Resources for artists

General arts

Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists, Ontario Chapter (CADA-ON)

This organization empowers and educates members, working towards self-representation. CADA-ON published an employment best practices guide, Professional Standards for Dance (PSD), in 2003, and released a new version in February 2009. Programs include the PSD, Training Subsidy Program, Accident Insurance, Professional Development, electronic communications and joint membership with Canadian Dance Assembly.

Canadian Conference of the Arts

This non-partisan, non-profit cultural advocacy organization provides a national forum for debate on cultural policy. It is a leading national advocate for Canada's artists and cultural institutions and industries.

Aboriginal artists

Association for Native Development in the Performing and Visual Arts

This, the country's leading Aboriginal arts service organization, represents more than 300 of the country's active artists. A member-driven, not-for-profit organization, it strives to serve Aboriginal arts through ongoing advocacy, special initiatives and resourceful programming.

Native Women in the Arts

This organization aims to expand to cultivate a new generation of artistic talent. It pursues the highest standards of artistic excellence by presenting high quality artists, and by offering exceptional professional development opportunities to emerging artists.

Media arts

Documentary Organization of Canada

Formerly known as the Canadian Independent Film Caucus, this is a national non-profit professional and advocacy organization dedicated to supporting the art of independent documentary filmmaking and filmmakers in Canada.

Independent Media Arts Alliance

This national network of independent film, video and electronic media producers, distributors and exhibitors from all parts of Canada promotes the improvement of means and access for independents at every stage of funding, production, distribution and exhibition. Its 84 organizations represent more than 12,000 artists and cultural workers. It has 26 members in Ontario.

Interactive Ontario

Interactive Ontario is a not-for-profit industry trade organization that represents over 100 interactive digital media companies. Its website also has a jobs board.

Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto

This organization supports the independent film community and celebrates the medium of film through programs and activities, including workshops, training and grants. It also provides access to equipment and facilities, and an online cast and crew database.

Trinity Square Video

This not-for-profit centre provides artists with video production/post-production support and services at accessible rates. It also offers workshops on creative and business issues related to filmmaking.

Performing arts (dance, theatre, music)

Canadian Independent Music Association

CIMA (formerly CIRPA) is the collective voice of the English language, Canadian-owned independent sector of the Canadian sound recording industry. Their mandate is to secure and develop a strong and economically stable domestic music industry.

Dance Ontario

Dance Ontario is a not-for-profit membership-based association that brings together a dynamic cross-section of all areas of the dance sector, from internationally renowned companies to local dance clubs, technicians and agents. Its website includes a directory and information about auditions, classes, rental spaces and shows.

Dance Umbrella of Ontario

This not-for-profit, non-membership-based organization provides quality management and administrative support to professional dance artists in Ontario and tries to help them succeed. It fosters a healthy dance community by promoting communication and interaction between and among dance artists, dance organizations, dance presenters, funders and the public.

Orchestras Canada

This arts service organization is the united voice of the Canadian orchestral community.  Its members include professional, community and youth orchestras, organizations and individuals.  Its website includes information about member orchestras across Canada and resources for musicians and administrators.

This registered national arts service organization is the voice of opera in Canada. Its professional company members include all of Canada's leading opera and music theatre companies. It also serves a growing number of business, affiliate, singer and individual members.

Professional Association of Canadian Theatres

This membership organization is the collective voice of professional Canadian theatres. Its website includes information about member companies across Canada, training and festivals.

Theatre Ontario

This is an association of community, educational and professional theatre organizations and individuals. It is dedicated to the development and maintenance of high quality, accessible theatre that reflects all segments of our society, in all parts of the province.

Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts

This is a professional arts service organization dedicated to advancing the arts in Toronto by promoting and advocating on behalf of local theatre, dance and opera companies. Its services also enhance its members' artistic, technical and administrative development.

Visual arts

Artist Run Centres and Collectives of Ontario

This Ontario network is affiliated with a national organization, the Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference. Both support the growth and development of artist-directed organizations engaged in contemporary cultural practice. This website lists all the artist-run centres in Ontario. These centres are publicly-funded, but differ from public art galleries, museums and commercial galleries in the diverse ways they promote contemporary art and help their artist members develop as professionals. They offer gallery exhibitions, offsite public art work, support for the artwork of a particular medium and/or support for the artwork of the regional community.


