The Artist-Run Centres and Collectives of Ontario (ARCCO) was founded in 1988 and incorporated in 2000 as a not-for-profit arts service organization for artist-run centres and collectives across Ontario, and was quickly recognized by all levels of government and the national arts community as the official voice of artist-run centres in Ontario. In 2001-02, ARCCO secured and generated $155,000 in funding, which supported “Convergence,” a national convening of artist-run centres held in Ottawa that catalyzed the creation of the Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference/La Conférence des collectifs et des centres d'artistes autogérés (ARCA), a national arts service organization founded in 2004. In 2007, ARCCO, with the Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG), initiated advocacy discussions with other provincial arts service organizations and formed the PASO Coalition with 23 member organizations. In 2008, ARCCO organized “Hot Buttons,” another major convening connecting artist-run centres from across Canada. In 2015, ARCCO produced “Artists at the Centre: Moving from the Margins to Inclusion,” a national conference presented in partnership with ARCA and held in Toronto.
In the past, ARCCO has focused on organizing provincial and national meetings so that members of the artist-run community who share similar needs and challenges can strike partnerships and collaborations with their peers. ARCCO has also maintained affiliations with various provincial arts service organizations (members of the PASO Coalition) and organizers of past Arts Day at Queen’s Park events.
ARCCO held a members’ meeting on February 18, 2020 to elect a board and renew ARCCO’s mission and objectives.