Ontarians for the Arts coordinates local and Ontario-wide arts advocacy, with a current focus on the upcoming provincial election. Arts Action Now is Ontarians for the Arts’ primary activism vehicle and is now recruiting community leaders across Ontario to volunteer as arts advocates and meet with local MPPs and Candidates. In the Guelph riding Patti Broughton, in her role as Executive Director of Guelph Arts Council, has volunteered to coordinate these meetings, and is recruiting a small team of local arts leaders to help with the advocacy effort. If you are interested in helping our local candidates understand the importance of the arts for our community, province, and nation, please contact Patti at [email protected] or 519-836-3280.
Ontarians for the Arts is a new inclusive, non-partisan movement intent on promoting the benefits of the arts in every city, community and in every corner of the province. It includes Ontario-based artists, arts organizations, and arts supporters who promote and advocate for the importance of the arts across Ontario and to secure adequate resources and enabling policies that will support the development and enhancement of diverse arts practices and provide access to rich, vibrant arts activities for all Ontarians.
In this context, Ontarians for the Arts seeks:
• To increase investments in arts and culture at the provincial level; and
• To strengthen Ontario’s arts and cultural policies.
In its work to date, Ontarians for the Arts has produced its first arts policy discussion paper entitled Connections and Resilience through the Arts, as well as a Call to Action that prioritizes five recommendations for the duly elected Government of Ontario’s short-term implementation. The discussion paper includes 10 recommendations on the themes of: Invest in the Arts, Arts Development & Arts Education, and Ontario’s Place in Canada and the World.
The Call to Action is informed by the discussion paper and calls for the newly elected Government of Ontario to implement the following in short order:
- Create an infrastructure investment program that facilitates Ontarians’ access to arts and culture, and helps leverage federal investments, with a $30M annual base allocation for the next 10 years.
- Follow through on the current increases planned for the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) to $80M base by 2020-21 and commit to increasing the OAC’s funding base to $160M by 2025-26 to ensure greater accessibility to the arts for Ontarians, while adapting to changing demographics.
- Advocate with Federal counterparts to ensure that Ontario’s leadership role in Canada’s vibrant arts and culture scene is reflected in federal policy and funding decisions.
- Set achievement and development guidelines to ensure the arts education curriculum is prioritized and complements STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering and Math) goals. Our kids deserve STEAM!
- Revitalize the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) by reintroducing a matching endowment incentives program with a $25M strategic investment.
For more information about Ontarians for the Arts and Arts Action Now, and to read the discussion paper, please visit: ontariansforthearts.ca. To get involved locally, contact Patti at [email protected] or 519-836-3280.