Cultural Platforms and Responses to Questions from MANO/RAMO Regarding the June 12, 2014 Ontario Election

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:

Let­ter Ontario PC Par­ty

Let­ter Ontario Lib­eral Par­ty

Let­ter Ontario NDP

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.

MANO/RAMO Con­tacts:
Ben Donoghue, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor: director@mano-ramo.ca
Adri­ana Rossel­li, Mem­ber­ship& Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Coor­di­na­tor: membership@mano-ramo.ca

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.

Sin­cerely,

Ben Donoghue