In 1995, a group of arts organizations, including the Arts Council-Windsor & Region, Gina Lori Riley Dance Enterprises, and the artist-run gallery Artcite, approached City Council as one entity, requesting assistance to create a permanent funding base for community artists and arts organizations.

Fundraising began with the City of Windsor granting seed monies for a cultural assessment by consultant John Fisher, who stated “WEA is not only an excellent idea but does not exist anywhere else in North America.”

WEA was incorporated in 1998, and a strategic plan was set forth:

  • Create a stable funding base
  • Establish principles for the growth and governance of the organization
  • Develop a systematic approach for the evaluation of funding applications

In 1999, the City of Windsor approved – as a matching grant – the funding of $250,000 to establish the endowment fund.

In 2010, the WEAs, a biennial awards and grants program, to acknowledge and financially benefit emerging artists and arts organizations and celebrate community leaders in Windsor-Essex was inaugurated.

To see a detailed timeline of WEA’s 20-year History click here:

WEA Timeline PDF
2005 Cartunes On Parade
2008 Alistair MacLeod Award
2017 Baker Foundation Tribute
2018 The WEAs
2010 Arts Circus Extraordinaire




P.O Box 7024, Windsor, ON N9C 3Y6

Web: www.wea-arts.com