Margo Charlton Research & Evaluation Internship

All Toronto Arts Foundation initiatives are made possible by the support from our wonderful donors. Our initiatives offer critical arts programs in various areas, including not only awards and free art events, but also professional development opportunities designed for our Toronto arts community. 

One such example is the Toronto Arts Foundation Margo Charlton Research & Evaluation Internship. Established in 2023 with the support of The Zita and Mark Bernstein Family Foundation, the Internship supports graduate students in advancing research and evaluation skills and interests, broadening knowledge of the cultural sector and connecting to a national network of arts funders, charities and researchers. The Intern receives an honorarium of $2,500.  

The Internship was created to honour Margo Charlton, Toronto Arts Foundation’s first Research & Impact Manager, and her contributions to research and evaluation in the arts, and to support the next generation of arts researchers, evaluators and advocates.  

During her internship with us, Deanne Kearney, a Ph.D. Candidate in Dance Studies at York University, created an annotated bibliography of academic literature on program evaluation. As the Research & Impact team develop a long-term evaluation strategy and build a cyclical program evaluation process, Deanne’s work is integral to fostering an internal culture of evaluative thinking. Her contributions will help to ensure that the Foundation’s evaluation processes are rigorous and advance greater understanding of the vital role of the arts in society. Deanne will also be co-authoring a book chapter on evaluation and impact assessment in the forthcoming De Gruyter Handbook of Creative Industries with the Foundation’s Senior Manager, Research & Impact, Dr. Shawn Newman, and Evaluation Manager, Kadija Da Paula.   

About her experience, Deanne commented: 

 “I want to sincerely thank Dr. Newman, Kadija, the staff at Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation, The Zita and Mark Bernstein Family Foundation, and Margo Charlton for this opportunity. This internship was an incredible experience that provided me with hands-on learning about Canadian arts funding approaches. The mentorship I received from TAC and the Foundation was fantastic and supportive, furthering my academic and professional goals in the arts funding landscape as I wish to continue working in Canada's cultural sector past the completion of my Ph.D.” 

It has been a pleasure having Deanne as our intern, and we also would like to thank The Zita and Mark Bernstein Family Foundation for their incredible support. Our donor community’s commitment to advancing and supporting the arts sector is truly inspiring and helps us maximize the transformative benefits of the arts through our innovative, responsive and strategic initiatives.  

Deanne Kearney is a Ph.D. Candidate in Dance Studies at York University, where her research focuses on the impact of different funding models on the Canadian dance sector, with a particular emphasis on federal funding and the Canada Council for the Arts. As a dance writer, researcher, and critic, she has contributed to notable publications such as Dance Magazine, The Dance Current Magazine, and Dance International, and currently reviews dance on her websites, The Dance Debrief ( and