Workshop: Shared Platforms and Charitable Venture Organizations, PACT and Arts Consultants of Canada

Professional Development Seminar

Arts Consultants Canada/Consultants Canadians en Arts
In Partnership with the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres

Jane Marsland, ACCA Member

Shared Platforms and Charitable Venture Organizations

Thursday, December 12, 2013    3:30 pm
Metro Hall, 3rd Floor, 55 John Street, Toronto    M5V 3C6
Also available as a webinar


For some time, the arts sector (and much of the private sector) has exemplified the old adage that “strategy follows structure;” the way in which the organizational chart of a company, along with its resources, processes and procedures, and more recently its technology, was what determined strategic approach. Historian Alfred Chandler articulated these principles in his original case studies of major US industrial and commercial giants DuPont, GM, Standard Oil and Sears Roebuck in the 1920s.  Is it time to break this mould??

Long term ACCA member Jane Marsland has been examining the issue of structure for charitable organizations, particularly those in the arts, culture and heritage sector, for decades.  In her most recent work, with support by the Metcalf Foundation, she examined three alternative models, their benefits and shortfalls.  Jane developed particular insights about the unique demands of the arts, as well as the rigorous requirements of tax and charity regulations.

The first model would be to establish a Charitable Venture Organization (CVO) specifically for arts organizations: a registered charity that houses entities without charitable status whose missions match or advance the charitable purposes of the CVO; this ensures that the arts entity becomes a ‘qualified donee’ as defined by the Income Tax Act.”  Currently there is no such entity for the arts in Canada, although Tides Canada, created to provide “innovative philanthropic, financial, and project management services for change makers – philanthropists, foundations, activists and civil organizations ( has been operating since the early 2000s.

The second model would utilize existing administrative platforms, such as ASOs or an arts management services provider, such as STAF (Small Theatre Administrative Facility) and DUO (Dance Umbrella of Ontario). Both organizations would have to apply for charitable status in order to become shared platforms, since they are currently only incorporated as non-profit service organizations and do not have charitable status.

Finally, existing arts organizations could work in collaborative relationships, acting as shared platforms.

This research and writing has led Jane to some conclusions – and she wants to share them with the sector:  current and potential consultants, funders and arts service organizations at all three levels, practising artists and arts managers.

Join us – in person in Toronto or online in a webinar format – Thursday, December 12, 2013, 3:30 p.m., at Metro Hall, 3rd Floor, 55 John Street, Toronto.

Jane Marsland has been an articulate advocate for the arts for many years and has served on a wide range of boards, advisory groups and committees. Jane was a co-founder of For Dance and Opera, co-founder and Director of Technical Assistance of The Creative Trust: Working Capital for the Arts, as well as co-founder and director of ARTS 4 CHANGE. She has been the recipient of two arts community awards: a “Harold” in 2001 and the Sandra Tulloch Award for Innovation in the Arts in 2002. Jane has managed arts organizations since 1970, and was General Manager of the Danny Grossman Dance Company from 1982 to 1999. In 1995, she received the first M. Joan Chalmers Award for Arts Administration for outstanding leadership in the arts. In 2011 she was awarded the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Rita Davies and Margo Bindhardt Cultural Leadership Award.

Since October 1999, Jane has been working as a freelance arts consultant and has worked with more than 90 arts organizations. Her work with small to mid-sized arts organizations has involved the design, structure, and interaction of the organizational format equation and the planning and organizational learning processes. She believes that it is important to develop new approaches and methods of working to emphasize agile and adaptive organizational responses that are informed by knowledge of constant environmental changes.