Established in 1948, the Saskatchewan Arts Board is the oldest public arts funder in North America, and second oldest in the world after the Arts Council of Great Britain. Governed by The Arts Board Act, 1997, we provide grants, programs, and services to individuals and groups whose activities have an impact on the arts in Saskatchewan and ensure that opportunities exist for Saskatchewan residents to experience all art forms.
As an organization that was first among public arts funders, we were established with two specific aims, and we are proud that we still fulfill those same basic principles.
We support the development of a distinct, Saskatchewan voice in all art forms.
Award-winning singer/songwriter Jeffery Straker, who performs more than 100 concerts annually across the country and internationally, spoke recently of the Arts Board’s role.
“I’m a huge cheerleader for the Arts Board and I talk about them, in great ways, as I tour the country performing my music. One of the many ways I’ve benefitted from them is through receiving grants that have allowed me to block off time to create and write new songs, that I’ve then recorded and toured. And though the touring is where you make the money to pay your rent, it’s actually the new creations that enable everything else. In every artistic discipline, enabling artists to turn their ideas into their creations is an incredibly vital step, and the Arts Board has been a huge help for me and countless other creators in that regard.”
We create opportunities for all Saskatchewan residents to participate in the arts.
We work with individual artists and arts organizations to make their work available for all people. Recently, the 61 organizations that receive operating support from the Arts Board presented 5,324 exhibitions and performances that were enjoyed by over 1,368,000 people in a single year – a number greater than the province’s population. Those same groups benefited from 166,405 hours of volunteer support from the people of this province, which is an average of 2,728 hours per organization.
We are not people who create a sculpture, who produce a play, or who present an exhibition of artwork. We consider our work effective when any Saskatchewan resident has the chance to create, to hear, to see, and to engage with our own stories, our own voices – the true prairie spirit.