The City of Ottawa collaborates with artists, the cultural community, and many others, to develop and preserve local arts, heritage and culture.  

Renewed Action Plan for Arts, Heritage and Culture (2013-2018)

Year One Accomplishments

2013 saw the successful first-year implementation of Ottawa’s Council-approved six-year Renewed Action Plan for Arts, Heritage and Culture (2013 – 2018).  Progress and accomplishments were reported in 23 of the 63 plan areas actions (37%), and one action is fully complete. 

The one-year artsVest program with Business for the Arts, designed to increase private sector support of local culture, was completed in 2013 with strong results.  24 cultural organizations partnered with 62 businesses, 47 of which were first-time culture sponsors.  These organizations reached the artsVest matching funds goal of $100,000, and above this, raised $206,805 in sponsorship funds from the business community, creating an influx of over $300,000 into the Ottawa economy. 

Some of the 23 action areas underway are recognition of the Algonquin Anishinabeg First Nation; support for First Nations, Inuit and Métis cultural initiatives; Arts Court and Ottawa Art Gallery development; Rideau Canal Promenade interpretation; a pilot youth training initiative funding program; increased new Canadian outreach; archaeology interpretation and public awareness; La Nouvelle Scène expansion; public art policy renewal; cultural mapping website development; investment in the local cultural sector; and music industry development.

On February 8, 2012, Ottawa City Council approved the six-year action plan for arts, heritage and culture.  The renewed plan builds on Ottawa’s strengths, reflects its unique and authentic identity, aims to build pride in Ottawa as a vibrant, cultural city, and sets out a path aimed at leveraging opportunity.

The renewal process brought together the strongest diversity of representation and participation ever for municipal cultural planning purposes in Ottawa:

Algonquin Anishinabeg First Nation communities; First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals and communities; representatives of the Anglophone and Francophone cultural mosaic; diverse citizenry from rural, suburban and urban neighbourhoods; new Canadians and arts, heritage, festival and fair representatives. 

The plan includes four strategies:

  • Celebrate Ottawa’s unique cultural identity and provide access to culture for all
  • Preserve and develop cultural and creative places and spaces
  • Get the word out about Ottawa’s vibrant local culture and unique identity
  • Invest in local culture and build cultural leadership

Shenkman Arts Centre Strategic Plan

Since opening in 2009, the  City of Ottawahas operated the Shenkman Arts Centre in collaboration with its Resident Partners; Orléans based organizations that call the Shenkman Arts Centre home including AOE Arts Council, MIFO, OYP Theatre School, Ottawa School of Art - Orléans Campus and the Gloucester Pottery School. Together they offer professional programming in the fields of instruction, visual arts exhibitions, and performing art presentations. In 2015, the Centre launched its new vision and five-year strategic plan.