#ASCmap Data Project Blog Series Post #4: What are we noticing so far?

December 11, 2018 by Cary Campbell ASC!, News, Resource /

#ASCmap Data Project Blog Series Links: Post #1 | Post #2 | Post #3 | Post #4

Our #ASCmap project looks at community-engaged participatory art in BC, collecting and visualizing data to foster support for and awareness of the work being done in this sector. 

We have many new updates as we launch into the final weeks of this data project. So far, we organized and assembled our team, categorized our BC ASC organizations, and, as of recently, analyzed the funding these organizations receive from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA), and the British Columbia Arts Council (BCAC).

Here’s the picture that's beginning to emerge:

Starting from the big pictureIt is important to recognize that Ontario and Quebec receive the majority of arts funding nationally, with Quebec funding being the highest on a per capita basis. The 2016 and 2017 years stand as a good representation of this:   

$64,563,083 for Ontario (population 14million); 

$67,130,530 for Quebec (pop 8 million), and $31 million for BC (population slightly under 5 million). 

In terms of BCAC funding, ASC organizations currently comprise about 7.5 % of their total grant budget, which is approx. $3 million a year. 

Since 2013 we see a spike in municipal funding councils (like the City of Vancouver) stepping up to increase funding for non-profits and arts/community organizations.  [STATS to follow, but we’ve already manually looked it over.] 


On our categories: Certain arts disciplines are dominant in the 90 community-engaged participatory arts organizations we gathered data on. For example:

  • 23 organizations focus on theatre related programming 
  • 15 have multidisciplinary focuses
  • 17 in the broad category of visual arts
  • 15 in dance. 

These organizations service different communities

  • 35 of these organizations offer youth-specific community services
  • 25 have programming for seniors
  • 15 focus on indigenous communities and people
  • 3 organizations focus on immigrants and intercultural issues. 

We have also categorized these organizations based on their different social change focuses

  • 33 of these organizations have a specific 'social justice' orientation
  • 32 focus on the cultivation of 'life skills'
  • 20 have an environmental focus
  • and 19 have a health focus. 


On possible areas of under service: when it comes to participatory arts in BC, we have only found 2 organizations on our BC list that service street-involved and incarcerated communities specifically. In hypothesizing about these possible areas of underservice in this sector, we must keep in mind that many of the 35 organizations with youth-specifc programming, focus on 'at risk youth'. 

Not surprisingly, 51 of our 90 organizations operate in the lower mainland. If municipal grant opportunities increase and cities continue to take a bigger role in funding ASC work, we may expect to see a rise in these sorts of organizations in smaller BC communities outside of Metro Vancouver.

RE The Top 3 Public Funders in BC: CCA, BCAC, and the City of Vancouver
We are also interested in comparing the funding data across the top 3 of public funders — the City of Vancouver, BCAC, and CCA — for the Vancouver ASC organizations in our study. It is important for the ASC (and non-ASC) communities, policy folks and government to see the trends (dollar values). To that end, we are interested in comparing the dollar values of all three of these funders in a broad sense (total dollars), but also comparing the dollars going to each of our ASC organizations and their correlating categories and social change focuses.

Stay tuned for more!

#ASCmap Data Project Blog Series Links: Post #1 | Post #2 | Post #3 | Post #4



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