Artscape is a not-for-profit, urban development organization that revitalizes buildings, neighbourhoods, and cities through the arts. Artscape projects provide affordable space for creativity while generating positive cultural, economic, social, and environmental impact. Based in Toronto, Artscape's resources, programs and services are available citywide, nationally and internationally. In addition, it provides non-profit studio space and programming for visual artists and has a residency program at Gibraltar Point on Toronto Island.


This program, funded by the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, puts artists together with teachers to infuse arts across school curricula.

Arts Network for Children and Youth

This Ontario-based national non-profit community arts service organization connects artists and organizations working with children and youth across Canada. It is particularly useful to craft artists interested in teaching children.

Bureau des regroupements des artistes visuels de l'Ontario

This is the arts service organization for Ontario's Francophone visual artists. It provides its members with links to other professional organizations and artist-run centres, professional development and promotional opportunities, and apprenticeship programs.

Canadian Artists Representation/ le Front des artistes canadiens Ontario

This provincial association of professional visual and media artists develops policies, publications and services that help artists, galleries, curators, art patrons and other stakeholders create an economic climate that benefits all visual artists.

Ontario Association of Art Galleries

This not-for-profit association represents Ontario's public and private sector art galleries. It encourages members to work in close cooperation with the Ontario Arts Council, helps visual art centres in the province promote high standards of excellence and uniform methods in the care and presentation of works of art, and advises on matters of professional interest.

Ontario Crafts Council

This is the key organization for craft artists in the province.

Visual Arts Ontario

This organization helps its members gain the information and skills that relate to the business of being an artist required by professional visual artists. These include portfolio presentation, marketing strategies, exhibition management, proposal development and artist's statements. It offers courses, workshops, detailed self-help guides, on-line training programs, and one-on-one consultations. Its regular trade publications are Agenda and Hidden Agenda.

Writing and publishing

Canadian Poetry Association

The goal of this association is to promote reading, writing, publishing and preservation of poetry in Canada.

The League of Canadian Poets

The League of Canadian Poets, a non-profit arts service organization, is the national association of professional publishing and performing poets in Canada.

Professional Writers Association of Canada

This is a national association of freelance writers of magazine and newspaper articles, books, speeches, newsletters, media releases, white papers, annual reports, advertising and brochure copy, sales and marketing material, web content, training manuals, film scripts, radio and television documentaries, etc.

Unions and guilds

Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists

This national association represents more than 21,000 performers working in English-language recorded media. Its two Ontario branches are ACTRA Toronto (the largest branch of the Alliance) and ACTRA Ottawa. Among its services, ACTRA maintains the talent directory Face to Face Online a talent directory and Into the Mainstream, a directory of visible and audible minority performers.

American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada

This federation represents more than 16,500 professional musicians. Ontario has local organizations in Brantford, Brockville, Hamilton, Huntsville, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Niagara Falls, Ottawa, Sault St. Marie, Stratford, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Toronto and Windsor. Its website contains a range of information relevant to all professional artists working in music and sound recording, including information of use to experienced and aspiring musicians alike. The Toronto Musicians' Association is its Local 149, representing 3,100 professional musicians in the Greater Toronto Area.

Canadian Actors' Equity Association

This professional association represents performers, directors, choreographers, fight directors and stage managers in English Canada engaged in live theatre, opera and dance performance.

Canadian Music Centre — Ontario

The goal of this organization is to develop greater awareness and appreciation of its member contemporary Canadian composers. It provides access to their works as sheet music and sound recordings. It also provides special programs.

Canadian League of Composers

This is the oldest organization in Canada that represents professional composers.

Directors Guild of Canada

This is the national labour organization, representing more than 3,800 key creative and logistical personnel in the film and television industry working in all areas of direction, design, production and editing. Directors Guild of Canada Ontario represents members in the province.

Guild of Canadian Film Composers

This is a national organization of professional film composers.

International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts (IATSE):

  • Local 411 represents coordinators, production secretaries, craft service providers and others.
  • Local 667 represents cinematographers and their assistants.
  • Local 873 represents motion picture technicians.

Playwrights Guild of Canada

This national association represents the interests of professional playwrights and promotes their work nationally and internationally.

Songwriters Association of Canada

The goal of this association is to give songwriters access to meaningful services that can help them hone their songwriting skills and develop career goals.

The Writer's Union of Canada

This union is a national organization which brings writers together for the advancement of their collective interests. To qualify for membership, a writer must have a trade book published, a commercial or university press, or the equivalent in another medium.