In Ontario, the cultural sector is actively engaging MPPs ahead of next year’s election. This past month saw the publishing and film industries, along with the museum sector, at Queen’s Park for meetings and receptions with legislators. All these groups were advancing specific policy and program requests pertinent to their sector. In addition, pre-budget consultations of the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs have commenced. Cultural stakeholders, like the Ontario Museum Association, presented to it last Thursday.
Following the holiday break in Ontario, one can expect the pre-election jockeying to gain more steam than it has already. Culture is unlikely to dominate much of the public agenda, but it’s clear that the parties seek to ensure they are seen as “arts-friendly.” The tone and content of The Arts Advocate Facebook live session with PC Culture Critic Rick Nicholls demonstrated his party’s interest in ensuring a constructive relationship with the cultural sector.
Ontarians for the Arts is underway. It is a coalition of arts leaders and organizations that are coming together to “convey the power and impact of the arts in Ontario to decision makers, in time for the next provincial election.” This group is currently preparing for what it hopes to be a critical mass of meetings in late January/early February, ahead of the resumption of the Ontario legislature after the Family Day holiday.
For more information, go to: http://ontariansforthearts.ca