Expansion in Forecast for NPOs and Cultural Hubs


This month a number of publications including the New York Times are noting a shift in the economy, lauding the rise of the nonprofit sector and forecasting expansion among cultural districts. The New Cities Foundation foresees:

“Over the next decade, some $ 250 billion will be invested in the creation of new cultural districts around the globe” … “success is not just getting an arts building or series of buildings out of the ground, it is about ensuring that they are viable and play a central role in their communities.” [LINK]

For many of us, this news is exciting, galvanizing, and also raises some questions. The viable part, that’s the tough part. You may be thinking “Yes, but how?” We are already hearing the same concerns in our conversations with Ontario’s nonprofit arts organizations. (See our Sustainable Creative Spaces reports.) Executing your artistic vision while also managing your space and providing consistent, enticing, high-quality experiences for your community can be challenging.

If you’re finding that it’s hard to be proactive about facilities management, you’re in good company, and we have specially-designed tools and fully qualified engineers ready to take you to the next level. ArtsBuild’s Asset Planner for the Arts program lets you make better decisions about your facility.

With a facilities assessment and forecast reports for up to 30 years, with a focus on the next five years, Asset Planner for the Arts makes it easier for you to keep your facility in good repair. ArtsBuild’s subsidy makes this tool affordable for you.

Click here to watch an intro video. Contact Lindsay for your free demo!

Photo by Koolb, CC by NC-SA 2.0

Here, there – and everywhere!

On April 9, ArtsBuild Ontario set out on the first of nine Sustainable Creative Spaces sessions to engage communities on a conversation about arts facilities. We invited funders, municipal employees involved in culture and related departments, facilities managers and of course leaders of arts organizations – some who operate or wish to operate in a facility of their own. In all the communities so far we tried to host the session in an arts space to inspire the conversation and keep us engaged.
Ontario in Canada on the map.

ArtsBuild operates out of Waterloo and often travels to Toronto for meetings, but this was our opportunity to visit other communities and have conversations with organizations that we might not otherwise and of course see their facilities.

In a one on one conversation I had while in Thunder Bay an arts volunteer asked if the conversations had been different across the communities I had been too and my initial response was “No, it’s quite consistent”. On my flight back from Thunder Bay I realized that that response was not entirely true. Although similar themes had reappeared in the six communities we had visited so far (Mississauga, Hamilton, Kitchener/Waterloo, Sudbury, Orangeville and Thunder Bay), each community has its own unique set of circumstances, projects, investments and passions. Each space we visited in the various communities had its own fascinating story, sometimes a struggle and sometimes a triumph. While it was a day shaped around conversations amongst the arts community and its stakeholders, we made time to visit arts facilities and to talk one on one.It was during these meetings that the conversations were able to come alive.

In response to these unique and community minded spaces we began to profile these and other arts spaces around the province in our case study series so that the rest of the arts sector could learn about what other spaces are doing, how they are doing and what made it possible. The Making Spaces for Art series is a great way to get a snapshot of the creative and passionate work done by the arts sector across the province.

We are going to finish off the sessions by visiting Kingston, Windsor followed by Toronto in the New Year. At the end of all of these sessions we are going to summarize the findings for all nine communities and pull out the collective needs and successes of all nine communities. We are here to advocate for the arts spaces in Ontario so we will be presenting this report to relevant funders so that they can hear what these communities had to say.

Our next stop is Kingston on November 6th – if you are in Kingston – hope to see you there!

If you are from Kingston or Windsor and are part of the arts community and in an arts space contact nicole@artsbuildontario.ca, to reserve a seat and be a part of the conversation. Summaries from the first four sessions can be found HERE.


Get Ready to Meet the New Us

New Programs. New Opportunities to Connect.

2013 is our year of new – new programs, new opportunities for learning and exploration into topics that are important to all of us in the arts. Developed as a part of a two year initiative that brings together seven non-profit and private sector partners, our new offerings will help you build, manage, finance and learn about arts facilities more effectively. Our innovative delivery methods will connect you with industry experts and peers who’ve been there, done that.

Over the course of 2013, we will be introducing new tools, resources and services surrounding topics like capital projects, energy efficiency, ongoing facilities management, loan financing, project management and accessibility.

Continue reading…