About the NWT Arts Council
The NWT Arts Council was established August 1985, as an advisory board to the GNWT. The mandate of the NWT Arts Council is to promote the arts in the Northwest Territories.
The Arts Council provides recommendations to the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment on financial awards for creative artistic projects in the visual, literary, media and performing arts, and on issues and policies associated with the arts and artists.
The GNWT policy establishing the NWT Arts Council and its original terms of reference can be found here.
- The Department of Education, Culture and Employment administers the NWT Arts Council funding program for artistic projects, through the Community Programs Office, Division of Culture & Heritage.
- Members meet once per year to review applications.
- The annual budget for financial contributions is $500,000.
At the NWT Arts Council’s discretion, priority is given to:
- projects that enhance an applicant’s personal growth and development in an art form,
- projects that encourage others to pursue this art form or direction (ie: workshops),
- projects that encourage the development of creative arts, as opposed to the sole financial gain of an artist or organization,
- projects that enhance awareness of the NWT arts community,
- emerging artists over established artists, and
- projects that support a number of individuals (i.e., workshops).
Six members are appointed to the NWT Arts Council by the Executive Council of the Government of the Northwest Territories for a term of two years.
Members are selected for their expertise and abilities in the arts from six regions of the Northwest Territories: South Slave, Inuvik, Deh Cho, Sahtu, Tłı̨chǫ, and North Slave.
Current council members include:
- Winnie Cadieux - South Slave Region - Term Expires January 31, 2017
- Peggy Jay - Inuvik Region - Term Expires January 31, 2017
- Ben Nind - North Slave Region - Term Expires January 31, 2017
- James Wedzin - Tłı̨chǫ Region - Term Expires January 31, 2017
- D’Arcy Moses - Deh Cho Region - Term Expires January 31, 2016
- vacant - Sahtu Region
The NWT Arts Council has been in existence for 28 years. Over this period of time, the Council has counselled, assisted, funded and advocated for artists, arts organizations and arts activities in every community in the Northwest Territories.
With representatives from the six regions of the territory working closely with the Council's administrative arm, housed in the Cultural Division of the Department of Education, Culture and Employment, the NWT Arts Council has adapted to a growing and ever changing arts environment that is bringing new and exciting work to the local, territorial, national and world stage.
Emerging, mid-career and established artists are changing the face of the Northwest Territories with their talent, passion and commitment to produce works of excellence. We are a large territory with a small population of enormous artistic and cultural depth.
I have often stated that our greatest resource does not lie underground in deposits of minerals that have a limited life, but rather in the unlimited imaginations of our artists and their ability to transform an idea into something of incredible beauty, that holds both social and sustained economic value. Our artists and arts organizations have held our communities together when the boom and bust economies have come and gone because artists have the ability to adapt, change, innovate and lead on a continual basis.
The NWT Arts Council is presently faced with almost too many good things happening on so many artistic fronts. The arts environment has changed enormously since the Council was formed and we are now being challenged to listen, reflect, and plan for how to respond in the best way possible to the enormous growth and potential of the arts in the NWT now.
I am honoured to co-chair the NWT Arts Council this year with Barb Tsetso from Fort Simpson and I am excited to bring my own experience as an artist and arts administrator to the table, as the NWT Arts Council engages in developing their first Strategic Plan since their formation.
We have already received enormous response to the arts sector survey that the Council put out this fall and we will be sharing the new Strategy with the arts community in the new year. We look forward to strengthening our support for NWT artists and arts organizations so that they may realize their full potential for the benefit of all Northerners.
Co-Chair NWT Arts Council
- Audio Recording: Music and Voice
- Performing Arts: Dance, Music, Storytelling and Theatre
- Writing and Publishing
- Visual Arts
- Film and Media Arts
Funding is available in three basic categories for all disciplines: Creative Development, Creation & Production and Public Presentation.
