Mandate & History


The Hamilton Arts Council serves and supports the arts sector by:

  • Providing a communications network linking the broad spectrum of arts organizations and artists
  • Facilitating cooperative efforts of arts communities and organizations in the areas of research, planning, fundraising and skills development
  • Promoting and protecting the arts sector through effective representation and advocacy
  • Connecting individual artists with shared interests to mutually supportive peer working groups, committees, guilds, forums and other associations
  • Encouraging collective efforts to foster public interest in the arts and broaden opportunities for citizens

Our print resources, e-newsletters, and social media network connect artists to venues, venues to audiences, and audiences to businesses. These connections benefit our thriving creative community.

Our volunteer committees work together on initiatives across artistic disciplines, from Literary Arts toTheatre, incorporating a multidisciplinary approach to Arts Education.

As an expert on issues that impact artists and their organizations, we promote and protect the arts through research, public outreach, and advocacy at City Hall.


Founded in 1969 and incorporated in 1973, the Hamilton Arts Council is the second largest and one of the oldest community arts councils in Ontario. Originally known as the Hamilton & Region Arts Council and later Arts Hamilton, we have a long history of supporting local arts and culture through publication, advocacy and community partnerships.


We are an affiliate member of Artist-Run Centres & Collectives of Ontario (ARCCO), a professional provincial arts service organization that fosters the network and supports the growth and development of artist directed organizations engaged in contemporary cultural practice. (

We are also members of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and work to integrate the voice of arts into the greater prosperity of Hamilton’s economy. Our membership also allows us to extend the Chamber’s group health benefits to professional artists and arts organizational members of the Hamilton Arts Council. Visit our member information page to learn more about this benefit. (