Canadian Conference of the Arts/Conférence canadienne des arts

Canadian Conference of the Arts (Canadian Arts Council 1945-58) / Conférence canadienne des arts (Conseil canadien des arts 1945-58). Founded by 16 national cultural organizations 5 Dec 1945 at a meeting in Toronto. It developed as an independent, non-profit umbrella organization comprising arts organizations, artists, friends, and patrons; its concerns extended to all areas of arts activity, including film, theatre, music, dance, literature, painting, sculpture, design, graphics, crafts, museums, and art education. Herman Voaden was one of the prime initiators and the first president of the organization. When it ceased operations in 2012, the CCA had about 200 members including the Canadian Association of Youth Orchestras, the CLComp, the Canadian Music Centre, the ACO, the JMC (YMC), most of Canada's leading operas, ballets, and symphony orchestras, several foundations, provincial arts boards, educational institutions, etc. From its inception the CCA worked, on behalf of its total membership, for increased government funding and recognition of the arts, greater public awareness of the arts, and the protection of the professional interests of the arts community. Indeed, analysis and documentation of the needs of the larger arts community and of the public which that community serves, and a consequent lobbying of government and private funding agencies to help meet those needs, may be described as the CCA's main activities during its 67years of operation.

In October of 20112, the Canadian Conference of the Arts announced that it would begin winding down operations following the elimination of its funding by the Federal Government, which had been providing up to 60% of its budget. The organization had been working towards a move to a self-sustaining financing model. Limited transition funding, however, meant that the CCA was unable to develop other income sources. They announced that the organization would remain in a "dormant state" for a period of time in the hope that it could be revived by another interested group.

The CCA contributed directly to the creation of the Canada Council and the Canadian Commission for Unesco (1957), and during the 1960s and 1970s it campaigned for arts funding agencies on provincial and municipal levels as well. In seminars, regional and national conferences, committees, and task forces it examined such issues as the arts and education, broadcasting and the arts, censorship, copyright, status of the artist, taxation, and women in the arts. Though not ordinarily involved in performance or the presentation of performances, in 1962 it presented five Toronto performances of Gluck's Orpheus and Euridice, with Roma Butler, Maureen Forrester, and Arlene Sanders. The production (designed originally for the Vancouver International Festival) was conducted by Nicholas Goldschmidt and directed by Hanya Holm.

CCA publications included the periodicals Communiqué (Dec 1970-May 1975) and Arts Bulletin (May 1973-), a series of handbook directories, and occasional papers and reports, all in both French and English. Besides an elected board of governors and an executive committee the CCA had a salaried national director. Prior to 1968, when the offices were moved to Toronto, the conference had used the address of the current president or secretary of the organization. In 1979 the offices were moved to Ottawa. In 1954 the CCA began to award, annually, a Diplôme d'honneur to individuals outstanding in their service to the arts in Canada. It also presented the Rogers Communications Inc. "Media Awards for Coverage of the Arts" (English and French) and the "Keith Kelly Award for Cultural Leadership." The CCA contributed to the establishment of a number of other awards, including the Financial Post awards and the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.