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Evaluation of the Arts Promotion Program of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

(January 2006)

(PDF Version, 347 KB) *

Table of Contents

Preamble / Note to the Reader

The reader should note that this report is based on data collected between November 2004 and early March 2005. This period of time, and the months that followed, were a period of change in public diplomacy strategy and programming at FAC. In order to get the picture of the state of programming in public diplomacy at the end of 2005, the reader should also review the "Response and Action Plan to the Evaluation of the Arts Promotion Program and FAC," which was prepared by FAC in response to earlier versions of this report and provided to the evaluation team in November 2005.

Executive Summary

The Canada in the World paper of 1995 proposed a foreign policy for Canada based on three pillars: the promotion of prosperity and employment; the protection of our security, within a stable global framework; and the projection of Canadian values and culture. For the last ten years, the Third Pillar, which emphasized the projection of Canadian culture, provided the rationale for several programs at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT). Today, these programs form part of the Department's new business line of public diplomacy.

This report presents the results of the evaluation of the Arts Promotion Program (APP) in the Arts Promotion and Cultural Industries Division (ACA), International Cultural Relations Bureau (ACD). The evaluation, conducted by Universalia Management Group, was aimed at assessing the extent to which the APP has been effective in meeting its programmatic objectives and linking to the objectives of the Third Pillar, the relevance of the APP to its stakeholders, and the extent to which the APP is efficient in implementation. The evaluation focused on the programming carried between 2001 and early 2005. The interviews, document review, surveys, and field visits for the study took place between November 2004 and March 2005.

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The Arts Promotion Program

FAC has a history of promoting Canadian culture as part of its efforts to advance Canadian foreign policy objectives. For more than 20 years, the APP objectives have been to:

  • carry out Cabinet's mandate for a Canadian cultural presence in selected priority countries for federally sponsored programs arising from Canada's bilateral cultural agreements and for associating the provinces with these efforts;
  • improve professional opportunities abroad for Canadian artists and opening new markets for Canadian cultural products; and
  • demonstrate at home and abroad that a distinct and vigorous identity has placed Canada firmly in the mainstream of international artistic excellence.

The APP awards grants to individuals, institutions or organizations that create, interpret, promote or market Canadian cultural activities and products internationally. The focus has been on professional artists in performing arts, film/video/TV, visual and media arts and literature. Grants primarily cover the travel costs for overseas tours. The Program has also transferred grant funds to Canada's key missions abroad for their cultural programming. The APP has provided advice and information to Posts, Regional Bureaux, and Other Governmental Departments (OGDs) to enhance and increase the impact of arts and cultural events. It has also provided policy advice to FAC on cultural relations and the public diplomacy strategic framework.

Key Findings and Conclusions

The APP has been influenced by two recent changes. One of these is the division of the former Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) into two departments. This transferred the promotion of cultural industries (formerly part of ACA and working in tandem with arts promotion) to International Trade Canada. The second change relates to the International Policy Statement (IPS) and the new strategic framework for public diplomacy, which emphasized the role of public diplomacy in the way that FAC does its work.

Effectiveness

The evaluation finds that the APP has generally met its original objectives and results as they were presented in the 2002 RMAF. The Program has made progress towards the short-term outcomes of having the presence of Canadian professionals in high quality presentations abroad and engaging foreign agents/impresarios. It is less clear whether the level of investment provides for an adequate representation of Canada abroad, even in key countries. Resource levels, capacity issues, and in some cases approach, are factors that may limit contributions to intermediate and long-term outcomes related to foreign policy objectives.

The linkages between arts and cultural activities and foreign policy objectives depend, largely on the Posts. They appear to be in a key position to relate arts and cultural programming to foreign policy priorities in their jurisdiction. Over the past five years, ACA provided $8 million to Posts geared towards cultural events that linked to their business plan and strategy and which are now being reflected in public diplomacy and cultural strategies. Our interviews suggest that cultural events abroad have helped to increase the enthusiasm of foreign audiences towards Canadian arts and culture and have contributed to greater curiosity about Canada. The evaluation found examples of how cultural events are used to gain access to decision-makers and to raise Canada's visibility among key target audiences in the Post country. Partnership and leverage of resources have been key tools for increasing the public diplomacy effects in terms of the level of outreach for investment and building relationships with the partners. Limitations to partnership and leveraging were also identified, such as the potential for Canada's message to be diluted in a partnership arrangement.

The artistic quality and excellence of Canadian artists is recognized internationally and the APP program has also had positive effects on grant recipients. The APP awarded approximately $22.4 million in grants from 2001-2005, which contributed to the development of professional opportunities abroad for Canadian artists. About 40% of the grant recipients who responded to the study's survey had received international awards for their work.

The Program's allocation of resources illustrates that key countries, primarily G-8, continue to be central in the promotion of Canadian culture abroad, having received over the past five years, about 83% of the grants funding. Some of the new priority countries (India, Brazil, China, and Mexico) are on the rise (from 6% to 21% of the grant funding allocated in 2001 and 2005 respectively), but with a much lower level of representation.

The Program's strategy at headquarters reflects a more reactive approach that is inherent to most grant programs. In other words, the APP cannot go out and seek the best arts and cultural group for public diplomacy purposes; it is limited to the pool of grant applicants. The current level of funding reduces possibilities for implementing a more proactive strategy. Members of the cultural community in Canada have expressed some concerns regarding the criteria for selecting grant recipients and the extent to which this restricts access to the Program by some groups, particularly newer or younger generation of artists.

There is an emerging gap between how the Program is beginning to articulate its vision and objectives as part of the new public diplomacy framework and how it is perceived by some stakeholders or portrayed in certain documents (including the RMAF). For more than two decades, ACA promoted Canadian arts and culture (and cultural industries, prior to 2004) and it contributed to professional opportunities for artists overseas. During this period, the Program was perceived as one that plays a role in the international dimension of market development for Canadian arts and culture. While stakeholders recognize that foreign policy objectives are important to ACA, many of them also associate the Program primarily with their own arts and market development objectives.

Relevance

Over the past years, the Program has been relevant to the Third Pillar and to the needs of many key stakeholders, including cultural partners in Canada and abroad. In the emerging international public diplomacy focus throughout the Department, the Posts have different expectations for ACA, seeing it as a much-needed centre for sourcing excellence in Canada to support the Posts' own public diplomacy initiatives and strategies. The differences in demands from Posts depend on their capacities. Some are better resourced staffing and funding-wise, use their own networks in Canada to learn about new talents, and thus require less support from the Program. Other Government Departments perceive APP as playing a role in arts promotion internationally and, in this regard, note the need for more collaborative and long-term strategies among all departments involved in this area. For on-going relevance, the APP will need to continue the change in thrust from arts promotion to public diplomacy that is currently underway.

Program Management and Efficiency

The evaluation also finds that the Program is efficient and accountable in its operations, with no significant concerns with respect to grant making. The Program has implemented, to varying degrees, all of recommendations emerging from the 2002 evaluation, with the exception of the development of a policy framework for the Third Pillar, which has been overtaken by the IPS. The APP is to be recognized for measures taken to enhance its results orientation. In its future efforts to manage for results, some of the main challenges will be the continued roll out and use of the performance measurement system. Competing demands on staff time and an insufficient level of staffing are perceived to affect ACA's ability to increase its effectiveness.

Key Recommendations

The following recommendations have been inspired by the opportunity we sensed in many of our interviews for the Department to confirm its role as the "central agency" for the arts and cultural component of Canada's international public diplomacy.

Recommendation 1: FAC should consider developing ACA as a centre of sourcing public diplomacy excellence in arts and culture.

Recommendation 2: ACA should continue to develop new tools and approaches and to build capacities within FAC so that arts and culture are used as an effective tool of public diplomacy and are perceived as such by internal and external stakeholders.

Recommendation 3: ACA should explore ways in which it could emphasize services to the Posts and provide a greater level of resources in support of Post-driven public diplomacy strategies.

Recommendation 4: FAC should strengthen capacities at the Posts to use arts and cultural programming as tools of public diplomacy.

Recommendation 5: ACA should develop a written strategy that clearly articulates the priorities and different components of the program.

Recommendation 6: ACA should invigorate its efforts to develop partnerships with OGDs, private sector, provinces, and other stakeholders that could strengthen the potential for synergies and increased impact.

Recommendation 7: In the near term, the Program should conduct a more thorough review of the program's staffing structure and responsibilities to confirm apparent gaps in staffing and explore alternative arrangements that could help the Program become more effective and efficient.

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Acronyms

ACA
- Arts Promotion and Cultural Industries Division
ACD
- International Cultural Relations Bureau
AECB
- Association for the Exporting of Canadian Books
APP
- Arts Promotion Program
CBC
- Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
DFAIT
- Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
FAIT
- Foreign Affairs and International Trade
FAQs
- Frequently Asked Questions
HOM
- Head of Mission
ITCan
- International Trade Canada
MP
- Member of Parliament
NAC
- National Arts Centre
OGD
- Other Government Departments
PDP
- Public Diplomacy Program
RBAF
- Results-Based Audit Framework
RMAF
- Results-Based Management and Accountability Framework
SACD
- Prix de la Francophonie de la Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques
TIFFG
- Toronto International Film Festival

1. Introduction

The Canada in the World paper of 1995 proposed a foreign policy for Canada based on three pillars: the promotion of prosperity and employment; the protection of our security, within a stable global framework; and the projection of Canadian values and culture. In elaborating on Canadian values, the paper listed respect for human rights, democracy, the rule of law, and the environment. It also stated that the vitality of our culture is essential to our economic success.

The Third Pillar, which emphasizes the projection of Canadian culture, provides the supporting rationale for several programs being implemented by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT). In September of 2004, the Department's Evaluation Division called for an independent evaluation of four of these programs, each at a different stage of implementation. Universalia conducted the evaluations and prepared a paper on the "cross-cutting" issues emerging from them. Data collection for the studies began in November 2004 and was completed in March 2005.

This report presents the results of the evaluation of the Arts Promotion Program, which is part of the Arts Promotion and Cultural Industries Division (ACA). It incorporates the feedback received from program stakeholders on a draft report.

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2. Evaluation Objectives, Methodology, and Context

2.1 Evaluation Objectives

The key objectives of the evaluation, as indicated in the Terms of Reference agreed upon with FAC, are to assess the extent to which the Arts Promotion Program (APP) has been effective in meeting its own specific objectives and linking to higher order objectives of the Third Pillar (i.e. the promotion of Canadian culture and values); the extent to which the Program is efficient in implementation; and how relevant the program is to stakeholders. The evaluation covers the period 2001-2005.

In this regard, there is a broad set of questions common to each of the programs under review. These questions relate to how effectively and appropriately each program has reached its target audience(s), the impact of each program on audiences in Canada and abroad, and the contributions of each program to Canada's foreign policy objectives.

The evaluation of the APP is formative in nature, designed to identify areas in which the program can improve its effectiveness. As such, the evaluation is to offer reflections on:

  • The focus of the program, and whether it is strategic in its resource and time allocations.
  • The impact of the program on grant recipients, and the balance between artistic freedom and the need for sponsored artists to serve in the promotion of Canada.
  • The efficiency of the program administration, including the degree to which the findings and recommendations from the 2002 evaluation have been addressed, the clarity of the criteria and the application process, the appropriateness of the selection criteria and the existence and efficiency of a results measurement strategy.

2.2 Methodology

The evaluation of the APP was carried out by Universalia, a consulting firm specializing in the evaluation of organizations, programs and projects in a variety of areas. The evaluation team collected primary data using a mix of qualitative and quantitative techniques that included document review, individual and group interviews, field visits, as well as a grant recipient questionnaire survey.

Document Review: The team reviewed a collection of documents related to the management of the Arts Promotion Program, projects supported by ACA, and documentation provided by the Posts.

Questionnaire/Survey: A web-based questionnaire survey in English and French was sent to over 1700 grant recipients with email addresses registered in Promart data base from 2001-2005. Of these, a total of 866 were valid addresses. A total of 221 completed the questionnaire, which represents a response rate of about 26%, which is low but also reflected in the 2002 evaluation.

Interviews: Face-to-face interviews were conducted with regional bureaux and other stakeholders at FAC-headquarters, other government departments (OGDs), and a group of priority external stakeholders identified by the Program team. In addition, telephone interviews were conducted with 17 grant recipients, other key external groups that we could not reach in person, and a select number of Posts that were also interviewed in relation to the Public Diplomacy Program (PDP). Individual and small group interviews were also conducted during field visits, allowing the team to meet with Post staff, cultural partners, government representatives, and other stakeholders. In total, more than 75 individuals participated in interviews.

Field Visits: The evaluation team visited Germany, Brazil, and France in order to deepen our understanding of the implementation and management of these programs at the Posts. Each visit entailed several days in the capital city as well as visits to other cities where program partners and other FAC stakeholders (consulates, OGDs, provinces) were based. A set of criteria for country field visits was taken into consideration: a) missions categorized as Framework posts and receiving funds from the Public Diplomacy Program and ACA, b) a balance between smaller and larger missions with different capacities to implement the programs c) some regional diversity. The evaluation advisory committee made the final selection of countries.

2.2.1 Identifying Limitations

One of the limitations to this study was that the perceptions of the Canadian "artistic community" were drawn only from members of the community who had access to and receive grants from FAC. Our source of names and contact information was the Promart data base of grant recipients and we recognize that this may create a certain bias with respect to results. In order to mitigate this potential limitation, we also sought complementary perspectives from other external stakeholders.

