We are a not-for-profit with over 160 members. We volunteer to promote and fund contemporary art in Canada, and value education and collaboration.
What do we do
PIA actively collaborates with Canadian curators, educators, art organizations and museums. Having raised over $4.7 million and supported over 80 different projects, PIA focuses on funding projects featuring contemporary artists with challenging works. Annual member donations, fundraising events and public donations make PIA’s work possible. See all partners and projects in PIA’s Project Database.
Partners in Art was founded in 2002 by 20 women who wanted to learn more about contemporary art and bring an entrepreneurial, collaborative approach to fundraising for art institutions.
Prior to 2002 many of PIA’s founding members were part of the AGO’s Junior Committee, a group who volunteered primarily as docents or in the AGO gift shop. Some founding members volunteered by throwing a fundraiser to help AGO curators purchase art and then went on to volunteer in the AGO’s art rental section. These experiences united them and brought the realization that they shared an entrepreneurial spirit. It was time to initiate something on their own.
After consulting with leaders in Canada’s visual arts scene, their vision took shape. Their main goals were to support museums in realizing dream projects, and to learn more about contemporary art. Their approach was to raise money, assess which collaborative projects to invest in, and make sure there were education opportunities for members and the general public. Challenging ideas were welcome and they committed to making funding decisions quickly. Partners in Art was born.
“PIA has played an important role within the cultural landscape here in Canada, through their support of a multiplicity of exhibitions and projects, but also through the way they support diverse avenues and channels through which to access those projects, which is very much aligned with our vision here at The Power Plant.”
Nabila Abdel Nabi
Curator, The Power Plant
“We are so lucky! Partners in Art are ‘game-shifters’. They have adopted the contemporary art scene, raising critical dollars with ever chic style and strategic savvy. PIA enables organizations such as OCAD, MOCCA, The Power Plant (the list goes on) to flourish..and with their leverage..to support an exchange of ideas, the internationalization of the Toronto scene and new commissions. Thank-you Partners in Art– you are extreme philanthropists.”
“Partners in Art makes an extraordinary contribution to the aesthetic culture of our community by being true partners with leading edge arts organizations and helping them to realize and communicate new ideas. PIA is an enlightened and enlightening group of patrons!”
Gail Dexter Lord
Co-President, Lord Cultural Resources