CAS22: Culture Shifts
22nd Annual Canadian Arts Summit April 11-13, 2019 | Montreal, Quebec

Canadian Arts Summit

The Canadian Arts Summit is an event in demand, attracting a diverse, at-capacity complement of delegates, speakers, leadership fellows and senior arts leaders, including artistic directors, executive directors and volunteer board chairs of Canada’s largest arts institutions. Now in its 22nd year, the Canadian Arts summit plays a vital role in bringing Canada’s leading voices together to advance the shape of the future of arts in Canada. the arts in Canada.

2019 Theme: Culture Shifts

The focus of the 2019 Summit is on expanding our impact as cultural institutions as we strive to meet the social challenges of our time.

  • What is the role of the arts in responding to the contemporary social condition shaping a new generation of public discourse, behaviour and policy?
  • How can the artist remain at the forefront of productive social change in these disruptive times?
  • As we experience an intensifying of identity politics, what is the role of the arts in helping us understand each other?
  • How can we embrace greater responsibility in creating an empathetic society?
  • As cultural institutions, we have many assets to leverage, including our public spaces.
  • How do our spaces express our values?
  • How do we create new points of access and exchange inside the physical and virtual walls of our institutional structures?

At last year’s Summit, Culture Track Canada offered us new insights into the changing behaviours of Canadian cultural audiences. We learned that audiences value cultural experiences that ultimately nurture empathy, connection and perspective. Relevance, in particular, is a precondition for success. Many respondents who didn’t engage reported feeling that the experiences on offer “weren’t for someone like me”

Results also revealed that audiences are divided on how, and whether, technology should play a role in the cultural experience. Many more seek to relieve stress and prefer analogue experiences to those that are digitally mediated because they feel more authentic and enjoyable and allow for focused engagement. Empathy and reciprocity were also cited as attributes that individuals seek in committing to organizations. Loyalty can no longer be transactional. Philanthropically we learned that audiences need us to place greater emphasis on culture’s distinctive social impact in order to attract more support.

If you’re inspired to contribute ideas or feedback or wish to showcase an innovative project or initiative your organization is working on at the Summit, please feel free to contact any member of the Steering Committee.

Latest News



Call for Leadership Fellows

Join the leadership of Canada’s largest arts institutions for a stimulating weekend of networking, professional development and ideas exchange at Business / Arts’ 22nd Annual Canadian Arts Summit, Culture Shifts, April 11-13, 2019 in Montreal, QC.

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Save the Date

I am delighted to announce our 2019 Summit: Culture Shifts | Transformations culturelles. From April 11-13, we will convene in Canada’s beloved cultural hotspot and my hometown of Montreal.

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Preferred Rate Accommodation

We are pleased to offer preferred rate accommodation at Hôtel Zéro1.

Click here for booking information.


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