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Ontario's Support for Arts and Culture

Archived Backgrounder

Ontario's Support for Arts and Culture

Ontario's artists and arts organizations make important contributions to Ontario. Their work entertains, educates and helps build a strong, prosperous economy. Ontario is proud to celebrate, honour and support the province's arts and culture sectors.

The province has invested $2.5 billion in the province's culture sector since 2003. Through funding programs like the newly launched Arts Investment Fund as well as investments in agencies that directly support Ontario's artists, Ontario is helping create strong, vibrant, creative communities.

Arts Investment Fund
Through the new Arts Investment Fund, Ontario is providing $27 million over three years to help the arts sector grow and become more competitive. Not-for-profit arts organizations receiving operating support from the Ontario Arts Council will be eligible for additional funding. With these funds, arts organizations will be able to pursue new opportunities to expand their audiences and boost revenues.

Investing in Ontario's Arts and Culture Industries
Since 2003, Ontario has increased support for the Ontario Arts Council bringing their annual budget to $60 million per year. With this new support, the Ontario Arts Council is better able to develop and promote Ontario's talented artists and arts organizations.

Ontario is providing the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) with stable, reliable funding, increasing its operating base by $7 million in 2010/11 and $15 million in 2011/12 going forward. This enhanced support will allow OMDC to further grow Ontario's entertainment and creative cluster.

Ontario has also increased funding for the Ontario Trillium Foundation to $120 million. The Foundation is one of Canada's leading charitable foundations with almost a quarter of its funds supporting arts and culture initiatives.

Celebrating our artists
First launched in 2008, Ontario's Celebrate the Artist Weekend was a successful two-year pilot delivered in partnership with the Ontario Arts Council in five municipalities. This year Culture Days is bringing Celebrate the Artist Weekend to the entire province. Ontario is encouraging everyone to take part and celebrate Ontario's artists on September 25 and 26, 2010, as part of the province's Celebrate the Artist Weekend.

Honouring Excellence in the Arts
Created in 2006, the Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts recognize the outstanding achievements of artists and arts organizations and their contributions to arts and culture in Ontario.

Valued at $120,000 these Awards honour and showcase established artists, upcoming talent and arts organizations. The winning artist receives $35,000 and selects a new or emerging artist to receive a prize of $15,000. The winning arts organization is awarded $50,000 and the remaining finalists each receive $2,000.

Past winners have included dancer and choreographer Peggy Baker, publishing house Coach House Books, media artist Ron Mann, and urban developer Toronto Artscape.

Nominations are now open. All Ontarians are invited to nominate their favourite artist or arts organization by December 1, 2010.

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