$47,200 OTF Grant Defines Challenges and Opportunities Experienced by Newcomer/Immigrant Creatives

Toronto, ON In 2019, Work in Culture received a $47,200 Seed grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to conduct a needs assessment called “Navigating a Career in the Arts for Newcomers.” The study explored the experience of newcomers and immigrant creatives trying to build careers in the arts in Toronto and the challenges and opportunities that exist when doing so. By looking at this study from the point of view of newcomer/immigrant creatives, as well as the organizations that engage and support these communities, Work in Culture gained a clearer understanding of the current systems, opportunities in place, and elements that are missing and how to expand on efforts.

“This research, examining the needs and expectations of new Canadian and immigrant artists and arts professionals, will help all members of the arts community pursue their chosen artistic career and contribute their talent to Canada’s creative sector,” said Suze Morrison, MPP for Toronto Centre. “Thank you to Work in Culture for your crucial work supporting the career development of creative workers here in Toronto.”

Funds from the grant were used to help with some staffing and facilitator costs, hosting workshops and roundtables and providing English as a second language services for those sessions. Recommendations for moving forward included enhanced professional development for new Canadian and immigrant arts professionals; greater cross-sector collaboration and partnership; enhanced sector outreach and communication with new Canadian and immigrant arts professionals; and a physical and/or virtual resource hub.

“This initiative has underscored both the wealth of talent and experience that newcomer artists/arts workers bring to our community and the challenges they face in practicing their discipline in a sector that can be difficult to understand and navigate. We think the results of this program will help inform both artists and the organizations that support them and help clarify and short-cut the process,” says Diane Davy, Executive Director at Work in Culture. 
A full summary of the key findings can be found in a report published on the Work in Culture website. 
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $115 million to 644 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario. Visit otf.ca to learn more.

For more information:

Mona Afshari, Marketing & Communications Manager, Work in Culture 
[email protected]