Last month, we shared news with our communities about our critical financial situation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and consequent drop in revenue. Covid has wreaked havoc on many organizations, and we were no exception. The decisions we made to postpone the summer issue, pause online publishing and layoff valued members of our team were some of the most difficult decisions we have ever made.
What we didn’t expect when we posted our announcement was the incredible response that followed. We have been overwhelmed with messages of support from our loyal readers and the many Canadians who make up our Canadian Art communities.
The prevailing narrative of these messages is that you believe, like we do, that Canadian Art is unique and worth preserving as a publication and platform for future generations of artists, writers, curators and creative communities.
As a result of your response and the hard work of many individuals, we will be initiating a board-supported fundraising campaign and feedback-gathering initiative at the end of this month.
We need your support and involvement.
The silver lining of a pause is that it has allowed us to reflect and begin to reimagine what Canadian Art is and can be. We know that we haven’t fully met the needs of our readers or our team and we are committed to changing that. Part of the change is being open to new, bold, thoughtful ideas about the future of publishing and being responsive to the ever-changing landscape of our art communities.
We have engaged OCAD University students and recent graduates through the Design4 Program to facilitate a 10-weeks process of reimagining what Canadian Art is and can be. Representing the future generation, we believe they will help us gain fresh ideas by conducting feedback-gathering interviews and polls with our communities, mapping the publishing landscape for new models of possibility, and providing recommendations for business models and organizational structures that are financially viable and reflective of our commitments to decolonization, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
We want to hear from you. We want you to be a part of the reimagining and reinventing of Canadian Art.
We know it will take both ideas and funds to turn Canadian Art around and get it right. But we are optimistic that with the support of our communities, we will not only find a way forward together but we will be better because of it.
Thank you so much for your support. Please look forward to our campaign, which will kick-off later this month.