QUEEN’S PARK – NDP MPP Jill Andrew (Toronto–St. Paul’s), the Official Opposition Culture and Heritage Critic, has issued the following remarks to mark World Art Day:
“Ontario is home to a vibrant creative and cultural industry – we take pride in the many world-class artists who hone their craft right here in this province, incredible array of galleries, museums, and theatres, and communities with an active local arts scene. However, the past few years have not been kind to artists and cultural workers in our province.
We are still in the heart of ‘recovery’ and the economic effects of this unprecedented pandemic are still being felt by individual creatives and creative institutions. The pandemic has had a disproportionate and devastating impact on the arts and culture sector, risking the economic powerhouse status it has in Ontario. Prior to 2020, arts and culture contributed nearly $3 billion – over 3% of the total – to Ontario’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) and created approximately 300,000 jobs. That doesn’t include the wealth of benefits it has beyond the sector, across other Ministries.
To realize the full potential of arts and culture in Ontario requires investment. This is why, to mark World Art Day, I have called on Premier Ford, Minister Neil Lumsden (Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport), and Minister Michael Ford (Minister of Citizenship & Multiculturalism) to make immediate investments into Ontario’s arts and cultural sector.