The Saskatchwan Arts Board was created by an act of the legislature in 1948 and is today governed by The Arts Board Act of 1997. The Act directs the agency to support and develop the professional arts for the benefit of the people of Saskatchewan, create advisory mechanisms to assist in policy and program development, and engage peer-review juries, composed of professional artists themselves, to make independent assessment and recommendations on funding. It is the oldest agency of its kind in the country, pre-dating the establishment of the Canada Council by 10 years, and it is the primary source of grant funding for professional artists in the province. The Arts Board answers to a Minister of the Crown but is legislated to operate independently and at arm’s length.
The agency is continually in need of up-to-date information to remain responsive, effective and relevant in a sector where change is continuous. The Arts Board brings to this partnership critical statistical information regarding the past and present funding and make-up of the professional arts sector in the province. It sees this research partnership as providing an essential understanding of how the various components of the arts ecology are interconnect and the resulting public benefit that arises. If art truly is for everyone, as people at the Arts Board believe, then it will serve the organization well to better understand how the many pieces of the arts ecology function and how it could be better supported through the policy and program choices that are the core business of the agency.
The Saskatchewan Arts Board’s mission is to cultivate an environment in which the arts thrive for the benefit of everyone in Saskatchewan.