Update: Strategic Planning at the Ottawa Arts Council

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Here at the Council, we have been very busy working on our strategic plan. We have gathered a wide range of input to inform our planning, including:

  • Insight from the Council’s Board of Directors and staff
  • Interviews with 16 external stakeholders from the broader Ottawa arts community
  • Responses from over 100 people to two open, online surveys 
  • Strategy session between the Council and Arts Network Ottawa (formerly AOE Arts Council) to explore the potential of increased collaboration

John Kirkwood presented an update on the plan at the Annual General Meeting, held on June 19, 2018 at the Ottawa Art Gallery Studio. Attendees were presented with a condensed version, in which:

  • The Council reaffirmed its vision, mission, belief statements and values.
  • The Council also set its
    • Strategic Priorities and Strategies
    • Organizational Excellence and Strategies
  • The Council presented general outline of our Strategic Priorities and Strategies, but each of the objectives has defined milestones and measurable outcomes for years 1, 2 and 3
    • 2 key objectives
    • 5 priorities
    • 16 strategies to accomplish these objectives


The Council established the forward-looking Key Three Year Directions: 

Strategic Priorities And Strategies

  1. Advocate for the arts to be supported, diverse and responsive 
    • Collectively develop advocacy priorities 
    • Develop policy positions and strategies to advance the arts
    • Maintain a dialogue with communities, politicians, policymakers and influencers
  2. Champion for a connected and well-promoted arts community 
    • Diversify and build our membership base through new approaches and offerings
    • Facilitate networking to connect artists with each other
    • Celebrate artistic achievements through an expanding and increasingly visible awards program
    • Promote the work of artists, arts organizations and partners in an inspired and engaging way 
  3. Facilitate a stronger and more sustainable arts sector in Ottawa
    • Define the need and promote and facilitate new arts spaces in diverse places
    • Undertake focused research and capacity work that results in on-the-ground strategies that build the arts sector 
    • Explore the viability of leveraging new grants and funding for the arts sector
    • Provide focused professional development for arts organizations 


AGM 2018Organizational Excellence and Strategies

  1. Build diversity and inclusion in our approach to supporting the arts
    • Build the Council’s cultural competency by developing and implementing an inclusion strategy to reach out and expand engagement of the broader community 
  2. Strengthen organizational capacity and sustainability 
    • Strengthen the Council’s human resource management systems, structures and processes with a key focus on succession planning
    • Increase and diversify the Council’s long-term funding and revenue streams 
    • Develop and implement a new communications and marketing strategy that promotes the value of the arts and generates interest in the Council
    • Refine our policies, platforms, and organizational infrastructure to strengthen emerging and new work