotlight on the incredible work being done in our sector to address issues of equity, diversity and inclusion. Through weekly posts under the tag #culturalequity, we did a round up of the resources, tools and thinking on this subject created by arts, culture and heritage professionals who are actively working towards transforming our sector into a space where people do not experience barriers to creating, presenting or experiencing culture. You can find links to all of those resources here and up your own equity game.