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What is an Artist Run Centre?

What is an Artist Run Centre?

Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery is a member of Manitoba Artist-Run Centres Coalition (MARCC) and ARCA (Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference). The following information is to help the public understand and learn what Artist-Run Centres do for the public and why they are important. For more information about the these organizations please click on their icons and peruse at your leisure.



Artist-run centres (ARCs) are non-profit arts organizations that support visual and media arts.

Artist-run centres share one defining quality: they are run by artists for artists.

They display visual and media art, foster public engagement with the arts, advocate for artists, and/or provide professional development in the arts.

ARCs are a vital part of the discovery and exploration of contemporary visual art, for artists and audiences across Canada. They provide essential services and community support for artists and art community members such as:
– exhibition spaces and project rooms for public presentation
– education regarding techniques and professional knowledge
– peer-to-peer assessment
– critical discussions and writing
– networking
They’re necessary in the development and success of professional artists in Manitoba and across the country.

Each ARC is run by a Board of Directors, which is elected by each centre’s members at its Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Each artist-run centre is different, and is motivated by a unique mission, vision and goal.

Their focus can be a particular medium, technique or context. Many ARCs are dedicated to providing equal opportunities and resources for artists of all ages, disciplines and experience levels.

ARCs pay artists for the exhibition and presentation of their work. Fees are set and mandated by CARFAC (Canadian Artist’s Representation / le front des artistes canadiens).

ARCs across Canada receive support from municipal, provincial and federal grants, foundations, corporate sponsors as well as donors.


Videos and below info of “What is an Artist-Run Centre?” Provided by ARCA

In existence for more than forty years, artist-run centres are an essential part of the wider arts system and represent an important professional network for artists at every career stage. This infrastructure of some 180 organizations, operated in the majority by artists and supporting new and innovative practices in the arts, has exerted a significant impact on the cultural ecology of Canada and around the world. Clearly, this short documentary cannot tell the full story of this heritage. Neither can it represent every organization in the broader artist-run network, nor acknowledge by name every artist, cultural worker, historian, educator, curator, or preparator who has contributed to these organizations’ notoriety or benefitted from their support. The aim of this video is to inspire and inform members of the community.

#artistruncollective #artistruncentres #artistrun #arca #artistruncentrevideo #artistrunvideo

What Is an Artist-Run Centre? (SDH) from ARCA on Vimeo.

Un centre d’artistes autogéré, c’est quoi? (SDH) from ARCA on Vimeo.



(fyi in no order)

Ociciwan Contemporary Art Centre | Edmonton, AB

Indigenous Arts Collective of Canada | Ottawa, Ontario

Sâkêwêwak | Regina, SK

Wanuskewin | Saskatoon, SK

Daphne | Montréal, QC

IM4 Lab (Indigenous Matriarchs 4) | Vancouver, BC

Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC) | Montréal, QC / Online virtual

The Indigenous Curatorial Collective / Collectif des commissaires autochtones (ICCA)

Harbour Collective

ImagineNATIVE | Toronto, ON

National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition

Indigenous Arts at the Banff Centre | Banff, AB

Nordic Lab | Ottawa, ON

West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative | Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU

NWIA (Native Women in the Arts)

Centre for Indigenous Theatre | Toronto, ON

Native Earth Performing Arts | Toronto, ON

Red Sky Performance | Toronto, ON

Don’t see an Indigenous ARC or Indigenous community based art organization on this list (or it needs to be updated)? Contact us and let us know.