Championing the Arts with a new grant...

We take community building and corporate social responsibility pretty seriously around here. Locally, we plant trees, help with community clean-ups, donate to the food bank. Sometimes we go bigger and lend our professional skills to the greater good. A couple of years ago, Ellipsis Digital did a cheeky little contest called Canada’s Worst Charity Website. We know that the time and funding that charities put toward their important work leaves little room for new websites — and, well, sometimes it shows. Badly. So we set out to give an awesome Canadian charity the website it deserved.

In 2014, we moved our philanthropic focus to the arts and cultural sector. We did it for two reasons. First off, because we’re champions of the arts, both as fans and creators: our staff includes artists and writers and actors and directors and musicians. As a company, Ellipsis Digital has worked with theatres, museums, performance venues and festivals. So not only do we understand how difficult it can be to produce art, we also know, first- and second-hand, that artists and arts organizations often don’t have the resources for up-to-date websites, or rebranding, or assistance with social media, or a shiny new marketing communications plan… and the marketing team (if it exists) doesn’t have time to do these things alone.

So we created The Arts Grant, a $25,000 package of our digital marketing services, and invited Canadian artists and arts organizations to apply. The application form was less than a page long—we wanted the process to be easy for the applicants, as well as for us. We know that arts organizations regularly go after funding. We’re a business offering services to a sector we truly love, not a government organization offering a pool of money based on a complex formula. We wanted our whole process to feel different.

We expected about 20 applications for our inaugural Arts Grant.

We got 81.

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