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OCAD U launches Cultural Policy Hub

OCAD U launches Cultural Policy Hub

Today, OCAD University announced the launch of its Cultural Policy Hub

The Cultural Policy Hub at OCAD U is a partnership that facilitates and expands the arts and culture sector’s capacity in policymaking, research, data analysis, program innovation and knowledge mobilization and exchange. 

The hub brings cultural policy players together, including artists, designers and researchers from across Canada’s academic, government, non-profit and private spheres. These are arts and culture leaders dedicated to translating and improving the accessibility of cultural policy discussion, design, development and capacity building.

The hub is managed by Miriam Kramer, Executive Director of Government and Community Relations and Public Policy at OCAD U, who has worked alongside her team to secure funding partnerships and develop the hub’s collaborative framework. 

“This initiative builds on years of work and engagement with different levels of government,” says Kramer. “Intentionally situated in the Government Relations and Public Policy unit, we are looking forward to affecting evidence-based policy change with government.” 

Leading cultural policy expert Kelly Wilhelm (she/her) has been retained as the Head of the hub. Wilhelm brings more than 25 years of experience leading policy and innovation in government, the arts, creative industries and not-for-profit sector. Throughout her career, she has led national policy renewals that have transformed the sector and have brought significant new resources to its work.

“I'm thrilled to work with OCAD U and our partners to launch the hub at this time of profound and persistent change in our world, country, and in the arts and cultural sector,” says Wilhelm. “Working with artists, scholars, policymakers, and the public, our goal is to build inclusive and informed policy that connects to the broader public policy issues to which our sector can contribute.”

The hub is also welcoming Samuel La France (they/them), a cultural leader with over 12 years of experience in media arts programming and administration, as the new Manager, Cultural Policy Hub.


A consortium of funders—including the Metcalf Foundation, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, City of Toronto, and Department of Canadian Heritage—worked with stakeholders and OCAD U leadership to invest in the development of the hub. 

The hub serves as a national policy centre whose goal is to support collaboration and grow the sector’s capacity to engage in policy dialogue around issues that impact the arts and culture sector and society more broadly. 

In its first year, the hub will be focused on building its team and convening working groups on several key policy issues, such as Artificial Intelligence and intellectual property, and the availability and affordability of housing and cultural spaces, while contributing to policy research, planning and development with its government and institutional partners. 

Over time, the scope of activities will grow to encompass an array of affiliates and partners working to address the arts and culture sector’s most pressing priorities. 

The Cultural Policy Hub is aligned with OCAD U’s priorities to drive impact as an art and design university and emerge as a vibrant hub, as outlined in the University’s Academic and Strategic Plan.


The hub is co-presenting these upcoming events.

Nov. 22 | In Conversation: OCAD U + UAL

Join OCAD U President Ana Serrano and University of the Arts London President James Purnell, in conversation about the crucial role that creative universities play in facilitating social change. This discussion will be moderated by DesignTO Artistic Director and Curator, Deborah Wang.

Nov. 24 and 25 | digiArt Art+Tech Conference

Organized by Vandana Taxali and hosted by Fineline at OCAD U CO, this is an innovative technology conference with blockchain, AI, AR, VR and NFTs for artists.

And, in early 2024, stay tuned for a policy series event that will explore the opportunities and challenges that artists, arts workers and cultural organizations face in securing affordable housing and creative spaces. 

Participation at these events is free and open to OCAD U students, faculty, staff, alums and the public. 

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