Vision and Mandate


We are leaders and catalysts in building an engaged, growing and inclusive Ottawa arts sector.


The Ottawa Arts Council advances, promotes and advocates for the arts in Ottawa.

Belief Statements

We envision a city enriched by the transformative benefits of the arts. To this end, we believe:

  1. The arts are essential and provide an intrinsic and integral value to individuals and society.  
  2. The arts increase self-expression and creativity, strengthen community connections and provide social and economic benefits.
  3. The arts should be accessible to everyone.
  4. An evolving, thriving and inclusive arts sector encourages engagement, innovation and excellence from a wide spectrum of artists.
  5. Our creative community engages active participation by our residents, visitors, supporters, educators and the private sector.
  6. Artists and arts organizations deserve exemplary support and services.


  • Integrity

    We are open, honest, transparent and respectful in our efforts to deliver value.

  • Innovative

    We embrace the use of innovation and creative responses to solve problems and find solutions.

  • Inclusion

    We are committed to diversity and inclusion to ensure equitable representation and participation of everyone in the arts.

  • Collaboration

    We work collectively with others to advance our mandate and impact.

  • Responsive

    We are adaptive in responding to evolving needs and opportunities in the arts.


Our 3-Year Vision 

  1. A Passionate and Influential Voice
  2. A Champion for Engaged, Thriving, and Connected Arts
  3. A Facilitator in Creating a Stronger and More Sustainable Arts Sector
  4. A Collaborator in Building Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts
  5. A Trusted and Involved Partner
  6. An Organization with Strength and Capacity 


Key 3-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, policy makers 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 spaces
    • 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 

Organizational 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