The Canadian Commission for UNESCO is working in partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts and other partners to promote a greater awareness of the benefits of arts and creativity within Canadian schools and the broader community.

The Commission's role within this larger framework of the Arts and Learning initiative focusses on follow-up in Canada to the First UNESCO World Conference on Arts Education in 2006, and the Second World Conference, held in Seoul, Korea, May 25-28, 2010.

UNESCO's Medium-Term Strategy for 2008-2013 states that "UNESCO will promote the potential of dialogue based on music and the arts as a vector for the strengthening of mutual understanding and interaction as well as for building a culture of peace and respect for cultural diversity. UNESCO will follow-up in an intersectoral manner the Lisbon Roadmap adopted at the 2006 Lisbon Conference on Arts Education and contribute to the Seoul Conference on Arts Education." (Section 97)

At the 36th session of the UNESCO General Conference in November 2011, Member States decided to proclaim the fourth week of May as the International Arts Education Week and to encourage all Member States, civil society, professional organizations and communities to organize relevant activities on that occasion at the national, regional and international levels.

The Commission is currently working in partnership with the Canadian Network for Arts and Learning, the UNESCO Chair in Arts and Learning at the Faculty of Education, Queen's University, and other partners to ensure the follow-up to the Second World Conference, including implementation of the strategies proposed in the Seoul Agenda. 


To assist in preparing Canada's position for the First World Conference in 2006, the Commission held a series of regional consultations across Canada with specialists in the field of arts and learning. This list of consultations follows:

  • October 21-22, 2004: Ontario and Quebec (Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, in Toronto)
  • November 25-26, 2004: Atlantic Provinces (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
  • February 21-22, 2005: Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territories (Regina, Saskatchewan)
  • February 24-25, 2005: British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon (Vancouver, B.C.)
  • June 22, 2005: Ottawa, Ontario (umbrella organizations and cultural agencies)
  • December 15. 2005: Ottawa, Ontario (Youth Consultation)

For more information, see the Commission's Consultation Paper [PDF, 1.4 MB] and consult the Publications archive page for regional reports.