Who Are My Stakeholders and How Do I Engage Them?

Artscape views itself as an intermediary, connecting the needs and interests of the community and our tenants with a broader group of stakeholders, investors and partners. We help to organize their ideas and energy into a coherent and sustainable vision.

We broker deals and foster relationship between individuals, companies, governments and community members. We align interests between private individuals, private developers, community and economic development officials, financial institutions, cultural policymakers, members of the creative community and politicians.

Artscape’s projects secure their financial sustainability and public support by ensuring that an ever-widening circle of partners, stakeholders and supporters are engaged in the project from the outset and can contribute to the development of a shared project vision. Building a network of partners, stakeholders and supporters is an ongoing process but the major focus is during the pre-project development phase.

Stakeholders will vary from project to project but may include:

  • Your city
  • Audience members
  • Local residents
  • Business improvement areas
  • Neighbourhood associations
  • Area schools
  • Funders, donors, and sponsors
  • Development partners
  • Tenants

There are many reasons for investing time in developing and nurturing your stakeholder base and ensuring their ongoing engagement with the project. Here are some examples:

  • You are building the project with other people’s money.
  • Diverse stakeholders contribute to a shared vision.
  • Diverse stakeholders add dimension and dynamism to your project.
  • Stakeholder engagement builds support and momentum for your project.
  • Stakeholders can help you find solutions to challenges.
  • Stakeholder engagement can set the stage for broader and deeper engagement.

The power and capacity of small non-profits and local community members to lead developments and drive change in their neighbourhoods is often underestimated. Individually, for example, the artists, non-profit organizations and community members that were the key drivers of the Artscape Wychwood Barns project did not have a lot of capacity or resources, but collectively, they became a powerful force in generating momentum and attracting the interest and investment necessary to realize the project. In the Queen West Triangle, an apparently irresolvable dispute between the developer, municipality and local community was transformed into a win-win-win deal brokered by Artscape and resulting in the innovative Artscape Triangle Lofts project.  At Parkdale Arts and Cultural Centre, Artscape helped to broker a deal between a number of local interest groups, ensuring that this landmark local building was retained as a community asset serving their needs, the needs of the local community and the need for safe, secure and affordable live/work housing for artists in the neighbourhood.

In all our projects, the goal is to create partnerships where all parties win and a quadruple bottom line – cultural, economic, social and environmental – is generated.