The Visual Arts Alliance came together during a summit of stakeholders in the visual arts held in 2007, organized by the Canadian Museums Association and funded by the Canada Council for the Arts and various corporate sponsors. The summit brought together artists, curators, those working in art museums and artist-run centres, art dealers, collectors, educators, art journalists and others to consider the issues facing the visual arts as a whole and ways of moving forward. The Visual Arts Alliance came together during the summit with the goals of improving the socio-economic conditions of artists and pursuing the health of our art galleries, museums, artist-run centres and commercial art dealers so that Canada’s extraordinary visual arts can flourish. Read the Report on the 2007 Visual Arts Summit Report
In order to establish priorities between these important research goals, the Alliance commissioned a literature review to assess what research already exists and identify gaps. In the fall of 2009, with funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, Dr. Guy Bellavance of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (now known as the Centre INRS–Institut Armand-Frappier) undertook a critical review and analysis of existing research on the visual arts in Canada. Dr. Bellavance’s work was presented at a Colloquium held in Kingston, Ontario in September 2011. Read the Bellavance Report.(PDF) Read the Executive Summary (PDF).
The Kingston Colloquium was organized by the Visual Arts Alliance in order to look towards the future of the visual arts in Canada and commemorated the 70th anniversary of a similar event that occurred in 1941, the first time people working in the visual arts had come together to discuss common concerns. The 1941 Kingston Conference lead to the creation of the Massey-Lévesque Commission on the Arts in Canada, and to the eventual founding of the Canada Council for the Arts in 1958. Read the Kingston Colloquium Report.