CEO JS Ryu embraces NaAC artist Kathy Austin, with guests in the background.

The National accessArts Centre receives a $400,000 investment from the Canada Arts Training Fund

CALGARY, Alta. (May 24, 2023) – The National accessArts Centre (NaAC) – Canada’s oldest and largest disability arts organization – has become the country’s first multidisciplinary disability arts organization to receive support from the Government of Canada through the Canada Arts Training Fund (CATF). The total investment will be $200,000 annually for two years, with an opportunity to renew in three-year funding cycles in the years following. This news was announced today by George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary-Skyview, on behalf of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Government of Canada.

Like the fund’s other longstanding recipients such as the Banff Centre, the Royal Conservatory or the National Ballet, the NaAC’s programs have been recognized as meeting the highest standards in artistic training that have a national and international impact – in this case, for artists living with developmental and/or physical disabilities.

“Our cultural institutions are places for us to celebrate and promote the beauty of our culture, heritage and art. Our government is proud to support the National access Arts Centre in its amazing mission. Our culture represents our past, our present and our future, and places like the NaAC help build that future and showcase our vibrant, and diverse culture. They help us understand and celebrate who we are as Canadians.”

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“The investment in the National accessArts Centre (NaAC) represents the Government of Canada’s commitment to programs that reach exceptional standards – both in excellence and in accessibility. I am tremendously proud to see the NaAC shine a national and global spotlight on the creative contributions of artists living with disabilities through its stellar programs.”

George Chahal, Member of Parliament, Calgary-Skyview

“This investment from the Canada Arts Training Fund (CATF) is a strong testament to the programs that have evolved at the National accessArts Centre, from having a social service focus to becoming much more centred on the arts. We know that this investment from the Government of Canada will help launch the careers of more artists who identify as having a disability.”

Ron Hoffmann, Chair, NaAC Board of Directors.

“Once again, Calgary’s own National accessArts Centre is leading the way in securing partners like the Government of Canada to elevate the artistic excellence of our programs in training and creation. Funding from the Canada Arts Training Fund (CATF) will be a critical next step in advancing our vision of becoming the national home for Canadian artists living with disabilities.”

Jung-Suk (JS) Ryu, President and CEO, NaAC.

Support from CATF is just the latest of several major partnerships that have strengthened the NaAC as a national leader in the disability arts sector. Since 2018, the NaAC has maintained an active partnership with Global Affairs Canada and its cultural diplomacy strategy. Presently, the NaAC is awaiting a funding decision from Infrastructure Canada to make progress with its vision of creating an accessible arts campus in Calgary.

For more information, please contact:

Bob Sumner


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