DonateGrowing Arts and Culture in York Region.

Mandate and History


The York Region Arts Council is the only York Region-wide nonprofit charitable arts service organization focused on capacity building, creative placemaking and community engagement in support of artists, arts organizations and creative entrepreneurs. In order to realize the potential of our services, we work in partnership with the Regional Municipality of York, each of the Regions nine municipalities (Markham, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Aurora, King Township, Newmarket, Whitchurch-Stouffville, East Gwillimbury and Georgina) as well as other community organizations and businesses.

The Arts Council was first incorporated as Arts Link in 2002 with a focus on connecting York Region public and Catholic schools with artists and implementing arts programming for youth. In 2008, Arts Link changed direction and became the York Region Arts Council. The Arts Council was founded in response to the plethora of under-served artists and arts organizations working in silos and lacking the resources and network to grow capacity.

Over the past nine years, the Arts Council has played a leadership role in the community, providing quality programming and services such as the Arts Exposed Conference (2011-2014), (2010 to present), Artrepreneur Accelerator Program (2015 to present), the York Region Festival Alliance (2015 to present), SpaceFinder York Region (2016 to present) amongst many other tools and forums for professional development and networking.


We have updated our mission as part of our effort to hyper-focus and better articulate who we are and what we do. It is through this mission that we can realize our vision of an artistically and culturally vibrant York Region.

New Mission: Creating a dynamic York Region arts and culture scene by increasing knowledge, communication and awareness.


We envision a York Region where:

  • All artists and arts organizations are supported at the municipal and regional level
  • The arts and culture sector are recognized and celebrated for their social and economic impact in York Region
  • Residents and visitors of all ages and backgrounds are aware of the dynamic arts and culture scene, feel connected to and value the arts in York Region
  • The diversity of York Region is represented through its local artists and cultural organizations


  • That the arts are vital to creating a unique and exciting identity for York Region
  • That awareness and access to local arts and cultural activities increases quality of life
  • The arts, culture and creative industries play an essential role in the region’s economic prosperity
  • That artists and cultural workers contribute to the regional knowledge economy and innovation ecosystem
  • That diversity is fundamental to York Region’s arts and culture sector
  • Grass roots arts organizations and independent artists have the capacity to be change makers and community leaders

The York Region Arts Council has an incredible opportunity to create systemic impact for the regional arts and culture sector and broader York Region community through collaboration and participation. Join us in our drive to create a more dynamic and creatively vibrant York Region for all.

York Region Arts Council, YRAC

395 Mulock Drive,
Newmarket, ON. L3Y 4Y9

Phone: 905-726-3278
Fax: 905-726-2788

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