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The Hub builds bridges and communities of practice among participants in the policy-making process—researchers, policymakers, artists and cultural workers—so they can share knowledge, solve shared problems and contribute new ideas. It prioritizes the most pressing cultural policy issues facing the sector, as well as broader issues to which the sector can make a contribution. It builds new approaches and capacity for equitable participation in cultural policy debates. Many research and cultural policy efforts are already underway. The Hub does not replace existing work, organizations or leaders; it aims to support, amplify and provide value to them.

The Hub will be informed by the following primary activities:

  • Convene a hub for researchers and organizations engaged in cultural research and/or policy in Canada—a true community of practice.
  • Activate ideas and facilitate knowledge mobilization and thought leadership through public-facing content including policy series events, blog posts, op-eds, data visualizations, and seminars.
  • Build sector capacity by connecting research affiliates and cultural organizations with opportunities for funding partnerships and knowledge transfer.
  • Over time, offer stewardship of critical datasets.
  • Drive innovative policy methods that support a more evidence-informed arts and culture sector.
  • Collaborate with governments and researchers to address gaps in access to data, and work to co-create new policies.
  • Aggregate and amplify cultural policy interests including sector inquiries, research, and initiatives.
  • Mentor creatives and researchers to elevate their voices and actively participate in policy-making.




In its first year, the Hub will focus its work on active policy issues, including:

  • Space, housing, affordability
  • Impact of Broadcasting Act (Bill C-11)
  • Implementing UNDRIP
  • Precarity, living wage and decent work
  • Polarization and cultural policy
  • AI policy and the arts and culture sectors




Report | Policy Roundtable on Generative AI

On June 25, 2024, the Cultural Policy Hub at OCAD University hosted a virtual roundtable featuring tech and cultural experts to explore the policy implications of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI)’s impact on the cultural industries in Canada. In this report, we summarize the key points from the discussion, and offer a few recommendations put forth by the participants on cultural policy-oriented actions that can be taken to respond to the issues that were explored.

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Scene-setter | Generative AI: Policy Pathways for the Arts and Cultural Industries

This summary of cultural policy implications surrounding the rise of Generative AI highlights the complexity of the issue at hand and the potential risks that policymakers should mobilize to mitigate. Many experts are pointing to the arts and cultural industries as the “canary in the coal mine” when it comes to the risks and potential disruptions of GAI. How, then, should cultural policy makers respond? And what’s been done so far to address these compounding concerns and create sustainable pathways for the sector, both in Canada and abroad?

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Report | Indiegraf, Cultural Policy Hub at OCAD U and DemocracyXChange Workshop on the Future of Independent Journalism

On April 12, 2024, Indiegraf, the Cultural Policy Hub at OCAD U and DemocracyXChange partnered to deliver a workshop on the future of independent journalism. Attended by a group of 25 independent journalists, news publishers, funders, philanthropists, researchers and policy-makers, the group generated concrete ideas for the conditions and supports that are needed for a robust news media sector—and independent journalism—to thrive and fuel a healthy democracy.

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Report | Cultural Spaces in Practice: Re-thinking Policy & Imagining Future Uses

In this report, we explore how the Hub and its partners can pursue areas of further exploration that meaningfully shift how we designate, envision, and sustain cultural spaces in the face of major precarity challenges putting the cultural landscape at risk.

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Scene-setter | Social Cohesion and the role of Cultural Policy

This document provides background on the Hub’s recent Policy Roundtable event Social Cohesion and the role of Cultural Policy, held at the 2024 DemocracyXChange. It explores the extent to which the arts contribute to social cohesion in Canada within a context of increasing political polarization both at home and abroad, and considers the value of social cohesion as an outcome of artistic and cultural production.

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Blog | A Community Conversation with Emerging Artists: Needs, Experiences & Futures in the Cultural Sector

This blog summarizes what we heard during the Cultural Policy Hub's recent community conversation with emerging artists and cultural workers to inform the City of Toronto's ten-year Action Plan for Toronto’s Culture Sector. It highlights their experiences and needs around arts and culture and calls attention to their ideas on what should be done around: space and affordability; funding and resources; labour precarity and the value of creative work; and equity, access and cultural redress in the cultural sector.

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Scene-setter | Cultural Spaces in Practice: Re-thinking Policy & Imagining Future Uses

This document served as a scene-setter for our recent Policy Roundtable on Cultural Spaces in Practice. It offers insights into how we (re-)define cultural spaces, policy tools that exist at all levels of government to support these spaces, and details about the panelists and the projects they discussed.

