Research Projects

The Hamilton Arts Council works closely with our community to learn more about the needs of the arts at the local level. The following are some of the research projects that we have undertaken with artists, organizations and regional partners.


The publication of Climbing the Cold White Peaks: A survey of artists in and from Hamilton 1910-1950 by Stuart MacCuaig in 1986 began the important work of preserving the history of Hamilton’s visual arts community. However, Hamilton’s art history from 1950 onwards exists only in partial records and the memories of artists from this era, some of whom have already died without passing on their stories of this pivotal time. In response to this issue, the Hamilton Arts Council’s Visual Arts Committee invited interested stakeholders in Hamilton’s visual arts community to join an open discussion on how to collect and preserve Hamilton’s art history from 1950-2000 to ensure these stories survive for future generations.


The Hamilton Arts Council was invited by the City of Hamilton’s Tourism & Culture Division to conduct a study of the organizational capacity needs of the arts in Hamilton. As a local community arts council with a mandate to serve and support this city’s arts community, the Hamilton Arts Council bears witness to these challenges on a regular basis, and is uniquely positioned to lend visibility and perspective to the operational practices of arts organizations: not only their difficulties, but also the drive and ingenuity that keeps the arts alive in our city from one year to the next. This community's growing willingness to share in its challenges and successes made it possible for artists and administrators to respond openly to the questions raised by this study, which was reported in turn to the City's Tourism & Culture Division in hopes of finding collective solutions to the challenges faced by arts organizations in our city today.