Frequently Asked Questions


What is Bricks&Mortar?

Bricks&Mortar is the first online arts & culture facilities inventory in Ontario. It is also the first comprehensive advocacy tool to centrally house current information about the facilities used and needed by Ontario’s arts organizations.

Why is it called Bricks&Mortar?

When people speak of buildings and facilities, they often use the term ‘bricks and mortar’. We found this reference fitting as we are developing a system that is capturing information specifically of buildings and facilities in the arts & culture sector, it is a term that people are familiar with and it captures the specificity of the system.

What is the meaning behind the Bricks&Mortar logo?

When we chose the name Bricks&Mortar, we wanted to incorporate imagery that made reference to buildings and facilities as well as our ArtsBuild logo. We think we have found a balance of both. The building silhouettes incorporate the idea that Bricks&Mortar is about arts facilities in all their shapes and forms, and the colours are a reference to our ArtsBuild logo.

Does something like this exist already?

Bricks&Mortar is the first online arts facilities inventory of its kind in Canada. While some communities have cultural maps and databases, no system collects information about facilities as Bricks&Mortar does.

Is there a fee to register?

Registering your organization on Bricks&Mortar is free.

Why is this tool important? / Why is ArtsBuild doing this?

Bricks&Mortar will, for the first time, be able to report on the status of arts facilities in Ontario. The information gathered from arts organizations will help support and strengthen advocacy for further investments in arts facilities. The information collected is both important and relevant information for funders and arts organizations alike in order to build and maintain safe and sustainable arts facilities in Ontario.

Who is funding this initiative?

In 2012, ArtsBuild Ontario received significant support from the Department of Canadian Heritage and the

Ontario Trillium Foundation to implement this and a number of innovative tools, services and resources around capital project planning, facilities management, accessibility, energy efficiency, sustainability, training and professional development and finance.

What type of organizations are you collecting data on?

ArtsBuild Ontario defines arts organizations as:

-Non-profit arts organizations (incl. Museums & Festivals)
-Culture and heritage organizations
-Arts Service Organizations (ASO’s) and Arts Councils
-Arts Performance Venues (eg. Living Arts Centre, Mississauga; Centre in the Square, Kitchener; etc.)

Once Bricks&Mortar is populated with arts organizations, the database will also include municipally owned/operated facilities, as well as funder information.

I’m an artist – can I enter my workspace?

At this time, ArtsBuild is only collecting information on arts organizations as defined above. Artist collectives and shared artist spaces are encouraged to enter their facility’s information.

Where can I find more information on the project?

Visit for more information or email

Why should I sign up?

The information in Bricks&Mortar will be used by ArtsBuild to advocate for more funding and investment in arts facilities. It will also allow the sector to be more informed about the facilities uses and needs across the province. As an arts organization you will have access to the information available in the system, to search facilities profiles and connect with peers to build a strong facilities network in Ontario. The more users and information in Bricks&Mortar, the stronger the searches and the more accurate the reports can be to the funders.


Why do you need my information?

Participation from arts facilities is essential for this tool to be valuable. In order for us to maintain a viable inventory, we need your accurate and up to date information. Each facility contributes a unique piece of data to the overall snapshot of arts facilities in the province.

Will my information be kept private?

Your information will be accessible to other users of the system only. Information on possible funding and budgets will not be accessible by other users. This information will be available to funders in aggregate form only.

How long will it take to fill in my information?

Online registration can take up to 45 minutes to complete. The Program Coordinator is available to assist in the registration process over the phone, taking between 20-35 minutes, longer if there are multiple properties or plans.

Can I book an appointment with the Program Coordinator to assist me with registration?

Yes, booking a phone appointment is highly recommended as it allows you to get direct answers to any further questions. The call will also be supplemented with, a screen sharing application that will enable you to navigate through the census questions along with the Program Coordinator as a way to get you comfortable with our system. If you would like assistance registering your facility, contact Eilidh Fisher at

Why should I tell you about our organization’s capital plans?

ArtsBuild is collecting information on capital planning to better identify where the province’s needs are in order to advocate for the most relevant support. For example, if 70% of Ontario’s arts organizations are planning capital projects that involve accessibility upgrades, yet funding is supporting greening initiatives, ArtsBuild would be able to report these findings back to the government and advocate more accurately according to the needs outlined in Bricks&Mortar.

We are planning on moving within the next year – do you still want my current information?

Yes! Bricks&Mortar is an active source of information and the goal is to have the most current information stored in the database. You are able to create your profile with your current information and once your move takes place, you can login and update your information to reflect your new space.

We own multiple properties – do we need separate profiles for each facility?

Your organization only needs to create ONE profile; under your profile, you are able to list multiple properties, with multiple plans.

Will providing ArtsBuild with our 5 year plan affect our chances of receiving funding?

No – the information that the funders will have access to will be in aggregated form only and will not affect your grant or funding applications. Bricks&Mortar is meant to be a resource for reporting on the overall state of arts facilities in Ontario.

Will ArtsBuild share this information with third parties?

No, your contact information will not be sold or shared with third parties.

How will my data be used?

The data stored in Bricks&Mortar will provide a continually, up-to-date and comprehensive picture of the state of arts facilities in Ontario. With this data ArtsBuild, the users and funders can search and report on facilities information that may be relevant to them. This essential information lets ArtsBuild effectively advocate for public and private funding. By sharing your facilities data in Bricks&Mortar, you are helping populate the province’s first online advocacy tool for arts facilities.

How is this different from the cultural mapping tool in my community? / I’ve already given this information to my local arts organization – why do I need to duplicate it in Bricks&Mortar?

Bricks&Mortar is the first centralized tool of its kind for the entire province. Bricks&Mortar is meant to align with the efforts already underway in many communities around cultural mapping and municipal cultural planning, and expand these efforts across all communities in Ontario. While you may have provided organizational information, most mapping projects do not collect facilities information and if it does let us know about it so we can connect with them and see how we can share information.

How will ArtsBuild make sure this is a sustainable program that can be kept up to date and current?

The sustainability of this project depends largely on the support from arts organizations. While ArtsBuild is working hard to collect preliminary data, the volume of arts facilities in Ontario demands that organizations assist with keeping their information current.

Is there a limit to how many arts organizations can sign up?

No – ArtsBuild is working towards collecting data from every arts organization (as defined above) in Ontario.

Who do I contact with further questions?

For more information, visit, email or call 519-880-3670 ext 101 and speak with Eilidh Fisher.