Call to Action: Write Your MPP to Request Ontario Arts Council Budget Funding is Sustained

14 Mar 2023 10:30 AM | Valerie Calam (Administrator)

Dear Dance Community Members,

As you may be aware, there are budget cuts planned for the Ontario Arts Council (up to 15% of total budget; down to 55 million), to be announced before the end of March 2023.

We hope that you will join us in requesting that the province sustain the 2022 level of investment to the Ontario Arts Council at $65M in the 2023 provincial budget. You can do this by taking the following actions:

1. Sign Jill Andrew's Petition

Jill Andrew is the member of provincial Parliament (MPP) of Toronto-St. Paul's and is petitioning for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to sustain the Ontario Arts Council budget of $65M in the 2023 provincial budget. Please take a moment to read, sign, and share with your network.

Read, Sign, and Share the Petition

2. Write Your Member of provincial Parliament (MPP)

The Ontario budget will be announced on March 23, and we hope that you will take some time to write a letter and/or connect with your MPP prior to this time to express the importance of sustaining the OAC budget of $65M in the 2023 provincial budget.

Imagine Canada has a toolkit that you can use HERE.

If you need to find your MPP and/or their contact information, you can do so by clicking HERE.

We have written a letter to Minister Bethlanfalvy that you can read HERE.

Please remember, this is not the first time that the provincial government has targeted the Ontario Arts Council. In the 2018/2019 fiscal year, base funding to the OAC was cut by $5M, with an additional $2.25M cut from the Indigenous Culture Fund. At this time, the budget allocated to the OAC was $69.9M. You can read about it HERE.

When reflecting on the past four years, it certainly is troubling to think that the OAC is facing yet another cut. To be in a position of trying to hold onto a sustained budget of $65M after facing a huge loss in 2018/2019, and then witnessing the dance industry go through some of the most challenging times it has faced just one year later.

Today, we are barely a year into the reopening of Ontario, and nine months from the official launch of the resilience fund from the Canadian Dance Assembly. It doesn't make sense, to expect this industry to recovery in these conditions, especially if these prospective cuts go forward. Regardless of how resilient artists seem to be, the current climate requires a resilience building organization like the OAC maintain their ability to operate at full capacity to help the dance sector with their continued recovery.

Please join us in this push. We need each and every one of you now more than ever. Stand with us and advocate for your need, and your right, to a more sensitive leadership that recognizes and acknowledges the value of dance work, of people who lead creative lives, and the gift of joy, healing and vitality that dance gives to every human being on this earth.

Yours Sincerely,

The Team at Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists - East Chapter

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