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CAN uses a layered approach to supporting increased engagement, access, inclusion, participation and representation of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) artists and communities in the arts in WA.

In 2018 this included ongoing face to face meetings by the General Managers with many DLGSC – funded arts peer organisations, service providers to CaLD communities and selected local governments. The aim was to understand current levels of engagement with culturally diverse artists, audiences and communities, gather ideas and examples of effective practice within the sector and discuss matters that limit engagement or impede development.

The Office of Multicultural Interests assisted with a survey to CaLD groups, seeking information about engagement in the arts. CAN also built preliminary relationships directly with communities through creative consultation workshops in preparation for project work.

The appointment of CAN’s Diversity Manager, Zheela Vokes in the second half of 2018 continued the process of scoping out partnerships, strengthening engagement and ensuring ongoing feedback and review of CAN’s work in this space.

Multicultural Arts Portal (MAP)

One of the main issues highlighted through consultation was the need for a common infrastructure and knowledge linking tool.

The Multicultural Arts Portal (MAP) is a geospatial search engine which uses an online map to make it easy for arts and cultural organisations and CaLD artists and communities to connect with each other. It will be readily searchable by features such as art form/s, activities, types of organisation, demographics, cultural groups, funding & partnerships among others. When you click on an organisation or artist of interest, the key information and contact details will pop up. The MAP is in response to broad sector consultation highlighting the need for a knowledge linking tool.

CAN welcomes the arts sector to participate. The more data on the map, the greater the benefit of all. More than 150 arts peer organisations, individual artists, community groups, and service and local government providers across WA have engaged to date.

If you or your organisation would like to be part of the online map we invite you to provide the relevant information via one of the four different online forms:

Arts & Cultural Organisations: Click here
Service Providers & Local Governments: Click here
Community Groups: Click here
Individual Artists: Click here

CAN is proud to annouce that MAP the Multicultural Arts Portal is now live. MAP is a new online portal connecting CaLD artists and communities with arts and cultural organisations in Western Australia. MAP connects users from a diverse mix of art forms, organisations and cultural groups with just a few simple clicks.

Search the Map

CAN Project Work

Underpinning the strategic work and advocacy with arts peer organisations, is the project work that CAN is developing with CaLD communities, often in partnership with state and national peers. In 2019 with support from Lotterywest CAN launched two new programs, Lotterywest Story Street and Lotterywest Dream Plan Do, ensuring CAN is working directly with CaLD communities.

Lotterywest Story Street is a new community storytelling project by CAN. It will begin with the creation of a travelling library containing significant histories, creative toolkits, literature, art and performance created with CaLD members of the cities of Canning, Stirling and Wanneroo. With Lotterywest Story Street, people can make their own streets, and they can speak to the communities of their own heart.


CAN’s Lotterywest Dream Plan Do is a new community arts mentoring program in 2019 which aims to support arts projects that bring CaLD community voices to the forefront. Up to $20k funding is awarded to help organisations or community groups.

Lotterywest Dream Plan Do

Stories From The Future

At CAN, we’re excited to co-host the WA Stories From The Future workshops with Diversity Arts Australia to imagine a future where cultural diversity is present at every level in the Arts. This workshop series will invite culturally diverse creatives and arts workers to imagine a timeline towards an equitable culturally diverse arts future in Australia.

The workshop will flow from the personal to the structural and systemic; including exercises that reflect upon experiences of marginalisation in the arts to group exercises of collectively imagining milestones towards an equitable culturally diverse arts scene in 2050.

Regionally based culturally diverse creatives or arts workers had the opportunity to apply for aRAF Quick Response Grant from  Country Arts WA. This grant assists in covering the cost of travel and accommodation up to $2,000 for attendees.


Stories From The Future


Diversity Working Group

A Diversity Working Group (DWG) established in August 2018 is now steering the co-design of a strategy. This is a diverse group of arts peer organisations, CaLD artists and arts workers, service and local government providers, community members and researchers, involved in the CaLD and arts sectors in WA. Members bring a range of skills, experiences, cross-sector knowledge and a plurality of voices to the table, with value placed on lived experience and an active commitment to the work.

The main purpose of the DWG is to co-design a strategy to influence greater access, inclusion and representation in the arts sector, specifically focused on cultural and linguistic diversity.

Diversity Working Group

CAN’s Diversity in the Arts program is supported by Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and Lotterywest. CAN acknowledges the definition of a person/s who identify as Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) varies greatly and that the term is not definitive. In this instance we have used the Office of Multicultural Interests (OMI) definition of CaLD to make reference to the wide range of cultural groups and individuals that make up the Australian population. It includes groups and individuals who differ according to religion, race, language or ethnicity except those whose ancestry is Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Celtic, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

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