2.3 Context

During the past year and a half, FAC has undergone several changes. The first of these, announced in December 2003, was the division of the former Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) into two departments. This split has had a number of implications for FAC, including a 35% reduction in its staff. It has also had implications for the Arts Promotion program, namely that the promotion of cultural industries, which was part of ACA, now falls under part of International Trade Canada.

Further changes in the Department were introduced in 2005, with the release of the long-anticipated International Policy Statement (IPS). The IPS provides a new strategic roadmap for the federal government on the international stage. In order to reflect the conclusions of the IPS, FAC began a change process that included restructuring and developing enhanced program capacity.

The IPS and the restructuring of the department give a renewed emphasis to the role of public diplomacy in the way that FAC does its work. This emerges from the efforts of the past year and half to articulate a new strategic framework for public diplomacy. In this new framework, public diplomacy is a transformative tool that provides FAC with a flexible set of instruments of persuasion and influence that are central to the activities of a foreign ministry. These instruments include the cultural programs that are part of ACA's mandate. As the IPS notes, modern diplomacy is increasingly public diplomacy, the goal of which is to build influence by strengthening networks and international partnerships. Public diplomacy efforts are reflected in a continuum of short to long-term relations, as illustrated in the diagram below.

Exhibit 2.1 Public Diplomacy Triangle: FAC's Strategic Framework for Public Diplomacy (2005)

Public diplomacy triangle

Over the past year there have been gains for public diplomacy at the policy level, but at the same time, there has been continued uncertainty about the source of the funding for programming in this area, namely the future source of $8 million that came from the public diplomacy fund.

In response to both the both the split of the departments and the PD strategic framework, the APP began to articulate and implement an updated vision and approach to programming that provides greater links to public diplomacy. There is, however, a time lag in any process of change. At the time of data collection for the evaluation, stakeholders in the Department were at different points in the process and some of the APP's core documents, including the Results-Based Management and Accountability Framework (RMAF) and information on its web site, still reflected a previous vision for programming that emphasized a role in promoting the arts.

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3. The Arts Promotion Program

The Department of Foreign Affairs has a history of promoting the Canadian cultural sector and its successes around the world(1) as part of its efforts to advance Canadian foreign policy objectives. It has done this, primarily through its Arts Promotion program, which forms part of the International Cultural Relations Bureau (ACD). There are at least four components of ACA's work that can be organized into two broad categories - providing grant support and servicing constituencies. Program implementation takes place at headquarters and through Canada's Missions abroad.

Grants

  • The Program provides support in the form of grants to individuals, institutions or organizations that create, interpret, promote or market Canadian cultural products internationally. These grants are awarded in the areas of performing arts, film/video/TV, visual and media arts, and literature.
  • The Program transfers grant funds to Canada's key Missions abroad in order to support Cultural Strategies that respond to the Mission's diplomatic objectives.

Servicing Constituencies

  • The Program services the Posts, Regional Bureaux, Other Government Departments (OGDs), and other external stakeholders by providing advice and information that can increase the foreign policy impact of artistic promotion/events.
  • The Program provides policy guidance to the department on cultural relations and the public diplomacy strategic framework.

The annual budget for the program has been about $6 million for the past 4 years, with $2 million in allocations from the Public Diplomacy Program, which was due to sunset in March 2005.

4. Program Effectiveness

The following section addresses the extent to which the Arts Promotion Program has achieved results that contribute to its objectives, and to the higher order outcomes/objectives identified for the International Cultural Relations Bureau. The changes in FAC noted in Section 2.3 have changed the setting through which some of these objectives should be viewed.

In the discussions on effectiveness, as well as in the subsequent discussions on relevance, the report will make reference to "foreign policy priorities." The study team recognizes that "foreign policy priorities" have short, medium term, and long-term dimensions; are interpreted in different ways by different FAC stakeholders; and may have country or regional variations. For example, at the country level, the priorities that may apply globally are coupled with country-specific priorities that are of essence to the bilateral relation. Furthermore, the priorities are changing. One interviewee put it this way: "FAC priorities evolve and provide a "moving target" of what we are trying to achieve."

4.1 Program Results

4.1.1 Outputs and Activities
Headquarters

ACA offers grant awards to Canadian artists or artistic organizations that meet the criteria for funding in the four disciplines of: Film, Video and Television, Literature, Performing Arts, and Visual and Media Arts. These grants in general, cover the travel costs associated with artists touring in other countries or, in the case of foreign buyers, coming to Canada to attend festivals and other events with the aim of becoming familiar with Canadian arts and cultural products.

Finding 1: There has been little change in several features of the Program's grant activity, including the typical grant size, grant recipient's province of origin, and the relative distribution of grants across disciplines since the 2001 evaluation.

From 2001-2005(2), the Arts Promotion program awarded a total of approximately 1,815 ($22.4 million) grants to the disciplines of Film, Video and Television, Literature, Performing Arts and Visual and Media Arts. Grants that that do not fall into the above discipline areas are included in an "Other" category. For example, several activities such as the production of documentary film as well as a youth web site were funded under a special initiative on War-Affected children in 2001.

It is important to note however that within that five-year period, only 23 of the 1,815 grants awarded fell into the "Other" category; 10 of which were awarded in 2001 and the remaining 13 in 2004. The focus has therefore been primarily in the four disciplines. Performing Arts has continued to receive the greatest support, despite a decline in the overall level of funding in this area. (See Exhibit 4.1) Over $3 million in grants was awarded to the performing arts in 2004, which represents almost 71% of total funding. Film, Video and Television has seen an increase in the 2001-2005 period from $176,000 to $474,000--an increase of 170%.

Exhibit 4.1 Distribution of Grant Resources by Discipline, 2001-2005

Source: Promart data

Distribution of Grant Resources by Discipline

The grants awarded between 2001 and 2005 were in the range of $300 to $350,000. About 56% of the grants during this period were for $5,000 or less, which is similar to the trend noted in the 2001 evaluation. Film, Video and Television as well as Literature typically fell on the lower end of the scale as far as grant amounts were concerned, while Performing Arts and Visual and Media Arts were on the higher end of the scale. Exhibit 4.2 presents the smallest and largest grant amounts by discipline.

Exhibit 4.2 Smallest and Largest Grants (2001-2005)
DisciplineSmallest GrantLargest Grant
Film, Video and Television$300 - Native American Film and Video Festival$48,000 - 2004 Toronto International Film Festival
Literature310 - Congrès mondial des professeurs de français$65,000 - Annual International Translation Grant
Performing Arts$800 - Visite de diffuseurs coréens$350,000 - General Assembly Cultural Component - Windsor
Visual and Media Arts$1,200 - Invitation - Doug Buis (USA), Pr. Bill Thomas (USA) Critical Art Ensemble$110,000 - 51st Biennale of Venice
Other$1,486 - Canadian Forum on Cultural Enterprise$75,000 - Mise à pied d'un comité de liaison

Source: Promart data

Of the total number of grants awarded between 2001 and 2005 approximately 50% were in the $1000-5000 range, another 17% were between $5001 and $10,000, and 15% received grants of more than $20,000. The chart below clearly shows the distribution of grants by size, within the five-year period.

Exhibit 4.3 Distribution of Grants 2001-2005, by Grant Size

Source: Promart data

Distribution of Grants 2001-2005, by Grant Size

The average grant size varied from discipline to discipline. Performing Arts and Visual and Media Arts were on the higher end with average amounts of $18,911 and $11,857 respectively. This reflects the nature of activities in these areas, which tend to have higher transportation costs (travel expenses for troupes, orchestras, exhibits). The average grant size for Film, Video and Television was $4,827 while Literature was $2,309.

Between 2001 and 2005, about 39% of the grants went to artists in Quebec and 36% went to Ontario. In contrast, in the 2001 evaluation 35% of the grants were awarded to Ontario while 33% went to Quebec, based on program activity data from one year (1998-99).

Posts

Finding 2: ACA transferred $8 million to Posts over the past five years for cultural events. These transfers are now linked to Post cultural/public diplomacy strategies, a positive development that is aimed at explicitly linking these events to the Post's mission and business planning objectives.

ACA makes "transfers to missions" that support key posts in implementing cultural activities. For the past several years, the resources for these transfers have been drawn from both ACA and PDP cultural allocations. The PDP provided 50% of the funding for these cultural allocations to Posts. Exhibit 4.4 illustrates the funding sources for the transfers between 2000-01 and 2004-05. Over this same period, the APP allocated funds to a total of 38 missions. In the last fiscal year (2004-05), 26 missions received allocations ranging from $8,000 to $260,000 for their cultural programming.

Exhibit 4.4 Sources of Funding for ACA transfers to Posts

Source: ACA budget data

Sources of funding for ACA transfers to Posts

For 2004-05, each of these Posts prepared a cultural or public diplomacy strategy that was aimed at linking the proposed cultural activities to the Post's mission and business planning objectives. This strategy provides a tool for making explicit linkages between the activities and Canada's foreign policy priorities in the Post country. The strategy forms the basis for reporting on results over the course of the year. However, the submission of this kind of strategy is a new requirement and Program staff members recognize that the Department is still learning how to do this work in a way that maximizes the linkages.

Findings 3: Over the years, Posts have developed a variety of approaches to cultural programming in priority countries and deliver hundreds of activities that feature Canadian values and culture each year.

The three countries visited in the course of this evaluation illustrate the variety of approaches to cultural programming in FAC. In France, cultural programming is mostly undertaken by the Canadian Cultural Centre, which is the focal point for the promotion of Canadian artists in France. The Cultural Centre, which has heavily relied on the Canada-France program to develop its activities between 2002 and 2005, has also strongly benefited from PDP funding since 2000. The Centre's goal is to promote and disseminate Canadian culture through intra muros exhibitions as well as financial and logistical support to "Ambassadors" of Canadian culture, whose productions illustrate the diversity of Canadian Culture.

In Germany, the Canadian Embassy has put forward a strategy that promotes Canada as an innovative country with a vibrant and cutting edge culture. The Embassy seeks to reach not only a large public but also German decision makers who are often present at cultural events. Contemporary dance and music as well as new media are among the key areas of focus of the cultural programming in Germany. Through its specialized staff in performing arts, literature, and film/video, the Post operates a grant program supported by the PDP (directly and through ACA) as part of its strategy.

Brazil also engages in cultural programming, but with more limited human resources. The size and diversity of the country also presents some challenges in taking cultural events beyond the "triangle" of Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paolo. The Mission capitalizes on the Brazilians' knowledge of and respect for traditions in animation, literature, cinema, and music, for example. The promotion of Canada as a diverse and tolerant society also prevails in Brazil's strategy. The promotion of a vibrant francophone population, with many "Latin" affinities, is considered critical. Thus, Francophonie events, in collaboration with the Alliance Française, and other members of the Francophonie play an important part in the Embassy's annual strategy.

From the Posts' cultural strategies and our interviews, we identify a number of characteristics and "activity" or "output" types being generated, including:

  • Canadian participation in internationally or nationally recognized cultural events (festivals, fairs, biennales, etc)
  • Exhibits, performances, tours of Canadian artists
  • Visits to Canada by foreign buyers, impresarios
  • Embassy organized or co-organized events, e.g. Francophonie celebrations, Canada weeks, Canadian film festivals, Canadian retrospectives
  • Communications tools such as web sites, newsletters, or brochures highlighting Canadian cultural presence

Furthermore, the cultural strategies share some common features. These include efforts to broaden the geographic scope of the programming, more limited efforts to focus on priority disciplines, and some impetus being given to regional approaches whereby Posts in neighbouring countries join together to develop a strategy or coordinate events.

Many Posts are striving to take cultural activities beyond the capital city. The Buenos Aires Mission notes, for example, that an incipient aspect of their strategy is to head out to other provincial centres, where they receive assistance from the Canadian Studies Association. The strategies for China and India reflect similar challenges and the need to reach beyond the perimeters of the primary cities and into the regions.

In a few countries, such as India, the Post has chosen to emphasize a particular discipline. Delhi has chosen film as the principal cultural diplomacy tool "given the Indian national interest in film, the emerging strength of Canadian cinema, and the prominence of international film festivals in major centres outside of Delhi."(3) The Post in New York, on the other hand, has targeted music programs. Most of the other Posts take a broad approach, developing a program that includes activities from the various disciplines.

Cultural programming also lends itself to the potential for economies of scale at the regional level. The impetus for regional collaboration can come from the Posts themselves or from the geographic bureaus and other divisions in Ottawa. The evidence suggests that there is a longer tradition of regional organization and cost sharing among the Posts in Europe, partly due to the facilities of transportation and geography. In Latin America, these efforts are more difficult to orchestrate, but there are incipient efforts to pool resources for example among Montevideo, Asunción, Buenos Aires, and Brasilia.

Finding 4: Partnership and leverage of resources are common features of the cultural programming at the Posts that have public diplomacy benefits in terms of added value, outreach, and relationship building, as well as potential limitations.

All three of the Posts visited in the context of this evaluation (Brazil, France, and Germany) develop their programs in partnership with local collaborators that have credibility in cultural, political, and/or economic spheres.

There are a number of advantages to this strategy. For one, partnerships increase the value and outreach of any one event. Theyis allows the Post to leverage the resources of others, including financial and human resources, infrastructure, and knowledge/expertise. The most frequent example given is the partner's contribution of a venue for the activity, but often the partners also support the publicity for the event. As the Canadian Embassy in Germany reports, partnerships with German cultural institutions allow them to reach a larger public that includes the institution's clientele and the municipal, provincial or federal government agencies that support them. This allows the Embassy to reduce its costs by 5 to 10% of the overall cost of the project.

