Ottawa Business Journal

#CouncilSpotlight: Ottawa Business Journal

Jennifer Clark

The Ottawa Arts Council advances, promotes and advocates for the arts in Ottawa. We envision a city enriched by the transformative benefits of the arts.

Since 1988 the Ottawa Arts Council has awarded over $279,000 to exceptional artists and to those who have shown outstanding commitment to the arts in our area. With the generous support of our sponsors and professional dedication of our jurors we have seen our Awards program grow.

Ottawa Business Journal was this year’s Business and the Arts Recognition Award recipient. We asked Michael Curran, publisher of the OBJ, to share the publication’s journey.

HOttawa Business Journal coverow and when did the OBJ start?

OBJ started in 1995 to report on local business. There was -- and still is -- a big void.

Why did the OBJ decide to get involved in the Ottawa arts community?

Well, we’re very involved in most sectors of the local economy. I think there is a strong belief at OBJ that Ottawa still hasn’t reached its full potential when it comes to arts economy. Consider, if you will, the importance of the arts -- broadly defined -- in Toronto or Montreal. There is still work to do here in Ottawa. However, I do think we’re making progress.

What impact has involvement with the arts/the Ottawa arts community had on the OBJ?

We hope that it has broadened our readership/audience to people beyond traditional economic sectors such as technology, real estate, construction etc.

Is there a specific moment/situation that is remembered fondly?

For sure. The opening of the Shenkman Arts Centre and witnessing all of the work that was done on the foundation come to reality. That was so exciting and rewarding.

Do you have any advice for other businesses looking to engage with artists in the Ottawa community or artists in general?

I think the arts can be leveraged to strengthen many companies. A simple place to start is to consider tapping into the arts for client appreciation and staff retention.

What are you currently working on?

Wow, that’s a big question that might require a long time to answer. One thing we’re focusing on these days -- somewhat related to the arts -- is video. We think video is a powerful new way to connect with the OBJ audience.

Ottawa Business Journal

What was it like to receive an award from the Ottawa Arts Council?

It was a humbling experience. I certainly accepted the award on behalf of the larger OBJ team that share my interest in and commitment to the arts.

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