The Winnipeg Arts Council Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation with charitable status, charged by the City of Winnipeg to distribute funding to arts organizations and artists, to manage the City’s Public Art Policy, and to champion development of the arts for the people of Winnipeg. As a city-building organization, the Winnipeg Arts Council focuses on the quality of life in the city and how arts and culture determines Winnipeg’s reputation as a City of the Arts, both nationally and internationally.
In 2022 the Winnipeg Arts Council received approximately $4.18 million for this purpose along with another $125,000 designated for the Public Art Program.
Grants are made available to not-for-profit arts organizations and individual artists and arts administrators working in all artistic disciplines. Applications are peer assessed, and the existence of high professional standards, community and audience support, and financial viability are key considerations in arriving at grant recommendations.
In 2001 WAC was directed by City Council to develop a Public Art Policy for the City. The Mayor’s Task Force on Public Art worked with WAC’s Committee on Public Art, to develop a policy and program for public art in Winnipeg. The Policy was adopted by City Council in 2003.
The Public Art program is supported by an annual allocation from the City’s capital budget.
WAC is committed to engagement with the community through the artists and arts organizations it funds, but also through creating, producing, and partnering in events which bring the arts experience to citizens of Winnipeg. In 2010, WAC was instrumental in having Winnipeg designated Cultural Capital of Canada and through this program undertook a massive campaign of events and programs under the theme “Arts for All.” WAC continues to create connections between creativity and community, providing citizens to be engaged in arts experiences as both observers and participants.