OAF News

Announcing the Jini Stolk Creative Fellowship

Toronto, December 12, 2022 -  The Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is pleased to announce the launch of the Jini Stolk Creative Fellowship, supporting arts managers.

Arts managers are responsible for the administrative, financial, and overall health of arts organizations. They are passionate and committed to their work, but often have little opportunity to explore, think and develop their expertise and new ideas. The Jini Stolk Creative Fellowship will provide $10,000 annually to an arts manager of a small to mid-sized Toronto arts organization to encourage the development of the field of arts management, including organizational experimentation and effective governance through professional development, research, networking and sharing.

Honouring Jini Stolk 

A true champion of the arts, Jini Stolk’s impact on the arts community in Toronto was far-reaching, first as general manager of Open Studio, and later as associate director of the Association of Canadian Publishers. She also held executive positions with the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, Toronto Dance Theatre, and the Creative Trust, where she raised and distributed more than six million dollars to support the sustainability of over 50 small and medium sized performing arts organizations. In retirement, under the auspices of Toronto Arts Foundation, she established Creative Champions Network, a networking and learning program for arts board members. 

Jini served on many boards. She was the Chair of Artscape, an early tenant board member of the Centre for Social Innovation and a founding member and the first Chair of the Ontario Nonprofit Network, among others.  At her death she was the Chair of the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair.

Jini believed that the best way to ensure the creation of artistic work was to nurture healthy structures and organizations. She dedicated her career to supporting this often un-heralded behind-the-scenes work of arts administrators. She had a love for learning and excelled at establishing and maintaining networks. She thought critically about things and often challenged and reimagined current systems. Through her work she provided mentorship, opportunity, and access.  

Photo: Jini Stolk speaking at a Creative Champions Network event. Photo by Sean Howard, courtesy of Toronto Arts Foundation

Nomination and Selection Process

The Jini Stolk Creative Fellowship will be open to arts managers nominated by the arts organizations that employ them.  One fellowship will be offered annually.  Nominees must provide a 250-word letter of intent, a budget, and be accompanied by a one-page nomination letter from either the Chair or President of the Board of Directors, or Artistic Director of the nominee’s organization.

Areas of interest for exploration can include but is not limited to: 

  • governance;
  • the field of arts management;
  • organizational sustainability / sustainable practices / healthy organizations;
  • new or adapted models of working / systems change / moving organizations forward;
  • navigating the complexities of your work;
  • co-leadership working models (for example, between the artistic director and executive manager);
  • succession planning or phasing out an organization;
  • policy making; and
  • advocacy.

More information on the nomination process will be posted in 2023. 

The Jini Stolk Creative Fellowship Fund has been made possible through the generous support of Sandra and Jim Pitblado, and Tim and Frances Price.  Donations to the fund can be made to the Ontario Arts Foundation https://www.oafdn.ca/make-a-donation.  The Ontario Arts Foundation manages the endowment that funds the fellowship. 


 For more information, please contact:

Jini Stolk Creative Fellowship Committee

Bruce Bennett
Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation
Tel: (416) 969-7413

Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2021-2022 the OAF paid over $4.4 million in endowment income and $300,000 in awards and scholarships.

 Ce document existe ègalement en français.

BLOG: Light at the end of the tunnel... Read more »