The Manitoba Arts Council is an arm’s-length agency of the Province of Manitoba, established in 1965 “to promote the study, enjoyment, production and performance of works in the arts.” The Council makes awards to professional arts organizations and individuals in all art forms including theatre, literature, dance, music, painting, sculpture, architecture or the graphic arts, and includes other similar creative or interpretative activity, including arts education. The Council uses a peer assessment process in making awards. Historically, the main criterion used to assess applications is artistic merit.
The Council is funded through Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage. Council reports annually through the Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage to the Provincial Legislature in its Annual Report , and Council operations are audited annually.