50 years ago today the Ontario Arts Council was born

TORONTO, April 26, 2013 /CNW/ - On April 26, 1963, 50 years ago today, Bill 162 - the legislation creating the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) - was given its final reading in the Ontario Legislature. The province's primary arts funding body, OAC, was founded with a mission to foster the creation and production of art for the benefit of all Ontarians.

"Our Government is proud to support our artists through the Ontario Arts Council," said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. "The work of the Council has resulted in thriving arts scenes in communities across the province. The impact of the generations of musicians, dancers, writers, painters and visionaries that have shared their great gifts and talents with the people of Ontario and the world is truly immeasurable. Congratulations on 50 years of making Ontario a true cultural capital."

"What started as an idea from a small group of committed volunteers has grown to support a province-wide arts infrastructure that not only contributes to our quality of life but also provides crucial economic benefits," said Martha Durdin, OAC Chair. "I applaud the Government of Ontario's vision in ensuring that the people of Ontario in more than 200 communities have access to the arts."

"Over the next few months, many arts organizations that receive OAC operating funding will be hosting activities throughout the province to mark OAC's birthday. I hope Ontarians will join them in celebrating 50 years of public funding of the arts in Ontario," says Peter Caldwell, OAC Director & CEO.

Last year, OAC grants, to 1,681 artists and 1,125 organizations, supported the creation of over 12,000 new artistic works.

Image with caption: "Stirring emotion for 50 years and counting. The arts, in all their forms, are remarkably powerful. They move us. They make us think. Because the Ontario Arts Council understands the importance of the arts in our lives, it will continue to support artists and arts organizations whose work touches us and lasts a lifetime. Here's to the next 50. (CNW Group/Ontario Arts Council)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130426_C8952_PHOTO_EN_26040.jpg

SOURCE: Ontario Arts Council

For further information:

Kirsten Gunter
Director of Communications
416-969-7403 | 1-800-387-0058 ext. 7403
kgunter@arts.on.cawww.arts.on.ca

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Ontario Arts Council

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