Since 2002, PIA’s model of collective philanthropy has funded bold, innovative, contemporary arts projects to champion thoughtful perspectives on our world and drive social change.
What do we do
PIA actively collaborates with Canadian curators, educators, art organizations and museums. Having raised over $5 million and supported over 113 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 12 women who wanted to bring an entrepreneurial, collaborative approach to fundraising for the arts in Toronto and in the process learn more about contemporary art
Prior to 2002 all of PIA’s founding members were part of the AGO’s Junior Committee and subsequent AGO Associates, a group whose members volunteered at the AGO and whose primary goal was to educate its members about art and raise funds for the acquisition of artworks for the AGO’s permanent collection. As a result of working and learning together, a number of people on this committee decided that they could create a philanthropic independent group on their own, capable of supporting a variety of arts organizations in addition to the AGO.
After consulting with leaders in Canada’s visual arts scene, their vision took shape. Their main goals were to support art organizations 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 projects 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