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Blog | From Hearings to Listening: C-11, the CRTC, and Meaningful Engagement

This blog follows up on the Cultural Policy Hub’s recent Policy Roundtables event on Bill C-11. It highlights that, while the law is noteworthy for its explicit provisions requiring the new broadcasting framework to support Indigenous and equity-seeking creators, there remain significant barriers to meaningful engagement with regulators.

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Video | Hearings & Listening: A Bill C-11 Roundtable

Missed our recent Policy Roundtable on Bill C-11? Click the link below to watch our recording of the panel discussion, where participants reflected on their experiences at the recent C-11 hearing and explored pathways to ensure meaningful engagement and outcomes.

Watch The Video

Blog | Social and cultural impacts of AI: A seat at the policy table

Welcome to our first Policy blog of 2024! We’ll post regularly to keep you informed about the issues we’re working on and how to get involved. We’re starting the year off with our recent work on the social and cultural impacts of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

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Toolkit | Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Consultation on Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property

This toolkit has been developed by the Cultural Policy Hub at OCAD University to prepare people working within or adjacent to the creative and cultural sector to respond to the upcoming Consultation on Copyright in the Age of Generative Artificial Intelligence through the Government of Canada’s Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (ISED) department. The consultation provides the opportunity to engage with the Government of Canada on the ways in which AI is impacting your work or creative practice and to provide them with a perspective that they may not have heard.

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FINELINE Co-operative

Fineline is a project of OCAD University with support from Future SkillsCentre to incubate the marketplace and a co-operative that helps artists and designers grow their business online, while developing cultural entrepreneurship skills. The Hub is supporting Fineline with thought pieces on public policy intersections that furthers the development and launch of the co-operative. Through this work, the Hub is prioritizing assessing alternative models of wealth generation to support and sustain art and design entrepreneurs.

Data Brief: Trends among Graduates of Canada’s Art & Design Universities

February 16th, 2024

Empowering Creativity: Peer Support Networks in Canada

December 13th, 2023

How can mindfulness help promote the mental well-being resilience of artists and designers?

June 12th, 2023

Policy Reflection: AI Generated Art Implications

April 3rd, 2023

Is a new creative class emerging from cooperatives?

February 13th, 2023

Reimagining entrepreneurship in a post-growth world

December 14th, 2022

Building a Data Fluent Canadian Cultural Sector

The Hub is supporting research affiliate and President Emerita, Sara Diamond in partnership with SynapseC to build Canada’s cultural sectors capacity in understanding and analyzing how the sector collects and uses audience data, as the pressures to produce audience-centric data escalates. The projects objectives are then to discover and strengthen Canada’s current cultural analytics capacity. These objectives will be guided by two imperatives: The first will require setting the groundwork for unified initiatives in data collection and analysis by the Canadian cultural sector. The second will require identifying cultural data analysts with the intention of coordinating significant and ongoing research. Together, such objectives facilitate capacity to identify existing efforts in Canada, describe data types, collection methods and standards.

Make Some Noise: Hidden Stories of Black Creatives in Canada

The Hub is providing policy research support to OCAD University’s Solid Black Collective and Canadian Heritages’ Creative Marketplace Lab as they partner to co-develop a better understanding of the barriers and challenges for Black creatives in the arts and cultural industries, and to work towards identifying and supporting the development of tools and strategies to better support Black creatives. The project will map IBPOC creatives and organizations that support their communities across Canada. The Solid Black Collective comprises OCAD U researchers: Angela Bains, Kestin Cornwall, Michael Lee Poy and Dr. Kathy Moscou.

ReAct, ReCreate, ReVision

The Hub is a collaborator on this project, funded by a SSHRC research grant. The project employs arts-based  research methodologies in an effort to surface and amplify marginalized and suppressed knowledges and resistances. It will explore cultural policymaking gaps and processes with young 2SLBGTQI+ and BIPOC artists as co-researchers, to increase their access and opportunities to make critical contributions to policies that affect them. Together, partners and researchers will mobilize diverse experiences and knowledges to co-create and impact processes of change towards community arts, and social justice informed policymaking. The project is facilitated by a team of artists and researchers from partner organizations including The Institute (a project of Sketch Working Arts), Mass Culture and OCAD University. At OCAD U the project is coordinated by research leads, Dr. Alia Weston and Charlotte Lombardo.

Decrypting the Medium: A Report on Non-Fungible Tokens

In 2022, the Hub, in collaboration with Suzanne Stein and the Super Ordinary Laboratory, completed research for Canadian Heritage, and its Creative Marketplace Lab, to better understand how NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) impact artists and creatives, copyright and the Canadian creative economy, including the arts marketplace.

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