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:
- 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.