We found many examples where the Canadian Embassy investment was relatively small (usually used to support the participation of Canadian artists), yet it allowed them to "piggy back" on an existing festival or other activity. Canada's visibility varies in these events and, in some cases, it may only mean that in addition to the Canadian artist's participation, the Canadian logo is added to the list of sponsors. There are other examples where Embassy officials, possibly the Head of Mission, also participate and/or make public statements.

Second, there is evidence that these partnerships can turn into lasting relationships of strategic value to the Embassies. One aspect of the strategic value is the continuity given to the activities/events year after year. However, as several interviewees pointed out, in order to remain credible Canada needs to continue to bring financial resources (even in small amounts) to the table. Another advantage to these partnerships is that they foster people-to-people relationships that characterize contemporary public diplomacy.

A partnership strategy may have drawbacks, however. A number of missions cautioned that the need to partner with other institutions due to limited resources, may in the end, dilute Canada's message and reduce the event's contribution to public diplomacy objectives.

4.1.2 Effects on Foreign Audiences

Although the effects on target audiences are not quantified, there is anecdotal evidence that suggests the emergence of results in two areas. The first area relates to Canada's image and visibility among a broader audience while the second type of result relates to the way in which the arts are used to gain access to and influence decision-makers and opinion leaders. The findings below illustrate these result areas.

Finding 5: Study participants report that foreign audiences are generally enthusiastic about Canadian arts and have taken away a curiosity for Canada and an image of Canadian art that is high calibre and creative.

Several artists also mention the "outstanding curiosity and enthusiasm" expressed regarding Canada. One dance troupe touring in China wore Canada-China pins while touring and "we were constantly confronted with how enthusiastic and interested people were in us and in Canada." Similarly, one theatre director noted, "the reception [of the tour abroad] was overwhelming. At every representation in Edinburgh, at least half the audience would stay behind to talk about the artistic elements of the play and the themes it addresses (Newfoundland, Canada, life in small communities, etc.)"

The majority of interviewees mentioned that foreign audience response was positive, and in some cases surpassed what they had in Canada. Two dance companies noted that attendance rates and audience sizes at performances held abroad were systematically higher than in Canada, while an interviewee from the Literary Arts highlighted that 90% of his income is derived from foreign markets.

Canadian art is recognised as distinct from what is being produced elsewhere. While one documentary producer believes that his documentary "reinforces the difference between Canada and the US", a dance troupe director felt that "the sophistication and high quality of creativity and production from exclusively Canadian talent were the aspects that were most showcased" of their performances, and a survey respondent notes that the program "advances the visibility and uniqueness of Canadian talent and vision."

A few interviewees mentioned that they thought foreign audiences were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the work presented and at the professionalism of its proponents. In the words of one interviewee, "the countries on the cultural periphery are little or badly known, so giving our artists better visibility allows us to show the excellent level of what is being produced in the country." Several respondents felt that their way of working was seen as typically Canadian, for example one interviewee mentioned, "our professional and serious work and our support of diversity are also recognised."

Finding 6: At the Posts, there is anecdotal evidence of the use of cultural events to gain access to decision-makers and raise the visibility and recognition for Canada among select audiences.

The study finds that other kinds of results emerge when Canada, through its Missions abroad, links cultural events to their own business plans and strategies.

At one level, Missions use cultural events to gain access to key decision-makers or opinion leaders. In this case, the development of a guest list and seating arrangements are part of the strategy for the event. An emphasis on culture as a forum for "access and influence" and a platform for public diplomacy is particularly important and relevant for some contexts. In Germany, for example, interviewees highlighted that "Germans judge a country by its culture." One respondent stressed the importance of culture for business transactions in Germany with the following example: In Montreal, business dealings take place at hockey games; in Germany, business takes place at cultural events. The Los Angeles strategy notes "contacts who would not respond to other avenues of access such as large receptions eagerly accept an invitation to see celebrities, hot new talent or the latest smash hit." (This was in reference to invitations to "Cavalia.")

There is also evidence of visibility and recognition for Canada among select groups, in particular, the recognition of Canadian artists or performers in "tough" markets. Both cultural partners and Post staff interviewed during field visits to Paris and Germany have indicated that support provided by the Post had helped Canadian artists to gain a greater visibility within their respective cultural sphere. For example, Canada has gained an enviable reputation in contemporary dance in Germany, as illustrated by the special spotlight put on Canada in four different dance festivals. In France, visual art exhibitions at the Cultural Centre have allowed certain Canadian artists, such as Michael Snow and Christiane Chabot, to find professional opportunities and display their work in French-owned galleries and museums with large outreach potential.

Several funded activities were successful in reaching targeted audiences familiar with and knowledgeable about specific artistic disciplines such as contemporary dance and music. All German cultural organizers indicated that artistic productions were systematically promoted as Canadian and recognized as such by the public. While most organizers were not clear on what exactly made Canadian artistic productions distinct from others national productions, most agreed that Canadian artists projected an innovative and cutting edge image.

Coverage by foreign media--another target group--has been inconsistent. Several German cultural organizers agreed that media coverage of dance or theatre productions at festivals was somewhat limited. Interviewees in Brazil also highlighted the difficulties in drawing media attention for cultural activities.

Some cultural projects, perceived as more mainstream or accessible, are developed to reach a larger public. This is the case with film festivals organized in Germany and the Salon du Livre organized in Paris. In the Maple Movies project in Germany, a package of 12 Canadian films was made available for one year to repertory cinemas to be used for screenings and film weeks. Supplementary grants to the hosting venues helped to make an event out of it in some cases by inviting a speaker (film expert) to introduce the film. As noted by Embassy staff, "the combination of film plus speaker proved to be a good way of doing public diplomacy, promising an opportunity to entertain and to learn something about Canada." A common comment from audience members was that they had "no idea Canada made films."

Similarly, in the example from Brazil described in the textbox, a film screening and panel on related issues in the host country, illustrates how Canadian cultural products can stimulate reflections about the "way of doing things" in both countries.

Canadian Film used to fulfil Public Diplomacy objectives in Brazil Several stakeholders interviewed noted the power of Canadian film for projecting identities and values in the Brazilian market. The positive media coverage and box office draw for Denys Arcand's "Barbarian Invasions" and the tour of the movie's vedette, Louise Portal, is the most frequently noted example. The Embassy in Brazil linked the tour of the film to a retrospective on Denys Arcand's films and a parallel panel discussion entitled "Barbarian illusions: the left in 2004." The panel on the positioning of leftist ideologies included participation by Ms. Portal and MP Maninha of Brazil's Worker's Party. As one Brazilian policymaker noted, there is an underlying positive Brazilian predisposition to Canadian content in culture, entertainment, and news about "Canadian ways of doing things." This comes through in a country where most people do not know of or fully understand Canada

Posts have also supported cultural events that facilitate a more direct projection of Canada's identity, values, and position on advocacy issues. One such event, noted in India's cultural strategy, is the play "Bhopal" by Rahul Varma, which served as an effective vehicle for advocating Canada's interest in global and human security issues. As the play travelled across India it also highlighted in a subtle fashion the value of transparency and democratic dialogue. Another event cited in an interview, was a Ken Lum photography exhibit in Vienna that visually spoke to the challenges faced by immigrants. This effort, along with significant and focused media attention, was done in the context of an extreme right wing government, and was done to stimulate a public discussion on human rights, diversity, and tolerance.

4.1.3 Effects on Grant Recipients

This section presents the findings on the effects of the program on the Canadian artists who received grants from ACA over the last five years. The findings are based on the survey responses (221 respondents) and 17 phone interviews conducted with key grant recipients. About half of the artists had received more than 1 grant from ACA in the past 5 years. The term "artist" is used to refer both to individuals and to groups.

It is important to note that in the new vision of programming in ACA, the positive effects on Canadian artists are a welcome secondary effect of the programme, but not its primary intent, which is focused on advancing Canada's foreign policy. However, effects on artists are captured in the program's 2002 RMAF and the program has made positive contributions in this regard in the past five years.

Finding 7: ACA grants have contributed to the development of new professional opportunities abroad for Canadian artists, including an increased demand for their work and a network of contacts.

Almost all of the survey respondents (94%) indicated that ACA grant allowed them to showcase their work internationally and helped to improve their artistic/ professional opportunities abroad. Some of the benefits noted include increased interest and demand for the artist's work, increased international network of contacts, and the potential for multiplying the benefits beyond the original grantee.

Travelling abroad stimulates interest and demand in the artist's work. All of the authors and editors agree that allowing authors to attend international book fairs has considerably helped the dissemination of these authors' works. In the case of a choir that has done several tours in Japan, ever since the first tour they have received regular orders for their CDs from that country. For more than 80% of survey respondents, ACA-funded activity resulted in new contracts.

ACA grants help to increase the artist's international network of contacts, bringing an increase in the potential number of activities that the artist could carry out or be invited to. Several interviewees have been invited back to events abroad in which they participated. The head of one dance troupe that has returned several times to China since their first visit notes, "going to China repeatedly is the only way to stay on their radar screens [We are] now better received and better understood [as a result of each trip]". Similarly, editing houses have been able to set up co-edition projects as a result of contacts made abroad, and gallery curators have found they are more likely to be offered international shows, or have their shows or artists received abroad as a result of having met other curators.

The benefit of this networking may be multiplied beyond the particular artist or troupe, when the information is shared with the broader artistic community. As one respondent states "We make connections and forge partnerships having in mind that they could be useful for our colleagues in Canada." Some relationships born from these encounters can provide intangible, although real long-term benefits: one curator notes that ACA supported a trip to Istanbul that allowed her to meet the commissioner of the Istanbul biennial. That commissioner is now the director of the Venice biennial and as a result of having met previously they have a privileged relationship. A survey respondent summed it up as follows "all sorts of business and social good comes out of face-to-face meetings of people with similar interests from all parts of the world."

Exhibit 4.5 Responses to Survey Items on Benefits to Grant Recipients from ACA Grants
The project/activity...Total disagree*Total agree*
improved your artistic/ professional opportunities abroad.3.1%94.3%
helped you to gain recognition at the international level.4.2%94.3%
helped you to gain recognition in Canada.17.2%78.7%
resulted in new partnerships for you.6.3%90.1%
resulted in new contracts for you.11%82.2%

* excludes those who answered do not know or who did not respond to the question

The ability to reap the full benefits of international exposure, however, may also depend on the resources that artists bring to the cultivation of new business relationships. One interviewee noted that although artists become known in foreign markets, "they do not have the resources to reach these markets on their own and so ensure that the relationships they built can bear fruit or last in the future." There is also some evidence emerging from the survey comments and interviews cited above on the importance of "continuous" presence in a target market (e.g. the dance troupe that repeatedly goes to China).

Finding 8: The artistic quality and excellence of Canadian artists is recognized abroad. About 40% of ACA-funded artists that responded to the survey have received international awards.

In the 2002 RMAF for ACD, one of the indicators for the "image abroad of Canadian culture that is first class, innovative, and diverse" is the number of ACA-funded artists nominated for international awards. Among the survey respondents, 43% were nominated for international awards and 40% received these awards. The awards include Emmy and Oscar awards, the Golden Lion Award at Cannes, the Prix Francophonie Jeunesse de Radio France International, the Prix de la Francophonie de la Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques (SACD), the Orange Prize (an international list of '21 young writers to watch in the 21st century'), the Booker Prize, the American Music Guild Award and many more.

Interviews and comments suggest that in some cases a grant to travel abroad can increase an artist's chances of receiving awards during festivals or international competitions, either because it allows the artist to present and explain his/her work, or because some festival rules stipulate that awards are only attributed to artists who are present at the festival. The winning of jury prizes, in turn, improves the distribution potential of the work, as well as the visibility and professional opportunities for the artist.

Finding 9: The international exposure gained through ACA grants also helped to enhance the profile and prestige of the artist in Canada, despite general disappointment with the response of the Canadian media.

Although the benefit in Canada is perceived by a relatively smaller number of the grant recipients (79% of respondents), this is noted as an important effect of working internationally. A number of artists consulted via interview or survey noted that their appeal at home grew as a result of having performed abroad. As one survey respondent noted, "in my genre, one must gain recognition in the United States before any significant recognition will develop in Canada."

The improved profile at home is achieved despite perceptions of limited interest and coverage of artistic events abroad by the Canadian media. As some respondents noted, "the fact that our tax dollars pay for people to go out and be good ambassadors of Canada abroad should be better promoted." Several recipients interviewed mentioned having sent press releases to their local media about their shows/performances, etc. with no effect. The artists note that press coverage in Canada depends on the level prestige of the event abroad and the infrastructure that exists at the event for the media. It is also a function of whether or not artists are media-savvy. One filmmaker noted his efforts in "hounding" critics and media representatives always paid off.

Although the interviewees expressed a general discontent with the coverage in the Canadian media, the study finds some exceptions. For example, in the case of a theatre troupe from Newfoundland, their successful tour in the UK led to a profile and interview on CBC and CBC International, which further contributed to their prestige and the interest in their play when touring across Canada. One dance company noted that their international touring is often cited in the press only when they come back to Canada and are about to perform here.

A less tangible, but equally important effect is reflected in the artists' sense of representing Canada. Several survey respondents felt, as one respondent put it, that they were "Canadian artists travelling with their work to promote the work, to promote Canada and Canadians and to build good will internationally."

4.2 Meeting Program and Bureau Objectives

This section presents findings on the progress made by the Arts Promotion program in meeting its objectives and the objectives and outcomes of ACD as specified in the 2002 RMAF.

Finding 10: There is an emerging gap between how the program is beginning to articulate its vision and objectives in the new context and how it is perceived by stakeholders or portrayed in certain documents. Such a gap is natural in a period of transition.

