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It's time to dream, plan and build for the arts -
and we'll do it together.

As announced in October 2023, Arts Network Ottawa and the Ottawa Arts Council are merging to create a new, unified organization advancing the arts in Ottawa. Together, we will bring a stronger voice to our arts community. 

With residents, members, and the cultural community, we are building a new Ottawa arts organization that best aligns with the needs of today’s arts community.


Since Fall 2023, we have been collaboration with our community to get info on how we need to change. We have developed our first organization model prototype and as we test this new prototype, we will continue to engage with our community, implement feedback and continue to adapt.



Fall 2023 : Community Survey
The Ottawa Arts Council and Arts Network Ottawa conducted a community online survey in the to kick off the community engagement process and to assess the perspectives and expectations surrounding the merger of the two organizations. 

You can view the survey results HERE.


Winter 2023-24: Community Conversations
Arts Network Ottawa, the Ottawa Arts Council embarked on a series of learning and engagement opportunities where the arts sector and community were invited to engage in crucial conversations. 


The presentations shared insights, explored innovative ideas, transformative strategies, and visionary perspectives to spark your thinking and our collective work in the arts. Presentations were followed by a facilitated workshop led by Evoke and Associates. You can read the Community Conversations report HERE.


Spring 2024: Co-Creation Weekend

Led by Evoke 2.0 consulting, participants worked together to identify priorities and essential categories for the new organizational model.  These included:  Purpose, Values, Guiding Principles, Rules and Norms (Protocols), Decision-Making, Governance, and Community Priorities.  

We analyzed the results of the Community Survey and distilled key takeaways from Community Conversations. These sessions built on these findings, ensuring they will serve as the cornerstone for the creation of a new arts organization. Participants delved into the critical aspects of the priorities identified. This work will contribute to robust decision-making and governance structure that aligns with community priorities and will help inform the foundation of what the new organization will build toward. You can read the Co-Creation Weekend report HERE.


Summer 2024: Arts Leaders’ Breakfast
The Ottawa Arts Council and Arts Network Ottawa hosted our Arts Leaders’ Breakfast on June 5th at the Ottawa Art Gallery, to present the prototype organizational model for the new arts service organization and facilitated discussions on how as a sector we can work more collaboratively to advance our collective goals. You can read the Arts Leaders’ Breakfast report HERE.


Summer 2024: Annual General Meeting
The Ottawa Arts Council and Arts Network Ottawa joined forces for our Annual General Meetings on June 26th at GCTC. We shared our merger milestones with our members, along with the unveiling of our innovative organizational model for our new Arts Service Organization.


As we add more stops to our roadmap it will be updated for transparency and so that you can follow along with us!

As this work continues, our organization will continue to provide our current programs and services.


The planning process to merge Arts Network Ottawa and Ottawa Arts Council is intentionally centered on people’s needs and capacities. By doing so, we hope to build community trust and confidence through meaningful conversations, while fostering a participatory mind set that activates our community in co-creating the new organization.

Our goal is to establish a new arts organization that prioritizes and optimizes its services with the valuable input from
our community –the end user of our services.

Remember; Nothing For Us, Without Us

Cassandra Olsthoorn
Executive Director for Arts Network Ottawa

Nicole Milne
Executive Director for the Ottawa Arts Council


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