State of the Arts: Equity, Diversity, Inclusion

The State of the Arts: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (SOTA on EDI) is a transformative initiative aimed at advancing inclusivity for English-language Arts, Culture, and Heritage organizations and artist practices.

Thanks to the support of the Department of Heritage Canada – Official Languages Support Programs, this project will run from September 2022 to March 2024, and will unfold in three major phases.

  1.     Surveying English-speaking artists, cultural workers, heritage workers, and organizations across Quebec to access the multiplicity of knowledge, experiences, and perspectives on equity, diversity, and inclusion.

  2.     Using those learnings to organize a two-day conference on September 27 and October 4, 2023 to invite our community to reflect and engage in conversation on the future we would like to create.

  3. Leveraging those conversations to develop solutions and tools for the work to continue.

SOTA on EDI Conference (Phase Two)

The SOTA on EDI conference, held over two impactful days in the fall of 2023 (September 27 and October 4), brought together a diverse assembly of over 100 participants committed to fostering positive change within the arts community. The first day of the conference centered around the proposed Community Action Plan for EDI in the arts, which provides a platform for collaborative efforts and shared accountability.

On the second day, the conference featured an array of stimulating guest speakers presenting on practical subjects, ranging from implementing EDI principles in daily artistic and organizational practice, to reflective sessions on enhancing accessibility and a sense of belonging within the arts sector. Among the speakers were, Aimee Louw (CBC Journalist, Author and Facilitator), Deanna Smith (Poet, Arts and Social Justice Educator), and Tracey Paulotte (Head of Programs & Outreach at Fondation Dynastie). Please refer to this document for the conference agenda and speaker bios as well as the Annex with Research Summary


Community Action Plan

An important milestone achieved during the SOTA on EDI project was the formal ratification of the Community Action Plan referenced above. Ten organizations have endorsed the plan, and ongoing follow-up continues to encourage more arts, culture, and heritage organizations to adopt it. This comprehensive plan will be translated into French and distributed broadly in early 2024, ensuring accessibility and applicability to a wider audience.

The following organizations have endorsed the Community Action Plan:

  • 4Korners
  • Association of English-language Publishers of Quebec
  • Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal
  • Quebec Drama Federation
  • Quebec Writers Federation
  • Théâtre Wakefield
  • Talisman Theatre
  • Community Digital Arts Hub
  • Segal Centre
  • 100 Mile Arts Network

It’s not too late to act. Join our ever-increasing community of organizations committed to making EDI a reality :

Launch of Phase Three

As ELAN continues to lead the charge for EDI in the arts, Phase Three activities of the SOTA on EDI project are already underway. This phase includes:


  1. Targeted Follow-up Workshops:

   Building on the insights gained from the fall conference (see below), ELAN will host targeted follow-up workshops to delve deeper into specific EDI challenges and opportunities within the arts community.


  1. Development of a Digital Toolbox:

   ELAN is committed to providing practical resources for all community members. The development of a digital toolbox to empower individuals and organizations with tools and strategies to enhance inclusivity in their practices. Click here to consult the EDI Toolbox


  1. Creation of a Self-Reporting Mechanism:

   To foster transparency and accountability, ELAN will create a mechanism for self-reporting for all participating artists and organizations involved in the SOTA on EDI project, ensuring a collaborative approach towards achieving shared goals.


If you’d like to sign up to phase three or have any further questions, please email

Funding Acknowledgments