Finish line in sight, AOE Arts Council pushes to reach $5M goal for ARTicipate fund

The AOE Arts Council is working hard to reach the $5 million goal for the ARTicipate Endowment Fund, which, among other things, supports programming at the Shenkman Arts Centre in Orléans and opens the door of the centre’s professional spaces to arts groups.

This latest campaign was given a helping hand with a commitment of up to $100,000 from the Shenkman Family Foundation. The total of donations received by Dec. 31 will be matched by the foundation.

“I am pleased by how the Shenkman Arts Centre has successfully become a home for Ottawa’s artists, both established and up and coming. It is remarkable to see more than 175,000 residents each year connect with these artists who clearly demonstrate our city ’s creativity and growth,” said Bill Shenkman in a media release.

The Shenkman Foundation has been a part of the ARTicipate Fund since its launch in 2007. At that time, the foundation contributed $1 million. Today the fund stands at $4.8 million, just $200,000 from the goal.

Since 2010, the fund has handed out 130 grants totalling more than $500,000 to local artists and arts groups as well as to the AOE Arts Council, the  Ottawa School of Art’s Orléans Campus, the Gloucester Pottery School, the Mouvement d’implication francophone d’Orléans and the Ottawa School of Theatre. Funding to these latter groups goes towards public programming and services.

“The Ottawa School of Theatre worked alongside of AOE Arts Council and the other Resident Arts Partners to advocate for both the Centre and to help build the ARTicipate Endowment Fund. OST-ETO has donated more than $13,000 to the Fund, making us a Benefactor on the donor wall. We are very proud of this achievement as we believe it is important to support the ARTS in our community, said Kathi Langston, the artistic director of the school in the media release. “As a Resident Arts Partner,” she added, “we are granted monies for which we apply every year. This money has helped us cover our theatre rental costs as we provide a real stage experience for all students.”

There are several ways to donate from naming a seat in the Harold-Shenkman Hall for $500, to making a cash donation, the AOE Arts Council says. The council is also looking for businesses or individuals who would like to have their name on a space inside the centre such as the Ottawa School of Art’s Orléans Gallery.

In 2017-18, the fund has injected $97,004 into Ottawa’s arts community. Interest earned by the fund is distributed annually. For information on the fund:

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Peter Robb began his connection with the arts community in Ottawa in the mid-1980s when he was the administrator and public relations director of the Great Canadian Theatre Company. After a long career in journalism with the Ottawa Citizen where he served in a number of different posts he returned to the arts when he became the Citizen's arts editor.