The findings in this section are based on the objectives and outcomes provided in the International Cultural Relations Bureau's RMAF, which was developed in 2002. Changes in context, however, have begun to change the way in which the Program sees its objectives and the way that it implements its activities. For more than two decades, ACA programming addressed arts and cultural industries promotion (also reflected in its name). As noted in the findings in section 5.3, the Program has contributed to the development of professional opportunities for Canadian artists and it has been perceived by many stakeholders to have a role in the international dimensions of market development.

Given the history of the Program, these perceptions persist among some stakeholders in FAC, in other government departments, and among grant recipients. Our interviews reveal that while stakeholders may recognize that foreign policy objectives are an important part of the Program many of them mix these with arts promotion and market development ends. For example, some stakeholders at Canada Council and Canadian Heritage cited the need for government departments involved in "promotion" of Canadian arts and culture to jointly analyze certain markets and develop coordinated approaches to international trade fairs, for example. This association with "markets" is also noted by another interviewee who pointed out that the Program does not do as much consultation with the cultural industries as it should on the reality of the market.

Another critique that emerges from both grant recipients and other government departments again reflects this misperception about the intent of the Program. Some interviewees in these groups cite the limitation of one of the basic conditions for International Touring Projects, as noted on the web site, which is that these projects must include a basic number of performances (10 or more) in several different cities and countries (3 or more). From a market development perspective, such a condition may not make sense because some artists may be trying to build a market in certain countries that have few cultural ties or very different tastes than the other countries in that region (for example, China in Asia or the UK in Europe). From the Program's point of view, however, this kind of a strategy results in more performances for FAC and for the Canadian taxpayer.

Internally, the Program has taken steps to change these perceptions. The creation of the public diplomacy strategic framework, the requirement of the cultural strategies, the reporting templates, and the consultations with Posts all focus on the linkages to and advancement of Canada's foreign policy objectives. The Program's management has also expressed this emphasis to external stakeholders, such as the other government departments involved in arts and cultural programming.

The gap that has emerged between the external perceptions of the program and how it sees itself is natural in a period of transition. However, there is a need move forward with necessary changes as quickly as possible, including name change, new tools, training, and a strategic review and update of the program's stated objectives, which as noted below date from the 1970s.

Finding 11: The Program has generally met its original objectives oriented towards cultural development and promotion, which guided the program's development from the1970s until 2004/2005 when the new FAC structure and public diplomacy strategic framework were introduced.

As stated in ACD's 2002 RMAF, the Bureau is guided by one general objective, several primary sub-objectives, and several secondary sub-objectives for its various programs. All programs in the Bureau seek to create favourable conditions for the achievement of Canada's foreign policy objectives.

The secondary-sub objectives for cultural relations, which apply to the Arts Promotion Program (excluding the Cultural Industries promotion), are:

1) To carry out Cabinet's mandate for a Canadian cultural presence in selected priority countries for federally-sponsored programs arising from Canada's bilateral cultural agreements and for associating the provinces with these efforts;

2) To improve professional opportunities abroad for Canadian artists and open new markets for Canadian cultural products;

3) To demonstrate at home and abroad that a distinct and vigorous identity has firmly placed Canada in the mainstream of international artistic excellence.

These objectives have guided the Program's development at least since 1974 when they were recorded by Cabinet decision.(4) The study finds evidence that the Program is generally meeting these objectives. There is cultural presence in selected countries, although as we note in other sections of this report, the level may not be sufficient in some cases. The program has contributed to improved professional opportunities for artists and it has facilitated, along with other members of the cultural community, a presence for Canada in the mainstream of international artistic excellence. Although the aims expressed in these objectives may no longer be the priority for the Program, they are part of the legacy that the program has developed. Other respondents external to FAC also recognize that given the limited funds and human resources available, FAC has contributed as much as possible to these objectives.

Finding 12: The Program made progress towards the short-term outcomes related to the presence of Canadian professionals in high quality presentations abroad and the engagement of foreign agents/impresarios. There are several factors, such as resources, approach, and capacities that may limit the contributions to the Bureau's intermediate and long-term outcomes.

The outcomes proposed for the APP in the 2002 RMAF are presented in Exhibit 4.6. Although some of these may no longer be relevant to the APP's updated vision, at the time of the evaluation, this was the results framework available for the analysis.

Exhibit 4.6 APP Proposed Outcomes, RMAF (2002)
Short-Term Outcomes ACA (component 1000)Intermediate Outcomes (ACD)Long Term Outcomes (ACD)
Canadian professional artists in high quality cultural presentations abroad
Foreign agents/impresarios engaged in Canadian art festivals and showcases
Adequate representation of Canada through the arts in promotional activities abroad
Image abroad of Canadian culture and higher education as 1st class, innovative, and diverse
Foreign professionals and leaders with an informed, well-disposed and sustained interest in Canada
Expanded markets for Canadian educational and cultural products and services abroad.
Canadian culture and learning effectively utilized to advance Canada's foreign policy objectives.

Source: International Cultural Relations Bureau, RMAF (January 2002)

Note: the Intermediate and Long Term Outcomes correspond to all 6 components in the Bureau's RMAF. One intermediate outcome, pertaining directly to the academic relations program, has been excluded from this table.

The findings above clearly illustrate the ways in which ACA contributes to short-term outcomes related to the presence of Canadian professionals in high quality presentations abroad and the engagement of foreign agents/impresarios. It is less clear whether the level of investment provides for an "adequate" representation of Canada abroad, even in key countries. (Further analysis of ACA's investments by countries is provided in section 4.5 on Program Design and Strategy.)

There is also evidence of progress in some countries towards the intermediate outcomes of a "1st class, innovative, and diverse" image of Canadian culture and expanded markets for Canadian cultural projects. This appears to be particularly true in the countries where there has been a strong and sustained investment over time, such as Germany and France. In other contexts, such as Brazil, Canada still does not have sufficient presence in the cultural scene to facilitate image development. Grant recipients have also commented on the contributions of the APP to the expanded markets for Canadian cultural products.

The linkages between arts and cultural activities and foreign policy objectives depend, in large part, on the pivotal role that is played by the Posts. They are in the best position to relate arts and cultural programming to diplomatic priorities, both for the bilateral relation and broader foreign policy objectives. The way in which Posts have begun to do this is through cultural and public diplomacy strategies. The APP requirement of cultural strategies from the Posts is making a contribution in this regard, although it is still in early stages of implementation. As a result, some stakeholders in FAC still question the linkages. As one interviewee noted, "we may still be doing cultural activities for the sake of culture and broader identity." Another stakeholder emphasized that "culture needs to be perceived as useful for all aspects of foreign policy (defence, trade, etc.)", signalling the work that still needs to be done in changing the way that arts and cultural activities are perceived and used by the Posts and at HQ.

While recognizing this crucial role of Posts, our study also finds that their effectiveness depends on a range of capacities. The following capacities are particularly important in order to maximize the public diplomacy impact of arts and culture:

  • Leadership

The Head of Mission (HOM) provides a vision for public diplomacy. Posts that have a history of having HOM who explicitly embrace these programs as tools for achieving the Embassy's mission are often recognized for their strength in these areas. The leadership provided by the Counsellors charged with public and cultural affairs is also crucial.

  • Integrated strategies

Integrated and multi-year public diplomacy strategies have the potential to be most far-reaching and respond to the Department's aim to mainstream public diplomacy. These integrated strategies draw on all of the potential resources of the Posts (Embassy, Consulates, others) and the various sections in those Posts (political, public affairs and culture, trade, immigration, for example). Strategies should enable a "proactive" approach to programming in this area.

  • Human resources

Appropriate staffing (levels and expertise) can make a difference in efforts to integrate arts and culture into public diplomacy. A number of interviewees said that additional staffing could make a big difference in how strategic they could be in their work. One of the success factors noted at Posts is the use of locally-engaged staff who have expertise in arts and culture, bring personal networks into the Embassy's folds, and facilitate the development of long-term relationships with partners. They are also able to make more informed judgments on the appropriateness of the supply (artist/the media) for the demand (audiences/markets). Another critical element is their knowledge about the Canadian cultural community and their network of contacts in Canada. In this area, one of ACA's challenges in providing support to Posts is that Geographic Bureaus are responsible for the human resource and operating funding for the Posts.

  • Financial resources

Financial resources are also a crucial element of Post capacity. The important characteristic of financing is that it be sustained over time. The importance of time cannot be underestimated since it takes several years to build up a presence and image with external audiences, develop strategic relationships with local partners, develop a team approach at the Embassy, and begin bearing the fruits of the enhanced image.

This combination of capacities means that strong Posts may come directly to the Canadian cultural community (including Canada Council and other agencies) to find the kind of artistic talent they need to support their strategies.

4.3 Program Design and Strategy

The Terms of Reference for this evaluation includes questions that relate the components of design and strategy to program effectiveness. In reviewing documentation and interviewing Program stakeholders, we note that there are several dimensions to ACA's strategy, although these are not all clearly articulated in Program documents. Often, the notion of being more strategic is couched exclusively in terms of geographical priorities or disciplines. In this section, we present findings that suggest that a discussion of strategy is much broader than that, giving ACA many alternatives for shaping a program that responds in more strategic ways to stakeholder needs and departmental priorities.

A clearly articulated strategy is important, not only for guiding program development and ensuring on-going relevance, but also as a tool for communicating to others about the business you are in. More importantly, it also establishes the parameters of your work. Universalia has seen how units or programs that are seen as "service" units (as ACA describes part of its work) in an organization can benefit from setting priorities and boundaries for that service in order to focus on areas that will help the program achieve its strategic objectives. A strategy paper is one such tool.

Finding 13: The Program's strategy is primarily reactive and based on leverage/partnership approach. At the Posts, there are more opportunities to be proactive when the necessary capacities are in place.

Although foreign policy priorities are the primary driver for selecting ACA's grant recipients, this selection is made among the applications that it receives. Thus, the Program is subject to the parameters of who applies for the grants, what they want to do, and where they want to go. Through its application conditions, specified criteria (for example the priority consideration given to projects taking place in certain countries), and discussions with grant applicants, the Program sends signals to prospective applicants on the priorities and needs of the Department from a foreign policy perspective. Nonetheless, the Program is bound by a reactive approach that is inherent to most grant programs. Even though staff would like to develop a proactive component, they also note that resource limitations (human and financial) justify a more reactive strategy.

The Program's ability to take this component in directions that some would consider more strategic--for example, increasing the number of grants for activities in new priority countries--may also be limited by the perceptions of the artistic community about markets for arts and cultural products. One respondent from the cultural community, who associates the Program with market development ends, indicated that the APP is less effective in India, China, Mexico, and Brazil because there are fewer visits to these countries. The respondent went on to explain that the small number of visits reflects a view in the Canadian artistic community that the infrastructure to support artists (including the lack of fees paid to artists) is weaker in these countries.

While the strategy at headquarters is largely reactive, it would seem that at the Posts, there are more opportunities to be proactive, depending on the capacities (identified in Section 4.4). The FY 03-04 budget data for grants allocations shows that this component--transfers to Missions--represented about 20% of the total grant resources. Most of the APP resources are allocated to the grants to the Canadian artistic community.

At the same time, the strategy at headquarters and at the Posts is based on leveraging and partnerships. Through the grants component, for example, FAC provides a maximum of 30% of the total cost of the activity or event. As noted earlier in discussions of leveraging efforts at the Posts, the potential results of the FAC funds invested are greatly increased in this way. The APP could put on much fewer events (on the order of 5-15) if it funded 100% of the activity. Another benefit of the partnership and leverage approach is that it offers possibilities to develop strategic relationships with and among individuals and organizations, which are key elements in public diplomacy.

Some of the resulting strategy questions for ACA are: To what extent does the current emphasis on the reactive component represent the most effective mix of program resources? Should more resources be allocated to Posts? Is there potential to develop a more proactive component to the program based at HQ? What are the resource implications of such a component?

Finding 14: The Program's allocation of resources illustrates that certain key countries--mainly G-8--continue to be central in the promotion of Canadian culture abroad. Some of the new priority countries are on the rise, but with a much lower level of representation.

Resource allocations provide one way of assessing the extent to which program implementation aligns with expressed priorities. Thus, if FAC states a clear intention to work more in "priority countries", one would expect to see greater resources going to those countries.

FAC has allocated 83% ($16.2 million) of grants funding to arts activities taking place in other G-8 nations. This is a characteristic that has not changed since the last evaluation in 2001. The regional distribution of grants is presented in Exhibit 4.7.

Exhibit 4.7 Regional Distribution of ACA Grants, 2001-2005

Source: Promart data

Regional Distribution of ACA Grants, 2001-2005

Among the G-8 nations, France, Germany, UK and the USA are the primary focus when grant amounts are taken into consideration. These are the most frequently visited countries as well, with an average number of grants per year that ranges from 42 (Germany) to 61 (USA). Of note is the sharp drop in grant resources for travel to Japan in 2003 ($35,000) and 2004 ($54,000) compared to 2001 ($377,000) and 2002 (325,000).

Canada has extended its geographic priorities to include what is commonly known as the "plus 4" nations, namely China, Brazil, Mexico and India.(5) There has been a notable increase in the total grant amounts directed towards the plus 4 nations. In 2001, the total grants to these countries amounted to approximately $240,000, or 6% of the entire grants budget. The highest amount was in 2003 with an approximate value of $850,000, comprising 21% of the entire budget. While the amounts tapered down to the order of $538,300 in 2005, this represents an overall increase of about 121% since 2001. The number of visits to these countries in 2004 ranged from 18 for Mexico to 3 in Brazil. China in particular stands out with respect to increased allocations of grant funding. This figure rose from about $110,000 in 2001 to about $430,000 in 2005.

