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CCA Timeline

For more than 65 years, the CCA has made so many records in the cultural sector that we cannot name them all.  Since the 1940s, note some facts that have particularly marked the history of the Canadian Conference of the arts and the Canadian cultural industries.  By following this path brief history, you will follow the course of the history of cultural policies.

“To know where we are going, you need to know where you are coming from.”

  • 1946    Delegates from the CAC (Canadian Arts Council) are part of the Canadian delegation to the first General Assembly of UNESCO in Paris.
  • 1948    The CAC produces the results of a survey of the copyright practices of galleries, museums and commercial film.
  • 1950    Presentation of  a brief to the Royal Commission in National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences (Massey-Lévesque).  Based on the Turgeon brief, it recommended that the federal government establish a national arts board independent from government, a National Library and a National Commission for UNESCO, support indigenous Canadian art, create community cultural centres across Canada, and ensure proper payment of artists’ fees.
  • 1956    Submission of a brief to the Royal Commission on Broadcasting, emphasizing funding for the CBC and means to encourage the production and airing of Canadian programs employing Canadian talent.
  • 1958    Canadian Arts Council changes its name to the Canadian Conference of the Arts (CCA) to avoid confusion with the Canada Council created in 1957.
  • 1961    Organizes the first major national arts conference, the O’Keefe Conference on Arts in Society, calling for increased funding and support for the arts.
  • 1966    Submission to the Carter Commission on taxation calling for a better tax environment for artists, donors and patrons.
  • 1966    The CCA receives its first grant from the Secretary of State.
  • 1970    Organizes The First National Forum on Cultural Policy, where the federal minister presented the priorities and objectives of a federal cultural policy.
  • 1980    Presents to the federal government and the Federal cultural Policy Review Committee (Applebaum-Hébert) A Strategy for Culture:  Proposals for a Federal Policy for the Arts and the Cultural Industries in Canada, containing specific recommendations on all sectors of the arts and cultural industries.  Two further policy briefs evolved from that report, More Strategy for Culture (1981) and A Third Strategy (1984)
  • 1985    The CCA is involved for the first time in the official pre-Budget consultative process, and participated in the National Economic Conference, a two-day summit chaired by the Prime Minister, where the CCA stressed the economic and employment impact of the cultural sector.
  • 1985    The CCA organizes a national conference on the future of the Canadian broadcasting system to assess its present situation and recommend its future orientation.
  • 1986    The CCA holds conferences on the Status of the Artist and New Technologies.
  • 1986    Presents a brief to the Commission of Inquiry on Unemployment Insurance to defend artists’ interests.
  • 1987    The CCA takes part in several initiatives regarding tax policy:  responded to the tabling of the White Paper on Tax Reform, organized a conference on tax policy and the arts, and published Taxation and the Arts.
  • 1988    Prepares and distributes to members a summary of the Free Trade Agreement’s impact on the cultural sector.
  • 1989    Reviews  Status of the Artist.  A parliamentary sub-committee on the Status of the Artist tabled a report containing 11 recommendations that closely reflected the CCA’s stand on these issues.
  • 1989    Holds a conference for arts service organizations on social benefit issues related to the revisions to the Copyright Act.
  • 1990    Prepares guides on the GST for artists and arts organizations.
  • 1990    Organizes the conference Changing Artists, Changing Worlds, where the Minister of Communications announced that the Income Tax Act would be amended.
  • 1991    Establishes the Cultural Sector Training Committee with partial funding from the federal government which operated at arm’s length from the CCA (CSTC evolved into the National Sectoral Council for Culture in 1993 and became the independent Cultural Human Resources Council in 1994).
  • 1992    CCA is one of the original members of the foundation of the Governor General Award in the performing arts
  • 1993    Organizes a press conference with representatives of ACTRA, l’Union des artistes, and the Canadian Film and Television Production Association, to call upon the Government of Canada to support the position of the Government of France on the exemption of culture in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
  • 1994    In partnership with Statistics Canada, produces Culture Counts, a newsletter on the Cultural Labour Force Survey.
  • 1995    Publishes the report of an advisory committee on the future of the Art Bank, a response to the announcement by the Canada council that it would close the Art Bank (the Council later decided to maintain the Bank).
  • 1997    Produces Sharing the Dream:  A Report of the Task Force on Charitable Giving and the Arts, to assist organizations in the cultural sector in their development of additional private sector revenues.
  • 2001    The CCA conducts the first Performing Arts Sponsorship Survey.
  • 2010    The CCA’s National Policy Conference, Artists: Powering the Creative Economy, unites individuals and organizations from the cultural sector, business, government and academia to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing artists in an evolving creative economy.

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