Canadian Arts Summit


In 1998 The Council for Business and the Arts in Canada and The Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity invited the chairs, executive directors and artistic directors of 20 of Canada’s largest arts organizations to a “Summit”. The first Summit was predicated upon the belief that these influential leaders – volunteers, artists and managers – could, by working together, better support Canadian artistic aspirations.

Over the years, the Canadian Arts Summit has developed into a unique cultural leadership forum. Held annually in the spring, the Summit brings together the chief executives, artistic directors, and board chairs of Canada’s largest not-for-profit arts and cultural institutions, including symphony orchestras, theatres, opera, ballet companies, and heritage and art museums as well as other key stakeholders with a vested interest in nurturing and fostering a thriving arts ecosystem in Canada. The Summit relies on the volunteer efforts of individuals who join a Steering Committee to assist in the programming and oversight of an annual Summit.

The mission of the Canadian Arts Summit is to inspire meaningful engagement in the arts by all Canadians by:

  • Creating a forum where institutional leaders in the arts and culture sector can meet, network, exchange ideas, share best practices and collaborate
  • Leading interactions and initiatives that contribute strategically to the advancement of key issues in the arts and culture sector
  • Championing the benefits of arts and culture to government, business and the wider public

The Summit is founded on the core principle that it is a gathering of leaders, the outcome of which is shaped by the participants. For that reason, the Summit has become, not just a weekend event in the spring, but an ongoing network of arts leaders working together, throughout the year.