I gave you a copy of a deck in French and English. I will essentially do a very short summary of that presentation.
This year—actually next week, on March 28—the Canada Council is celebrating 60 years since our founding. It's a very exciting time for the Canada Council. We are very deeply engaged in a profound transformation and, I would say, refoundation of the organization. Over the last two years we have been reconfiguring all our granting programs to make them more simple, more effective, and more outcome driven.
Basically what we're trying to do as an arts council is to support the artists and the artistic organizations more on their own terms, as opposed to telling them what to do in order to get money from the Canada Council. It's a less prescriptive model. It's more a model that is really open and answering and responding in an agile way to the needs, possibilities, and opportunities expressed by artists and artistic organizations.
Last year, the federal budget announced the progressive doubling of the budget of the Canada Council for the Arts over a five-year period. We have just concluded the first of these five years, for which we received an additional $40 million. For each following year until 2021, a $35-million amount will be added.
The council published a strategic plan that describes the broad orientations of the organization for the next years. I have provided copies of the document. Of course, the council's investments are in line with these orientations.
In the context of the doubling of our budget, we committed in a very ambitious way to dedicating 88% of the $500 million in new money directly to the arts sector. So there will be very little overhead. In fact, in the context of the doubling of our budget and with more volume in operations, our plan is to have only 16% more staff for that doubled operation. It's very aggressive, very ambitious, but also needed.
The first big project we had with the new money was to mark the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Canada. We created a program called “new chapter”.
In the context of that program, almost 2,100 exceptional projects were submitted to the Canada Council for the Arts. Those projects represented approximately 8.5 normal years of Canada Council subsidies. There is an immense demand. Unfortunately, we can only support close to 10% of those projects. We will soon be announcing which projects we decided to support.
The good news is that there are a lot of art projects across Canada, and those projects will really create what I would say is the artistic legacy of the 150th anniversary: unusual projects, unusual alliances between artists and artistic groups. We'll see over the years, but I think it will be a resounding success from an artistic and cultural point of view.
That's my presentation. I will be happy to answer any of your questions.