Between 2000-01 and 2004-05, 73% of the resources for Posts were designated to G-8 countries, 47% of which were European (Berlin, London, Moscow, Paris, and Rome). The total resources directed to the plus 4 nations during the same period constituted 9% of the entire budget ($7.7 million). It is interesting to note that this 9% ($754,000), which was designated to the plus four nations, is less than the total amount received by Germany ($831,000), the UK ($1,120,000), France ($1,372,000) and the USA ($1,390,000) in that five-year period.

With respect to the new priority countries, it is clear that Mexico and China are the major recipients of funding in comparison to India and Brazil. Of the total amount designated to the four nations, approximately 70% was allocated to Mexico.

Although the focus on geographic priorities responds to foreign policy objectives, stakeholders note that other criteria should also be considered in allocating resources. One ACA stakeholder noted that, at times, you need to be more strategic than G-8 plus 4, "you need to consider countries such as Australia as well." Others identify the need to focus cultural programming where it matters, where a difference can be made. For FAC some of the strategic questions are: Do you put the money in the current trade (economic and political) partners, future trade (economic and political) partners, or where there is an appetite or demand for culture, meaning that arts promotion/culture can be a particularly effective tool of public diplomacy? To what extent is it possible to have a multi-level strategy that combines these?

Finding 15: Members of the cultural community recognize the quality of grant recipients, yet they raise some concerns about limited access to the Program by some artists and repeat funding for others. These concerns again reflect a potential misconception about what the Program aims to accomplish.

In general, respondents in the cultural community have a positive view on the artistic quality of the grant recipients. They point to quality and excellence as fundamental criteria in ACA's selection. As a result, the program has been able to place world-class troupes on the international stage. One of the success stories cited, by those who see the Program as having a promotional role, is how FAC nurtured La La La Human Steps into a professional and internationally renown dance troupe. Some of the OGDs and grant recipients consulted, noted, however, that the funded artists may not always have the capacity to take advantage of international tours.

Funding agencies and others in the cultural community express some concerns about the criteria for selecting grant recipients and the extent to which this restricts access to the Program. Some of these concerns may also be relevant from a foreign policy perspective and include:

  • The perception that there is limited access to ACA grants by a younger generation of artists. Although the criteria for "Special Projects" in Performing Arts and "International Career Development" for Visual and Media Arts specifically target young and upcoming artists, there is a perception that more could and should be done. As one respondent recommends, the Program "needs to develop a more progressive attitude to young artists and new art."
  • The perception of some respondents on the limited exposure provided by the Program to the full range of the country's cultural expression (including cultural communities other than English or French) and the diversity of aboriginal art.
  • The perception that some of the Program's requirements such as making multiple bookings in advance may limit the access to the program by artists lackingcertain infrastructure (such as a tour manager). This could exclude many small ensembles, new groups, etc. Similarly, some genres of music may operate less formally and may not be able to make plans as far ahead of time or engage multiple bookings.

From a FAC perspective, repeat funding is natural if the artist helps the department in reaching decision makers who are considered key to Canada's foreign policy objectives (as in the case of La La La Human Steps). Another argument expressed by staff members is that repeat funding allows the artist to become more recognized among foreign audiences and over time, the artist may be better positioned to support FAC in the achievement of its objectives. Nonetheless, some external stakeholders question repeat funding because it is seen to limit opportunities for other artists.

Thus, another series of questions on ACA strategy has to do with the target groups and the type of support provided. Is the Program doing enough to bring in younger artists? Does the program portfolio of grants and activities illustrate the vibrancy of cultural expression in Canada? Do these issues (perceived as limitations in the Program) make any difference from a foreign policy perspective?

In its strategy, the Program may also wish to make explicit its rationale for repeat funding, especially given that this is often misunderstood by external stakeholders.

Finding 16: Some of the types of grants provided by ACA enable the "servicing" component of the Program.

The APP supports creators and interpreters of art as well as organizations that promote arts and cultural products. During the data collection process, the evaluation team found that there is a greater diversity in terms of "types" of grants that should be highlighted as another element in the Program's strategy.

For example, ACA provides grants to some arts organizations, which can provide services to Posts. We reviewed at least two examples of such partnerships, one with the Toronto International Film Festival Group (TIFFG) and another with the Association for the Exporting of Canadian Books (AECB).

  • One component of a grant to the TIFFG is the "Film Circuit" project that tours Canadian films internationally. This project currently supports Canada's missions in 20 different countries (with a target of 45 countries by 2009). Their role is to work with distributors in Canada, assemble the collection, and arrange to get the films to these countries.
  • The AECB received frequent requests for "free books." ACA grant is to provide missions with kits of books: one with trade titles in English and French, another with children's books in English and French, and a third kit which focuses on French books only. The AECB also developed promotional materials on Canadian publishing that serves as a tool for Canada's Posts abroad.

The strategy question that arises is whether or not these grants are or should be analyzed and selected using the same criteria as all the others. Is there a need for a special type of grant? What are the criteria for judging success of the initiative? Is there a need for some of the grants to envision more than one phase (year)?

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5. Program Relevance

5.1 Link with Canadian Interests and Foreign Policy

Finding 17: The Arts Promotion Program has been relevant to the Third Pillar, although its contributions have been limited by the availability of resources. For on-going relevance, it will need to continue the change in thrust from arts promotion to public diplomacy that is currently underway.

The Program has clearly celebrated and promoted Canadian culture, the essence of the Third Pillar. Both internal and external stakeholders recognize that the Program does a good job in this regard, given its level of resources. This is in reference both to the levels of staffing as well as funding. In fact, the lack of appropriate staffing was highlighted both at HQ and in several of the Posts. Interviewees at these locations indicated that the addition of one or two staff members would enable them to be more strategic in their work.

The links to other foreign policy priorities anchored at the country level are leveraged by FAC either by design or as a bi-product of the arts/cultural event, depending on the level of integration with the Post's strategy and business plan.

The Program's relevance may be limited by the gap between how stakeholders perceive the Program (emphasis on professionals, role in arts promotion and market development, driven primarily by HQ) and how the Program has begun to change its approach and tools in response to the new public diplomacy framework.

5.2 Expectations and Needs of Key Stakeholders

5.2.1 Posts

Finding 18: The Program is perceived by some stakeholders in FAC to have an emphasis on arts promotion, which may not always respond to public diplomacy needs at the Posts.

The history of the Program has been the promotion of the arts, with an emphasis to date on professional artists. The emphasis on professionals is partly due to limited resources. Since professionals are most likely to draw the attention of key decision makers in the Post country, they have been the priority group. One of the issues that the Program may face in the future is that, depending on Post priorities and key audiences, the art or cultural event that may contribute the most to public diplomacy objectives, may not always come from the "renown" or professional artists.

In the interviews, there were examples raised in which some of the stronger Missions (with greater capacities, as they were described earlier in the report) identify the Canadian artist they want to bring to serve their objectives and then seek funding from other sources because the artist may not meet the conditions of ACA. For example, there is a perception that some of the conditions for grants in performing arts such as "realistic revenues" from fees to be paid to the artist, long-term marketing strategy and others, suggest an assessment of the potential for future market development, even though these are not key criteria for the Program's decision making about the grants.(6)

Many of the performances and other artistic events that take place as a result of ACA grant funding contribute to a Mission's broader strategic priorities. The tour of the National Arts Centre Orchestra to Mexico is one instance in which the tour was corporately funded by FAC (along with other contributors) and the Canadian Embassy complemented with PDP funding. This event, which took three years to plan, is qualified by the Embassy as a "high impact" activity.

However, among the Missions we interviewed, a few have not been able to appropriately leverage the cultural activities that are funded through ProMart. One interviewee commented that "it is difficult to build around them." Some Missions focus on building their strategies around existing cultural events in the country and are trying to move away from an event-driven or activity-driven approach. Unless the grant recipients are directly integrated into their strategy, then ACA grant recipient becomes an add-on. The consultation process and design of cultural strategies, which should help in this regard, have not yet served this purpose for all missions. However, it is important to recognize that FAC is still in the early stages of working with these processes and it may take some time to get all stakeholders to use them in consistent and strategic ways.

Finding 19: Posts have different expectations for ACA. Some Posts call for ACA to become a Centre of Sourcing Excellence for their public diplomacy strategies.

Canada's Missions abroad play a key role in ensuring that arts and cultural events contribute to a broader set of foreign policy objectives. In recognition of this, ACA has introduced a consultation feature as part of its on-line grants administration system. With this process, Posts are encouraged to provide feedback that is taken into consideration in the awarding of grants to artists who will visit their countries. Post responsiveness to these consultations varies and delays at the Post affect the grant decision-making process at headquarters.

Due to differences in capacity and needs, the Missions have developed different expectations for ACA. The Posts with more limited capacity would like to see ACA play a greater servicing role and go beyond being a grant maker to becoming a Centre of Excellence or a Centre for Sourcing Excellence in arts/culture that can be brought to bear on their public diplomacy strategies. The Posts that are better resourced express less demand for change. These Posts may use their own networks in Canada to learn about new "talents" or new groups, who can be promoted overseas.

5.2.2 Artistic Community/Grant Recipients

Finding 20: FAC's role has been relevant to the needs of the artistic community in Canada and of the cultural partners overseas.

The grant recipients in Canada value the role that they perceive FAC to play in promoting the arts. These artists find that FAC's support has allowed them to be good Ambassadors for Canada, without compromising their artistic freedom. In addition to the funding (addressed in a separate finding below), a few grant recipients made explicit note of the "service" role of ACA above and beyond the grant process. These interviewees valued ACA's work in introducing them to networks, brokering other forms of support, and engaging in "visioning" or "strategy" sessions.

Cultural partners abroad also recognize similar contributions to their initiatives that have been made by the Embassy in the areas of funding, promotion, networking, and the sharing of information and knowledge.

Finding 21: FAC's Arts Promotion Program has played a crucial role in supporting the international exposure of Canadian artists. 89% of the survey respondents indicate that they could not have engaged in their activity without this support.

A majority of survey respondents (89%) stated that they could not have engaged in their activity without the support of the Arts Promotion Program. In addition, several interviewees who could have carried out the activity without this funding indicated that the scale of the tour (in the case of a performing arts troupe), or the quantity of work shown (in the case of visual arts) would have been much smaller. Also, one author pointed out that foreign publishers are aware of the funding available and use it as a tool to better showcase Canadian authors.

Stakeholders also highlight that without the support of ACA, Canadian artists' presence at international events would be less frequent and of poorer quality. In as much as the Arts Promotion program allows curators, tour directors and other supporting staff to accompany the art and/or artist, the funding ensures that the work presented is showcased in the best possible way and is fully and appropriately promoted. In the case of a curator who received funding to send an exhibition abroad "APP support ensured that the show was "well done," that is, that the work that is exposed is unadulterated and complete." This was also mentioned in several surveys responses, one of which stated, "the project would have been possible without the program grant, but the scope and repercussions of the project would have been much less."

Finding 22: The Missions abroad have somewhat met the expectations of grant recipients. The level of enthusiasm, responsiveness and initiative of the Missions with respect to the grant recipient's activity varies greatly.

While almost 70% of survey respondents were able to identify the appropriate contact person at the Mission, only 60% of respondents agreed with the statement "the mission met your expectations for support in the development of your project or activity." For more than one-third of the respondents (40%) the Missions did not meet their expectations.

Exhibit 5.1 Responses to Survey iIems on Canada's Missions Abroad
ItemTotal disagree*Total agree*
You were able to identify the appropriate contact person at the Canadian mission abroad.38.42%68.42%
Canada's Mission(s) abroad facilitated networking opportunities for you in the course of your project or activity.31.22%61.38%
Canada's Mission(s) abroad met your expectations for support in the development of your project or activity.37.57%59.79%
Canada's Mission(s) abroad provided adequate communications support for the visibility of your project or activity.35.98%57.67%

* excludes those who answered "do not know" and those who did not respond to this item

In many cases, the Posts are not able to respond to the artist's needs or queries or contribute to the promotion of the event/activity at hand. Interviewees and respondents perceive that this may be due to financial or human resource limitations. Institutions in the cultural community that have collaborated with the missions, such as Canada Council, also note that Posts have very little financial means to develop projects of their own. On some occasions, Posts been able to obtain financing from other sources such as local sponsors or other government departments, but this requires time and dedication on the part of the cultural attaché. Alternatively, the Post may not have a dedicated cultural attaché. This would explain one survey respondent's comment that "the consulate (...) got into contact with me and offered a mountain of support. The amount of support they actually delivered was nil, regardless of my repeated efforts to obtain it."

The lack of responsiveness may also be due to lack of information and knowledge. Familiarity with the art scene in Canada (the main players, the up-and-coming acts and the new trends in each discipline) and in the local context varies amongst cultural attachés, as does the willingness to keep abreast of new developments. One respondent indicated that "the embassy did make an effort but it was clearly not in tune with what was 'hip and cool' and so did not do much to publicize the exhibit amongst the appropriate or interested audience." In the worst case, this can results in artists stating, "I'm at a loss to explain why the Canadian missions were so indifferent to me".

However, in the cases where the Missions have been able and/or interested in contributing to the promotion of the events, the effects have been positive. A few respondents from the survey note: "The embassy in Berlin was extremely helpful, above and beyond the call of duty" and "only in the last year I became fully aware of the opportunities and support offered by our missions abroad. More has to be done to let those in the industry know about the incredible resource here". Posts have provided support through general promotion of the artist and of the event, as well as by bringing together the artists and potential buyers. Some artists comment that the presence of post staff at the events gave an additional "a stamp of credibility". However one filmmaker indicated that "the presence of cultural attachés at events usually impresses festival directors and staff members, but it does not really increase the promotion or visibility of the material to the general public or the press."

