The Ontario Trillium Foundation enables increased access to Arts and Learning


Ottawa, October 19, 2017 – Ontarians will soon have a digital tool that increases access to arts-based education in communities across the province. The Canadian Network for Arts and Learning is launching a three-year major research project mapping arts education in Ontario, thanks to a $541,000 Grow Grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

“A student’s involvement in the arts has a profound effect on academic achievement and overall educational experience,” said Lawrence O’Farrell, Chair of The Network. “By creating an up-to-date central database and map showing the breadth and depth of arts-based education in schools across Ontario, we will reveal the excellent work being done, and help guide decision-makers in addressing inequalities in access to arts education across the province.” 

The first phase of the research project, focused on Ontario artists and arts organizations, got underway in September 2016, resulting in more than 1200 arts organizations and professional artists being placed on the map. The second phase of the research will shift the focus to arts education in schools.  The project will be formally launched at The Network’s national conference, Celebrating Canadian Diversity: Building Bridges through Arts and Learning, taking place in Ottawa.

This national conference brings together school administrators, teachers, artist-educators, researchers, policy makers, and arts education practitioners from across Canada and internationally. Delegates will attend sessions presented by specialists addressing the educational needs of Ontarians and all Canadians in our pluralistic society. Keynote speakers and special guests include Susan Aglukark, Bob Rae, Arlene Perly Rae, Sébastien Goupil Secretary-General Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and CCUNESCO Vice President Danika Billie Littlechild. The conference will be hosted by Céline Peterson, youth music ambassador and daughter of Oscar Peterson.

The school research phase of the mapping project will continue through to May 2019 and will be conducted in several ways, including 15 in-person Eduarts Hubs, email surveys, phone interviews, and additional networking events with a powerful kick-off at the conference. The research will identify data which includes, but is not limited to: the amount of time each student receives arts education per week, whether the school has an arts specialist teacher, which arts disciplines are taught, and partnerships with community arts organizations.

For more information on the mapping project or the conference, please visit


The Canadian Network for Arts & Learning (The Network) unites local, regional and national arts and learning communities in a network for exchange, research and collaboration, cultivating a more creative, innovative and prosperous Canada. The Network envisions a world in which the arts and creativity are recognized as integral to the learning process, both at school and throughout life. By connecting Canada’s diverse arts and learning communities, we will shift mindsets about arts education and increase access to meaningful arts experiences for all Canadians, laying the foundation for social, economic and cultural transformation. Please visit

The Ontario Trillium Foundation: As an agency of the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is one of Canada’s largest granting foundations. With a budget of over $136 million, OTF awards grants to some 1,000 projects every year to build healthy and vibrant Ontario communities. 

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