On May 8, 2014 MANO/RAMO sent a letter requesting details from four parties running in the upcoming Ontario election. Responses were received from the Ontario Liberal Party, the Ontario NDP, and the Ontario PC Party; the Green Party of Ontario did not respond.
Below are the questions sent to each party. The letters are attached:
MANO/RAMO would like to encourage all members, cultural workers, and supporters of the arts in Ontario to read these responses and make a decision to support the arts on election day.
Ben Donoghue, Managing Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
Adriana Rosselli, Membership& Communications Coordinator: email@example.com
Letter from MANO/RAMO:
The Media Arts Network of Ontario/Réseau des arts médiatiques de l’Ontario (MANO/RAMO) is a provincial arts service organization representing 48 non-profit media art production centres, festivals and distributors across the province. In the interests of providing the sector with information to make informed decision in the upcoming provincial election we would like to know your party’s platform regarding arts and culture in Ontario, if available.
In 2009-10 Ontario had the second lowest per capita provincial government expenditures on culture. At $62 it was $27 less than the $89 per capita national average, with only British Columbia dedicating less resources to culture. Ontario has nearly twice as many artists as any other province. Artists represent 0.81% of the overall provincial labour force, slightly higher than the Canadian average (0.77%),
Can you confirm your commitment to the arts sector by increasing investment in the arts through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport and key agencies such as the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) and the Ontario Trillium Foundation, to a minimum of $89 per capita (the national average)?
With increasing costs for the rental and purchase of space across the province, particularly in urban centres, what is your plan to support adequate and affordable facilities including housing for artists and arts organizations?
The impact of arts and culture on the Ontario economy is significant. MANO would like to draw attention to research that highlights this impact:
- 252,300 Ontarians are directly employed by the cultural sector. This represents 4.1% of total Ontario employment
- Ontario’s cultural sector contributes $19.7 billion to the province’s Gross Domestic Product, or 4.2% of our total GDP
- 4.5 million Ontarians participated in arts education activities offered by organizations funded annually by the OAC; of these 4.5 million, 2.1 million were children and youth
- 43% of Ontarians, 15 years or older, attended a performing arts event; 36% visited a museum or gallery
Arts and culture are a key driver of Ontario’s tourism industry. For instance, in 2010: 9.5 million overnight tourists – or 22% of all of Ontario’s overnight tourists – participated in arts/culture activities during their trips.
- 66% were Canadians, 23% were Americans, and 11% were from overseas.
- 39% of all American overnight visitors to Ontario were arts/culture tourists.
- 63% of Ontario’s overseas visitors engaged in an arts/culture activity during their trip.
Arts/culture tourist spending generated:
- $3.7 billion in GDP province-wide
- 67,000 jobs and $2.4 billion in wages
- $1.7 billion in taxes.
Thank you for your consideration of the arts in your work and we look forward to your reply.