5.2.3 Other Government Departments

Finding 23: Other Government Departments perceive FAC's Program to play a role in arts promotion internationally and note the need for more collaborative and long-term strategies among all departments involved in this area.

From the interviews with stakeholders at Canada Council and at Heritage Canada, it becomes evident that these stakeholders perceive that FAC's Program is involved in promoting Canadian arts internationally. As one interviewee noted, they often see their role as picking up what "falls between the cracks" of the FAC program. Canada Council has gotten involved in some areas that, from their point of view, may overlap with the APP or represent areas that the APP would not cover. With a budget of more than $10 million for international support in the last fiscal year (implemented through different programs), Canada Council brings significant resources to be used in promotion of Canadian arts overseas. Similarly, international programs at Canadian Heritage are meant to "support ITCan and FAC and cover areas that are not otherwise covered by them."

The initiative to complement the APP is also consistent with the overall impression held by other ministries that FAC's program has limited human and financial resources and is already stretched. There have been some discrete attempts to develop more explicit synergies and strategies across the departments, whereby, for example, Canada Council would fund the pre-tour trip to set up the bookings, allowing the artist to meet the eligibility criteria for a grant from FAC.

Operational relationships between the APP and complementary programs at other departments are in place and may vary by section or discipline, depending, in part, on the initiative of the program officers. However, the general sense shared by those interviewed is that there is not enough horizontal collaboration and long-term strategizing within the federal government. As one of the interviewees commented, "everyone reports upward." Our interviews suggest that it is difficult for agencies to get a sense of the direction of FAC, in the absence of a foreign policy that is perceived to be "consistent" and long term in nature. One person consulted called for "better communication and discussion about the priorities of each institution, and brainstorming on the trends to come (i.e., discussion above and beyond a case-by-case evaluation of a project) would benefit both institutions and allow them to be more efficient in their funding."

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6. Program Management and Efficiency

This section of the study makes reference to several program management issues that were identified in the Terms of Reference. These include the extent to which ACA has implemented the recommendations from the last evaluation, its efforts in performance measurement systems, grants administration and the relation between program resources and demands.

6.1 Implementation of Recommendations from 2002 Evaluation

Finding 24: The Program has implemented to varying degrees all of the recommendations emerging from the 2002 evaluation, with the exception of the development of a policy framework for the Third Pillar, which has been overtaken by the IPS.

The 2002 report on the evaluation of the Arts Promotion program made five recommendations to improve Program performance. These are all noted in Exhibit 6.1. Of these, program management, in their Management Response to the study, agreed that the first recommendation on the need to develop a policy framework for the Third Pillar was the most important. The policy framework, however, is beyond the exclusive domain of ACA. Furthermore, concerns about a policy framework for the Third Pillar have been overtaken by the IPS and by the PD strategic framework.

Two of the evaluation's recommendations refer to a performance measurement system, which is currently being rolled out by ACA. The recommendations also introduce service and efficiency standards, which have been difficult to meet in part because of the consultation process with the Posts. Comments on the progress in implementing each of the recommendations are provided in the following table.

Exhibit 6.1 Progress on Implementation of the 2002 Recommendations
RecommendationComment
Build the necessary policy framework to support the Third PillarHas not been implemented by FAC
ACA has been engaged in the policy discussions on the IPS and the new Public Diplomacy strategic framework.
The 2002 RMAF, RBAF provided a framework for ACD, although some of the components that correspond to the Arts Promotion Program are now out of date
Increase program efficiency by reducing the time from grant request to grant approval to 60 days or lessPartially implemented.
Staff self-assessment indicates that this has not been achieved in all the disciplines because of consultations process, competing demands faced by some staff, and different grant making dynamics in each discipline.
Administrative processing is facilitated by Promart.
Institute a performance measurement system that will measure elapsed time for key operations and that will measure satisfaction levels from priority Missions and from "client" artists as part of the on-going activity of the programImplementation has begun.
The RMAF and reporting tools have been developed. These were rolled out at the end of 2004.
Introduce performance standards and use these as benchmarks for the performance measuresImplementation has begun.
Modify the filing system for the maintenance of ACA recordsImplemented.
Promart provides the centralized filing system, however, program staff (even data base manager) do not have direct access to the Data Base Software used to query the data base because of data security concerns. This would seem to limit the usefulness of the system.

6.2 Managing for Results

Finding 25: ACA is to be recognized for its efforts in the design and initial stages of implementation of a performance measurement system. Although there will be some challenges in moving towards use of the system in managing for results, progress has been made.

In recent years, Arts Promotion Program has introduced a series of measures to enhance its results orientation and accountability. These are noted in Exhibit 6.2

Exhibit 6.2 Overview of Dates and Milestones in Performance Management at ACA
YearMilestone
2000The on-line grants management system, Promart, introduced
2002Evaluation report released, recommending implementation of performance measurement system
ACD's RMAF is approved
Revised Terms and Conditions for the Arts Promotion Program
2004Consultancy to review implementation of performance measurement system
2004Initiate the roll-out of templates that form part of the reporting system on the RMAF
Promart rewrite begins

ACA is recognized for making significant progress in the design and early stages of implementation of a performance measurement system. Some of the challenges emerging, which may need to be addressed in subsequent stages, include:

  • Limited staff capacity (time) at HQ to "roll-up" the data and then use it to inform strategic and operational decision-making; some staff note difficulties in finding time to read and analyze the reports that are submitted.
  • Scepticism at the Posts about the relative importance and use of the data being collected; this is compounded in some cases by the fact that Posts have had limited participation in the definition of results frameworks for the Program and sometimes lack information about the expectations and needs for results reporting.
  • The extent to which the Promart rewrite will able to incorporate the necessary forms/templates in order to facilitate reporting on the RMAF.

With regard to the RMAF, there is the question of what and how it should be updated to reflect the current vision for the Program. For example, how does the strategic framework for public diplomacy (the triangle) relate to the outcomes and indicators specified for this program? We also note that the reporting formats currently ask Posts to provide examples of the kinds of activities they would repeat and the lessons learned in implementing their cultural strategy. This is valuable information and could be useful to other Posts, but it is not clear if there is a mechanism or forum for sharing these experiences. We suggest that the next review of the RMAF consider these issues, as well as the implications of the IPS.

6.3 Granting Process and Administration

The Terms and Conditions for a class of grants in support of cultural relations apply until the end of fiscal year 2006-2007. Stakeholders did not raise any particular concerns with regards to the existing Terms and Conditions.

Finding 26: Despite some on-going discontent with Promart, ACA's process for grant administration is largely recognized as being clear, transparent and efficient.

Interviews with the grant recipients suggest that the program is well known in the artistic milieu. The objectives of the program and the specific opportunities it offers artists (compared to other government programs that support the arts) are clear. Eighty-nine per cent (89%) of survey respondents agreed that the criteria and objectives of the program were clear and 87% believed that the eligibility criteria were clearly stated. One interviewee nonetheless cautioned that self managing artists who spend less time on administrative tasks may be less well informed in this respect than artists who are supported by a tour manager, agent, promoter, curator, etc.

The on-line grants system, Promart, provides a platform for management that is transparent and consistent. A large number of the interviewees mentioned that they initially had problems with Promart but as one interviewee put it "we finally wrestled it to the ground." The overall impression is that Promart itself has not gotten any easier to use, but that grant applicants are now used to the system.

Most of the complaints about the system have to do with its flexibility and user-friendliness. As one grant recipient remarked, Promart "was not versatile enough to be able to factor in anything that deviated even slightly from its set parameters", including a budget line item that deviates from "standard" grants and allowing a space for comments. Another complaint was that Promart is not fully compatible with the Macintosh operating system. Finally, many commented that the current system does not allow grant applicants to print the final version of what is being sent in (to get a printed copy that can be used for internal record keeping).

Nonetheless, the majority of survey respondents (87%) agreed that the Arts Promotion Program staff provides adequate support in the grants process, and a significant number of interviewees confirmed that the Staff is very clear, available and supportive. One interviewee mentioned that while the Program seems rigidly structured, the staff is as flexible as they can possibly be within those boundaries, and another said of the staff's communication "it doesn't feel like I'm dealing with a faceless bureaucracy." Indeed, one respondent mentioned that she knew "of no other government agency that was so willing to help."

Finding 27: Some applicants question the process that requires them to submit a schedule well in advance of their activity.

The requirement to submit an itinerary far in advance may deter or disqualify applicants that are not able to confirm the minimum amount of bookings before the application deadline. "Going to a film festival is not like going to the market: we don't know the people we will meet beforehand. Going to a film festival is like going fishing." As noted earlier, this condition may affect lesser-known artists (who find it hard to secure all of the bookings beforehand) and artists performing in certain kinds of media or genres where less formal planning takes place (alternative musicians, for example).

Furthermore, the 6-8 week period for grant approval, "while fully reasonable by government standards, is simply not compatible with the short notice given by most international events." As the respondent noted, this may put the candidate in the uncertain position of borrowing money to actually attend the event. In recognition of this, other institutions, such as Canada Council, do finance the touring of some artists to perform or attend events where invitations are not sent out months in advance.

Similarly, artists operating in markets where last minute changes are more common find that their actual tour schedule differs significantly from the tour planned for originally and submitted to the Arts Promotion Program for financing. This is inconvenient during the application process (because very little is effectively settled beforehand) as well as afterwards, since the organisers must keep updating (and getting approval from) the program staff as their program changes/evolves. Program staff also recognizes the additional strain that arises from constant updates and approvals, and the potential for causing delays in the overall grant cycle.

Finally, the Program does not distinguish between bigger events that require more advance planning and more financing and the smaller events that require less funding, are planned for in less time, and require more flexibility and shorter decision deadlines.

Finding 28: Grant approval and fund allocation have been timely overall, with only a few exceptions that have caused problems to grant recipients.

Eighty-two per cent (82%) of survey respondents indicated that they received notice of grant approval within the time frame that was indicated by Program staff and 83% reported that funds were disbursed in a timely manner. Indeed most interviewees did not indicate any problems in the general administrative process once they had been approved for funding and one recipient who has been receiving funding for over 20 years indicated that the delay in getting a reply from FAC has reduced significantly in the last three years. This is a notable achievement, because as one interviewee comments the "allocation of funds could always be faster since cash flow is crucial."

Nonetheless, there were punctual indications of significant delays in the decision making process and in fund disbursement. In a few cases, notification of funding was received with very little time before the event, which created potential or real additional costs for the recipient. In the first case, one curator, faced with a long delay in the confirmation of grant approval, took the chance of printing and boxing all of the material beforehand and shipped out the exhibition the day she received the approval. These sort of gambles would have been extremely costly to the gallery had the grant been denied (because posters and other material had already been produced by that point).

In the second case, one survey respondent notes that "by the time the grant was finally awarded (a week before the exhibition was scheduled) I had had to cancel the original dates and try to re-schedule after the grant was awarded, which made travel and shipping more expensive." One of the filmmakers interviewed mentioned that twice he received the confirmation of the grant to travel to a festival when he was already there (in one case, on the last day of the festival) and that if he had known about the financing earlier, this would have changed his behaviour and actions at the festival (at the very least, he would have been able to thank FAC).

There are also some examples of delays in funds allocation. One performing arts group received the first instalment of their grant at the airport prior to boarding so that the Minister could use the occasion for a photo opportunity, and another reports receiving the grant after the tour was finished. One survey respondent notes that he received his grant for a trip taken in the summer of 2002 in 2003, and only after calling to request information on the grant status. Also, he reports "I was told had I not then contacted the office, I would have lost it."

Finding 29: Although ACA generally operates an efficient and accountable grants process, it appears to have less capacity to monitor and learn from the process.

According to Treasury Board policy, government departments must establish policies and procedures that ensure that capacity exists to effectively deliver and administer transfer payment programs, including monitoring, learning and training.(7) Through its publicly accessible, automated platform and central filing system for grants, ACA is able to deliver a transparent program that includes a broad consultation process. The Promart system has allowed ACA to address shortcomings presented in the 2002 Evaluation report. In addition, the reporting requirements on grants, which are the same for all grant applicants, go beyond the standard accountability measures for grants.

The system, however, may still not be meeting the full needs of the Program. At the time of the interviews, it was expected that the Promart rewrite commissioned by ACA would help tackle a number of the bugs in the program and add new features. As referenced in the section on managing for results, it is hoped that Promart would facilitate reporting on the RMAF. There are some features, however, that are not yet being used to serve program management. One of the key limitations is the use of reports submitted through Promart. Staff comments indicate that they often do not have the time to regularly review, analyze, and share the lessons emerging from these reports. Therefore, the Program has more limited means and opportunities to reflect and learn about the grant recipients (the kinds of companies, films, etc.) that are most effective for public diplomacy.

In terms of efficiency, the primary reference point for the study has been the perception of grants recipients and the staff self-assessment. The full data to assess grants to administration, as an indicator of efficiency, is not available. This calculation would also have to factor in the time (transaction cost) of the consultations.

6.4 Resources to Implement the Program

Finding 30: Staffing levels, arrangements, and competing demands on staff time are factors that limit ACA's ability to manage the program more effectively and efficiently.

Many of the external stakeholders commend ACA staff for their commitment and knowledge, and for being forward looking. They also recognize that Program resources are stretched. Several people on the ACA team commented on the busy and demanding nature of their positions. "People [on the outside] grossly underestimate how busy the division is."