- Creative Development
The purpose of creative development funding is to support the personal creative growth of NWT artists. Individual applicants may apply for course fees and travel expenses and NWT organizations may apply for training workshop delivery costs.
- Creation & Production
The purpose of creation & production funding is to support the creation of artistic projects by NWT artists. Individual applicants may apply for project expenses and NWT organizations may apply for workshop costs where NWT artists are directly involved.
- Public Presentation
The purpose of presentation funding is to assist with the presentation of NWT artists' works to the public. Individual applicants may apply for showcase, touring or exhibit fees and expenses and NWT organizations may apply for presentation fees and costs where NWT artists are directly involved. Events must benefit public audiences (e.g. an arts exhibition, film screening, touring author, music concert, dance or theatre production or showcase event).
- art: an expression in the visual, literary, performing or media arts, through the use of individual skills and creativity
- original: fresh or unusual; not copied; new
- emerging artist: one who shows more than casual interest in pursuing a career in the arts, who shows promise and who has recognition as an amateur artist (i.e., has community support)
- established artist: one who is well-known for their art and has been working at it for some time
- public art: a permanent display within a community
Applicants may be eligible for funding from the NWT Arts Council if:
- they have been a resident of the NWT for at least 2 years immediately prior to the deadline,
- they are an emerging artist or an established artist,
- they are a registered NWT organization with a mandate to enhance the arts, or
- their application is for a specific creative project.
The deadline for applications is February 28 each year.
- The NWT Arts Council reviews all applications. Funding decisions are based on artistic merit and completeness of application.
- Recommendations for financial assistance are forwarded for approval to the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment.
- Applicants receive written notification of decisions.
- Late or incomplete applications are rejected as ineligible for funding.
- The earliest that funds will be available to successful applicants is approximately 4 months after the deadline.
- All awards are in the form of contributions, which are accountable contracts.
- Funding must be spent by March 31st of the following year.
- On completion of the project, two reports must be submitted: 1) a detailed financial account showing how funds were spent, and 2) a written report about the project.
NWT Arts Strategy
The NWT Arts Strategy is a joint initiative of the Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) and the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) released in October 2004. The NWT Arts Strategy represents the Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) recognition of the many benefits that the arts provide to individuals and communities in the Northwest Territories (NWT) It is a commitment to take action to address identified issues and opportunities in the arts sector.
- 2013 - NWT Arts Strategy Progress Report
This is the second annual report on progress made toward achieving the goals of the NWT Arts Strategy.
- 2007 - NWT Arts Strategy Action Plan 2
The Arts Strategy Action Plan 2 replaces the Action Plan that was part of the Northwest Territories Arts Strategy released in October 2004. It represents the commitment of the Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) and the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) to support the arts sector to achieve a multitude of creative, cultural, educational, social and economic benefits for the Northwest Territories.
- 2006 - NWT Arts Strategy Progress Report
This Progress report outlines the initiatives, programs and services that have been undertaken to address identified issues and opportunities in the arts sector.
- 2004 - NWT Arts Strategy
This strategy was developed in response to recommendations of the NWT Arts Strategy Advisory Panel. It provides broad direction to guide future programs, services, and marketing efforts to secure the stability of a growing arts sector in the NWT.
- 2003 - NWT Arts Strategy Action Plan
The Government's response to the NWT Arts Strategy Advisory Panel’s recommendations was jointly prepared by the departments of ECE and RWED and released in July 2003. The GNWT response addressed the Panel’s concerns in each of seven theme areas outlined in the Panel's Report.
- 2002 - NWT Arts Strategy Advisory Panel Recommendations
In 2002, the Government of the Northwest Territories established an Arts Strategy Advisory Panel, which was asked to consult widely in the NWT on arts issues and to develop recommendations on NWT creative arts and cultural industries for presentation to Cabinet. The Arts Strategy Advisory Panel submitted its recommendations to the Ministers of Education, Culture and Employment and Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development in December 2002.