Arts Network Ottawa, Ottawa Arts Council to merge and expand services

Community consultations to shape the future of new entity

Why It Matters

Arts Network Ottawa and Ottawa Arts Council are well-regarded cultural funders in the capital. Their merger to expand service offerings comes amid a post-COVID squeeze in the arts sector and heightened anxieties for the survival of small nonprofits.

Two of Ottawa’s most well-known arts organizations say they will merge to expand their service offerings and received a warm reception from the capital’s cultural workers in response. Arts Network Ottawa (ANO) and Ottawa Arts Council (OAC) informed their stakeholders of the merger in late October, two years after the idea was first floated internally, the executive directors of both organizations said. Although funding for the arts has been squeezed since the onset of COVID, both organizations said the merger was not a financial necessity. “It isn’t fear-based, it’s possibility-based,” said OAC director Nicole Milne.

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