ACA has a dual role of managing a grants program and providing services to constituencies. The constituencies include Posts, Geographics, OGDs, grant applicants and recipients, Members of Parliament, and the general public. Sometimes the services can be provided instantly (answering common questions); on other occasions they may require the staff member to conduct more extensive research (on the subject of rights, for example). The self-assessment made by a few members of the staff is that the service is not adequate (mostly in reference to the timeliness of the responses).

One theme emerging from a number of the interviews is that the Program does not have the staffing levels required to meet the expectations in grants management and servicing. One of the interviewees even suggested that it would be in the Program's interest to give less grants and use some of those resources to fill staffing positions. This would free some time to learn from the work and to strategize about how to improve.

There is an apparent gap--in terms of the knowledge and support that can be provided-- between the Program Officer (specialists in certain disciplines) and the Promart and support staff. As a result, some staff members identify the need for a junior program officer position. This officer would have a more generalist background and would help in grants management and in providing services to external constituencies. The need for support is noted more acutely in the Performance Arts discipline because of the overall budget, the grant making cycle that intensifies work during certain periods, and the size of the individual grants.

Exhibit 6.3 Staffing that is Related to Grants Administration
DisciplineApprox. Grants BudgetProgram OfficersProMart StaffOther
Performing Arts$3.1 million1 FTE3.5 FTEs (help desk, grant agreements, payments requests)
1/3 FTE Promart supervisor
Support from Deputy Director, Director, Finance
Visual and Media Arts$694,2501 FTE
Literature$473,0001 FTE
Film and Video$193,1201 FTE

Source: ACA Grants allocation budget for FY2003-2004; interviews with staff

Other interviewees suggest that the best way of alleviating workload is to hire additional support staff. The lack of support staff has meant that for some Program Officers, a considerable amount of time is spent answering emails and phone calls. The staff that is hired on contract basis only may not be the solution since they create some instability and do not add to corporate memory. Some of the positions that are key in making the Promart system work are not permanent positions.

Additional demands on the Program's time include the briefings to stakeholders in FAC, the writing of Memorandums to Cabinet, etc. Although a lot of management's time is spent justifying "why we do what we do", the interviews indicate that there have been improvements in this aspect over the last few years.

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7. Examples Of Good Practices

During the course of our interviews and field visits, people pointed to a wide range of arts and culture initiatives that had been effective tools of public diplomacy. Only a few of these are highlighted below.

Outreach Activities Linked to the Artistic Event

The public diplomacy effects of arts and culture increase when the artist is able to engage with people in different ways outside of the actual performance. ACA and the Posts have supported a variety of initiatives that provide opportunities to engage with a more diverse target audience.

Although the 2003 NAC tour of major cities in Mexico and the United States is a more resource-intensive illustration of this strategy, it is worth noting because of the variety of media used to engage the public both in the countries visited and in Canada. Music Director Pinchas Zukerman conducted a teaching and performance tour that featured 10 orchestra concerts and more than 70 education and outreach events for thousands of elementary, high school, and university students. NAC also made use of the technology for distance learning by using video-conferencing to link elementary students in Monterrey, Chicago, and Ottawa in an hour-long session. The Orchestra developed and distributed resource kits for teachers in English, French, and Spanish. NAC's education website featured a section dedicated to tour activities that included photo journals, web journals written by the musicians, webcasts of the education events, etc. This meant that visitors to the site could follow the Orchestra throughout the tour.

Social Inclusion Dimension Linked to the Arts/Culture Event

In countries such as Brazil, cultural events are considered more effective if they include a social dimension that helps to reach sectors of the population and communities that do not typically have access to such events. A number of the examples of Canadian participation illustrated this link. One of these initiatives was the participation of David Raymond, hip-hop and street dancer from Vancouver, as a teacher and performer in the international dance festival "Dance Brazil." The festival provides more than 50 scholarships to young dancers who do not have the means to pay for their participation. All of the foreign dancers invited to the festival give master classes to these students.

Art that Projects Canada's Ways of Doing Things

As noted earlier in the report, Posts and ACA have supported cultural events that facilitate a more direct projection of Canada's identity, values, and position on advocacy issues. The examples of the play "Bhopal" by Rahul Varma and photography exhibits by Ken Lum have already been described (Section 4.1.2). Another example is found in San Francisco, where the Post supported the screening of "Touch of Pink", a Canada-UK production by Ian Iqbal Rashid, at the opening night gala of the San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

8. Conclusions and Recommendations

In general, the Arts Promotion Program is recognized for meeting the objectives of promoting Canadian arts and culture that have guided its development since the 1970s. There is a cultural presence in selected countries, although the level may be insufficient in some cases. The Program has clearly helped to improve professional opportunities for Canadian artists and it has facilitated - along with other members of the cultural community--a place for Canada in the mainstream of international artistic excellence.

There is evidence that ACA is achieving the results presented in ACD's 2002 Results-based Management and Accountability Framework. The study finds that ACA's contributions to intermediate and long-term outcomes may be limited by the level of resources (funds and people), the Program's historical approach, and capacities at the Posts. These factors are perceived to have influenced the extent to which arts and culture are effectively used to advance Canada's foreign policy objectives.

In response to the split of DFAIT and the introduction of the new Public Diplomacy strategic framework, the Program has introduced changes in its vision and programming approach over the past year and a half. These changes, such as the requirement of cultural strategies at the Posts and the incorporation of public outreach components as part of artistic events, are designed to help strengthen arts and cultural activities as tools of public diplomacy. Although these changes are in their early stages, there are indications that these will keep the program relevant to the new international policy statement.

Over the past years, the program has been relevant to the Third Pillar and to the needs of many key stakeholders, including cultural partners in Canada and abroad. Posts are one of the key stakeholders for the Arts Promotion Program. There are some Posts that have an extensive network and the capacity to directly engage arts and cultural groups that will help them achieve their business plan and strategic objectives. Others with less capacity in-house express the need for ACA to play a greater role as a centre of excellence, or a centre for sourcing public diplomacy excellence.

The evaluation also finds that the Program is efficient and accountable in its operations, with no major issues to be raised with respect to grant making. In its efforts to manage for results, some of the main challenges faced by the Program will be the continued roll out and use of the performance measurement system. Competing demands on staff time and staffing levels are perceived to affect ACA's ability to increase its effectiveness.

Recommendations

The following recommendations have been inspired by the opportunity we sensed in many of our interviews for the Department to confirm its role as the "central agency" for the arts and cultural component of Canada's international public diplomacy.

Recommendation 1: FAC should consider developing ACA as a centre of sourcing public diplomacy excellence in arts and culture.

A Centre of Excellence would bring together a set of essential functions to support the successful delivery of arts and cultural events that support Canada's foreign policy objectives. These functions would include policy development, developing a network of arts and cultural resources that can be tools for public diplomacy, providing expertise and advice to FAC stakeholders, providing financial resources, and developing guidelines and directions. Its mandate would be to support Missions abroad in sourcing the expression of Canadian art and culture--be it popular/ people-to-people, or professional--that could be most useful for their public diplomacy strategies. ACA has already been engaged in these functions to a greater or lesser extent, but there is a perception that the Program's current resources limit its potential to be more strategic and play the kind of role that several of the Posts that we interviewed would like to see them play. This demand is likely to increase as public diplomacy is mainstreamed in the Department.

In order to be effective, however, this shift would require additional resources or a redistribution of current resources.

Recommendation 2: ACA should continue to develop new tools and approaches and to build capacities within FAC so that arts and culture are used as an effective tool of public diplomacy and are perceived as such by internal and external stakeholders.

ACA has recently introduced a number of changes to align its programming with the changing context and the new Public Diplomacy strategic framework. These changes are moving the Program away from an emphasis on promotion/market development of Canadian arts and culture. We recommend that FAC continue with this process and consider new and alternative ways in which arts and culture can be recognized as a tool of public diplomacy. This will require further capacity building among different stakeholders of FAC. It will also demand a communications component so that internal and external stakeholders become aware of the public diplomacy thrust of the Program. One of the key aspects to review are the Program documents that portray what the Program is and what it aims to achieve. This includes the RMAF, brochures, as well as the criteria and guidelines for grantmaking.

In the process, ACA should consider adjustments that could be made to incorporate a broader array of the artistic expressions in Canada (e.g. youth and other groups), as noted by several people consulted in this study, to the extent that this could also add public diplomacy value. Similarly, the support of non-professional artists should also be considered when there is a demand from the Posts, but resources would need to be made available for this.

At the same time, because of its history of support to the artistic community, ACA will need to manage the implications of these changes (if any) for grant funding. Canadian artists have become a key constituency for the program and they see ACA as a crucial source of funding for developing opportunities internationally. Alternative sources of support for arts promotion should be identified with other government departments.

Recommendation 3: ACA should explore ways in which it could emphasize services to the Posts and provide a greater level of resources in support of Post-driven public diplomacy strategies.

There are a number of ways in which ACA could enhance its services to the Posts. In fact, several of ACA's current practices could either be scaled up or adapted to different situations. One way in which some of the staff has tried to provide timely responses to Post requests is through the preparation of information sheets or FAQs (e.g., How to organize a film festival). This could be done on a broader basis, time permitting. A complementary strategy would be to centralize the queries so that one person (perhaps a junior program officer) has the responsibility of receiving the queries from Posts, responding to them with FAQs or other general information, if pertinent, or in the case of more complex demands, forwarding the requests to the heads of each discipline. This could help to reduce the demands on time of some of the program officers.

Another approach that has been noted in the report is the provision of "strategic" grants that have fulfilled the program's objectives and also helped to provide materials and services to the Posts. This type of strategy could be more fully developed.

One of the issues to be clarified in the Program's strategy is the type and level of service that is provided to Posts. Do you provide the same level of service to all Posts? Do you prioritize those that receive cultural allocations? Do you prioritize only the countries that are geographic priorities? Do you prioritize those that have less in-house capacity to do the networking and find the information on their own?

The limiting factor for many of these is the human resource capacity. Staff is stretched enough with their day-to-day activities. The issues of staffing are further addressed in Recommendation 5, but it is conceivable that interns could provide some support under the supervision of the heads of discipline, at least in the preparation of FAQs.

Recommendation 4: FAC should strengthen capacities at the Posts to use arts and cultural programming as tools of public diplomacy.

This evaluation notes the very important role that is played by Canada's Embassies abroad in ensuring that artistic and cultural events can help to meet their overall mission and business planning objectives. In other words, the Posts are key in developing linkages between the events and FAC's foreign policy aims. The strategic "use" of arts and culture requires a number of Post capacities that have been identified in Section 4.4, including leadership, tools (such as integrated PD strategies and reports), financial resources, and human resources. Human resources are particularly important since much of PD centers on building strategic relationships.

Recommendation 5: ACA should develop a written strategy that clearly articulates the priorities and different components of the program.

A strategy document provides a means of articulating what the Program aims to achieve and how it will achieve it. A strategy also serves to communicate with "clients" about what the program does and what it does not do in each of its business lines or service areas. We recommend that ACA develop a short strategy that outlines its purpose (mission), service areas, and priorities. In doing so, ACA should also assess the current strategy in terms of the mix of resources allocated to the primarily reactive components (awarding grants to those who apply) and the potentially proactive components. The Proactive components may include the transfers to missions and new proactive actions at headquarters in which ACA goes out to look for what is needed to meet public diplomacy objectives. The level of funding resources is critical to enabling a more proactive approach at HQ.

The Program would also need to establish and periodically update clear and transparent operational priorities (link to Departmental priorities) that would be used to target the program's resources more effectively. The priorities and the rationale for them should be shared with stakeholders in FAC, OGDs, and other partners in the cultural community.

Recommendation 6: ACA should invigorate its efforts to develop partnerships with OGDs, private sector, provinces, and other stakeholders that could strengthen the potential for synergies and increased impact.

Although there are working relationships between ACA and programs in OGDs, these are usually on a project or case-by-case basis (consultations about grants, the development of specific joint initiatives). There are few opportunities for a systematic exchange of information and strategizing among the programs/departments of the Federal Government. The recommendations in this area include more regular communications on the evolving priorities of each institution, discussions of the trends in the different disciplines, and increased efforts to develop a strategy for horizontal cooperation. This is particularly important given that there is some misunderstanding among other departments about ACA's role in arts promotion.

There are similar opportunities for partnering with provinces and cities in Canada. FAC has also helped to introduce current partners (grant recipients) to potential collaborators in the private sector. This is another key form of leverage of resources that the Program could do more of. (In some countries, Canadian companies could be brought on board as partners of the Embassy in cultural programming but often the direction must come from the company's headquarters.)

Although ACA staff recognizes the importance of partnering, "time" has been the principal limitation for doing more with each of these stakeholders. Thus, little change can be expected in this area unless resources are freed up to engage with partners.

Recommendation 7: In the near term, the Program should conduct a more thorough review of the program's staffing structure and responsibilities to confirm apparent gaps in staffing and explore alternative arrangements that could help the Program become more effective and efficient.

Many stakeholders share the perception that the program's capacity is stretched. The stress placed on staff is more acute in some areas than in others because of the variety of demands, volume of the grant portfolio, or grant cycle. There is an apparent gap in the staffing structure of the Program. Some suggest that additional support staff is what is required. Others indicate that a junior program officer who is a generalist could help provide back-stopping to specialists. Furthermore, the reliance on contracts rather than on permanent positions may place additional strains on the program.

