Concerns: The Need for Investment in the Arts —

A newly formed movement called Ontarians for the Arts is calling for increased investment in the arts and speaking out in this election to promote the benefits of the arts “in every city, community and reserve in every corner of the province.”

They have issued a call to action in the election to whomever forms the next government. Among their priorities, Ontarians for the Arts requests that the following recommendations be implemented in short order, ideally by Budget 2019:

“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.”

The group has produced a discussion paper called: “Connections and Resilience through the Arts” that puts forth a variety of positions for consideration through 2021-22 and beyond. These proposals include ways to encourage the development of a rich cultural life as a contribution to the overall social and economic well-being of Ontarians: “It is our wish to unleash the potential of the arts and cultural sector to benefit all Ontarians.”