These issues require a more thorough review so that when additional staff resources are brought on they are filling the roles that are most needed in the program. An optimum staffing arrangement would allow staff to allocate more time and effort in the areas that could help improve program performance, such as strategy (planning and review), using the performance measurement system, providing relevant services to the Posts, developing partners, leveraging additional resources, etc.

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Appendix I - List of Findings

Finding 1: There has been little change in several features of the Program's grant activity, including the typical grant size, grant recipient's province of origin, and the relative distribution of grants across disciplines since the 2001 evaluation.

Finding 2: ACA transferred $8 million to Posts over the past five years for cultural events. These transfers are now linked to Post cultural/public diplomacy strategies, a positive development that is aimed at explicitly linking these events to the Post's mission and business planning objectives.

Finding 3: Over the years, Posts have developed a variety of approaches to cultural programming in priority countries and deliver hundreds of activities that feature Canadian values and culture each year.

Finding 4: Partnership and leverage of resources are common features of the cultural programming at the Posts that have public diplomacy benefits in terms of added value, outreach, and relationship building, as well as potential limitations.

Finding 5: Study participants report that foreign audiences are generally enthusiastic about Canadian arts and have taken away a curiosity for Canada and an image of Canadian art that is high calibre and creative.

Finding 6: At the Posts, there is anecdotal evidence of the use of cultural events to gain access to decision-makers and raise the visibility and recognition for Canada among select audiences.

Finding 7: ACA grants have contributed to the development of new professional opportunities abroad for Canadian artists, including an increased demand for their work and a network of contacts.

Finding 8: The artistic quality and excellence of Canadian artists is recognized abroad. About 40% of ACA-funded artists that responded to the survey have received international awards.

Finding 9: The international exposure gained through ACA grants also helped to enhance the profile and prestige of the artist in Canada, despite general disappointment with the response of the Canadian media.

Finding 10: There is an emerging gap between how the program is beginning to articulate its vision and objectives in the new context and how it is perceived by stakeholders or portrayed in certain documents. Such a gap is natural in a period of transition.

Finding 11: The Program has generally met its original objectives oriented towards cultural development and promotion, which guided the program's development from the1970s until 2004/2005 when the new FAC structure and public diplomacy strategic framework were introduced.

Finding 12: The Program made progress towards the short-term outcomes related to the presence of Canadian professionals in high quality presentations abroad and the engagement of foreign agents/impresarios. There are several factors, such as resources, approach, and capacities that may limit the contributions to the Bureau's intermediate and long-term outcomes.

Finding 13: The Program's strategy is primarily reactive and based on leverage/partnership approach. At the Posts, there are more opportunities to be proactive when the necessary capacities are in place.

Finding 14: The Program's allocation of resources illustrates that certain key countries-- mainly G-8--continue to be central in the promotion of Canadian culture abroad. Some of the new priority countries are on the rise, but with a much lower level of representation.

Finding 15: Members of the cultural community recognize the quality of grant recipients, yet they raise some concerns about limited access to the Program by some artists and repeat funding for others. These concerns again reflect a potential misconception about what the Program aims to accomplish.

Finding 16: Some of the types of grants provided by ACA enable the "servicing" component of the Program.

Finding 17: The Arts Promotion Program has been relevant to the Third Pillar, although its contributions have been limited by the availability of resources. For on-going relevance, it will need to continue the change in thrust from arts promotion to public diplomacy that is currently underway.

Finding 18: The Program is perceived by some stakeholders in FAC to have an emphasis on arts promotion, which may not always respond to public diplomacy needs at the Posts.

Finding 19: Posts have different expectations for ACA. Some Posts call for ACA to become a Centre of Sourcing Excellence for their public diplomacy strategies.

Finding 20: FAC's role has been relevant to the needs of the artistic community in Canada and of the cultural partners overseas.

Finding 21: FAC's Arts Promotion Program has played a crucial role in supporting the international exposure of Canadian artists. 89% of the survey respondents indicate that they could not have engaged in their activity without this support.

Finding 22: The Missions abroad have somewhat met the expectations of grant recipients. The level of enthusiasm, responsiveness and initiative of the Missions with respect to the grant recipient's activity varies greatly.

Finding 23: Other Government Departments perceive FAC's Program to play a role in arts promotion internationally and note the need for more collaborative and long- term strategies among all departments involved in this area.

Finding 24: The Program has implemented to varying degrees all of the recommendations emerging from the 2002 evaluation, with the exception of the development of a policy framework for the Third Pillar, which has been overtaken by the IPS.

Finding 25: ACA is to be recognized for its efforts in the design and initial stages of implementation of a performance measurement system. Although there will be some challenges in moving towards use of the system in managing for results, progress has been made.

Finding 26: Despite some on-going discontent with Promart, ACA's process for grant administration is largely recognized as being clear, transparent and efficient.

Finding 27: Some applicants question the process that requires them to submit a schedule well in advance of their activity.

Finding 28: Grant approval and fund allocation have been timely overall, with only a few exceptions that have caused problems to grant recipients.

Finding 29: Although ACA generally operates an efficient and accountable grants process, it appears to have less capacity to monitor and learn from the process.

Finding 30: Staffing levels, arrangements, and competing demands on staff time are factors that limit ACA's ability to manage the program more effectively and efficiently.

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Appendix II - Management Response

RecommendationCommitments / ActionsExpected ResultsResponsibility CentreKey Dates and DeadlinesStatus
1) FAC should consider developing ACA as a centre of sourcing public diplomacy excellence in arts and culture.This has happened new organization structure underscored role of PD within department and role of ACA in culture. PFM  
2) ACA should continue to develop new tools and approaches and to build capacities within FAC so that arts and culture are used as an effective tool of public diplomacy and are perceived as such by internal and external stakeholders.ACA has embarked on a number of measures.
New tools and approaches:
1) ACA is launching a new grant program - the "Cross-cultural Program".
New tools and approaches:

1) The "Cross-cultural Program" will seek to create real, sustainable networks of cultural exchange and dialogue, and to create stronger linkages between FAC priorities and arts and cultural initiatives abroad.
New tools and approaches:
ACA
New tools and approaches:
1) Cross-Culture program should be operative by the fall of 2005
New tools and approaches:
1) Criteria and guidelines being finalized
2) A major review of the grant administration processes is being undertaken. This review addresses every aspect of the administrative process from filing systems and file tracking, to the management of phone and email enquiries.2) The administration reform will increase efficiencies, improve response time to clients, and contribute to the greater transparency of the grant application review process.2) The Admin Reform has been going on since May 2005 and the major elements should be completed by September 2005.2) Ongoing
3) A major rewrite of the web-based application program, Promart, is underway.3) The Promart rewrite will provide much greater ease of use by clients, providing better service to the public. It will also reduce the workload of administrative support staff who receive many calls for assistance. It will also make the processing of grant applications more efficient.3) December 20053) Ongoing
4) A thorough review and rewrite of the grants program criteria and guidelines are planned.4) The Program Review will seek to ensure that grants program objectives are in line with FAC foreign policy and public diplomacy objectives and that the grant criteria reflect those objectives. The review will also ensure the greatest transparency possible, enhancing the program's credibility internally and externally.4) The Program Review with be undertaken in September and October 2005.4) In preparation
5) Training will be developed for public affairs officers at post on financial authorities5) Training will improve accountability of arts and cultural programming managed at post.5) 2005/20065) Ongoing
6) FAC will work in partnership with Canadian Heritage in the development of a pre-departure CFSI course on Canadian arts and culture policy.6) Pre-departure training in arts and culture policy will help the department to deliver on its commitment to "mainstream" public diplomacy.6) 2005/066) Ongoing
7) In a pilot project, Missions will be required to provide country strategies, a component of which will see the integration of arts and culture as tools of public diplomacy.7) The country strategies will generate more effective programming and a more efficient use of resources.7) Fall 20057) Pilot
8) Post public diplomacy funding is linked to the PD strategies they are now, as of this fiscal, required to submit.8) PD strategies will require Posts to be more strategic in their PD thinking and will allow ACA to be more strategic its PD allocations.8) Begun in Spring 20058) Ongoing
9) Exploring a new MOU with Canada Council to more clearly define and assert the foreign policy role of arts promotion at FAC.   
Building capacities:
1) A Public Diplomacy unit will be established within ACD.
Building capacities:
1) The establishment of a overarching Public Diplomacy unit will provide a strategic oversight / coordinating / governance function within the Department.
Building capacities:
PFM/ACD
Building capacities:
1) Fall 2005
Building capacities:
1) Ongoing
2) The work of the administration reform measures referred to above necessarily incorporate elements of capacity building.2) In significantly improving the grants administration process the administration reform will increase the capacity of grant program officers to be more pro-active in public diplomacy and post liaison. Providing clearer task designation among administrative support staff and between the support staff and the program officers will also contribute to broader capacity building.2) Admin Reform is in advanced stages2) Ongoing
3) The ACA should explore ways in which it could emphasize services to the Posts and provide a greater level of resources in support of Post-driven public diplomacy strategies.1) ACA's Admin Reform is well under way, and the Grant Program Review is being launched.1) ACA's Admin Reform and the Grant Program Review both seek to facilitate greater involvement of the program officers in public diplomacy development in general and with the posts specifically.ACA1) Admin Reform - September 2005
Program reform
- November 2005
1) Admin Reform
- on going
Program reform
- on going
2) Measures have been introduced which require Posts to submit public diplomacy strategies.2) Encouraging Posts to submit public diplomacy strategies will ensure that posts begin to think about public diplomacy more strategically. It will also help ACA consider its grant applications within that broader public diplomacy optic.2) In Place2) First year complete; on going on a yearly basis
3) ACA has also sought to engage Geographic Bureaux in strategic thinking in its public diplomacy allocations to posts.3) Involving the Geographic Bureaux will help to ensure that ACA's grant allocations are in line with FAC's broader foreign policy objectives.3) Ongoing3) Ongoing
4) Missions will be required to provide country strategies.4) The development of country strategies will mean that resources will be more efficiently utilized and more strategically driven.4) Winter 20054) Ongoing
5) Transform geographical envelopes into IPS-driven programming.5) Linking geographic envelopes to IPS objectives will make strategic and efficient use of PD resources.5) Underway5) Ongoing
4) FAC should strengthen capacities at the Posts to use arts and cultural programming as tools of public diplomacy.1) ACA has recommended the development of an applied policy framework including best practices, specific to public diplomacy officers to develop more strategic use of the arts and public diplomacy.1) Training materials specific to public diplomacy officers would help to develop more strategic thinking on the arts and public diplomacy and enable greater communication between the Posts and HQ on public diplomacy matters.PFM / ACD  
2) Post public diplomacy strategies will encourage dialogue between Missions and HQ.2) ACA feedback and dialogue around Post submitted public diplomacy strategies will also help develop public diplomacy thinking and lead to more integrated and efficient use of arts and culture activities.  
5) The ACA should develop a written strategy that clearly articulates the priorities and different components of the program.1) An initial step will be the review and rewrite of the grants program criteria and guidelines.1) The grant program reform will require a clear articulation of the objectives of the current four Grants programs as well as the new Cross Cultural Program.ACA1) November 20051) Ongoing
2) A Public Diplomacy division within ACD will be established.2) The establishment of a Public Diplomacy division will see a further articulation of ACD's policy component and objectives.PFM/ACD2) Winter 2005 
6) The ACA should invigorate its efforts to develop partnerships with OGDs, private sector, provinces, and other stakeholders that could strengthen the potential for synergies and increased impact.1) A major review of the grant administration processes is being undertaken.1) In significantly improving the grants administration process the administrative reform will increase the capacity of grant program officers to be more pro-active in their stakeholders outreach.ACA1) November 20051) Ongoing
2) Development of provincial and territorial engagement strategies by CFP which will inform ACA arts and cultural decision-making process.2) The provincial and territorial strategies will better guide domestic outreach by highlighting mutual areas of interest, possibly leading to partnership opportunities.CFP2) Autumn 2005 
3) Refine the MOU with Canada Council to underscore different roles and responsibilities.    
4) Meeting with PCH on a range of new policy frameworks and MC's.    
7) In the near term, the Program should conduct a more thorough review of the program's staffing structure and responsibilities to confirm apparent gaps in staffing and explore alternative arrangements that could help the Program become more effective and efficient.Such a review is underway, and many of the elements mentioned above are responses to that review:
1) Admin reform with clearer lines of command.
1) Tasks are being more clearly defined for current grant administration support staff. These will provide a clearer structure and line of command within the admin support unit and their working relationship with the program officers . This will allow program officers to better engage with the posts as well as to be more pro-active in domestic and international outreach.ACA1) September 20051) Ongoing
2) A Public Diplomacy division will be established.2) The establishment of a Public Diplomacy unit will lead to the development of a more coherent and focused policy group.2) Fall 20052) ????
3) New positions being created. 3) 2005/2006 

1 Taken from brochure entitled "Culture: The face of Canada abroad!"

2 The year noted in Promart database reflects a calendar year, not the Fiscal Year. Unless stated otherwise, all references to years in the grants data are to calendar years.

3 Post Annual Arts Promotion Strategy, Delhi 2004-2005.

4 Terms and Conditions for a Class of Grants in Support of Cultural Relations

5 During the data collection carried out in late 2004 and early 2005, respondents referred to this categorization of priority countries for FAC. This was subsequently updated in the IPS released by FAC later in 2005.

6 Program staff note that the purpose of inquiring about an applicant's marketing strategy is to identify the showcase potential of the particular event. Foreign policy priorities are the key driver in making decisions about grants.

7 Treasury Board Secretariat, Policy on Transfer payments, June 2000.

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Date Modified:
2012-09-22