The First 'Celebrate Our Artists' Weekend June 6-8



    McGuinty Government Boosts The Arts With A Weekend Of Activities In
    Kitchener-Waterloo Region

    TORONTO, Feb. 27 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is launching the first
Celebrate Our Artists Weekend! June 6-8 in the communities of
Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Stratford and surrounding areas.

    
    Celebrate our Artists! is:
    -   an opportunity for the public to explore the creative process through
        activities such as behind the scenes tours, workshops, and lectures,
        and
    -   a chance to learn more about theatre, music, dance, literature, media
        arts, crafts, and the visual and performance arts
    

    The Ontario Arts Council will work with artists and arts organizations
involved to help coordinate the activities. There will be some funding
available for specific projects that will require payment to professional
artists.
    Artists, arts organizations and community-based arts groups are being
encouraged to participate and should contact Natalie De Vito, OAC Celebrate
Our Artists Weekend Project Manager and Artistic Producer, at 1-800-387-0058
ext. 7468 or ndevito@arts.on.ca.
    "Celebrate Our Artists! weekend recognizes the exciting contributions
that artists make to our communities," said the Hon. Aileen Carroll, Minister
of Culture. "The extraordinary amount of arts activity in this region made it
an excellent choice for the first year of this project. We look forward to
expanding this pilot in future years."
    "The idea behind the Celebrate our Artists! weekend is to encourage a
broader appreciation of the arts, and its importance and impact on local
communities," said Martha Durdin, OAC Chair. "It is about connecting to new
audiences, and promoting activities and events that will give the public more
information and understanding about the work of artists."
    "I am pleased this area was chosen for the pilot for Celebrate our
Artists! weekend," said MPP John Milloy of Kitchener Centre.
"Kitchener-Waterloo has a great many talented people who make significant
contributions to the local community."
    "A special weekend recognizing our artists is part of the government's
plan to create a better environment for artists and we look forward to seeing
it continue in the future," said MPP Leeanna Pendergast of Kitchener
Conestoga.
    "Artists create economic and cultural benefits to the communities where
they live and this weekend will be a way for all Ontarians to show their
appreciation," said MPP John Wilkinson of Perth-Wellington.
    The Ontario Arts Council, with support from the Ministry of Culture, will
administer the pilot project, encourage arts organizations to participate, and
help organize events. The provincial government recently provided $15 million
to the Ontario Arts Council, as well as $20 million to the Ontario Trillium
Foundation, and $49 million to support Ontario's major cultural agencies and
attractions.
    Last spring the government announced the Status of the Ontario's Artists
Act, which recognizes the importance of artists to the Ontario economy and
quality of life. The Act set out a commitment by the government to promote the
importance of the arts to towns and cities across Ontario, and proclaimed the
first weekend in June as Celebrate the Artist Weekend.

    
    Disponible en français

                            www.tourism.gov.on.ca
                            www.ontariotravel.net
    





For further information:

For further information: Alicia Johnston, Minister's Office, (416)
325-1676; Mark Thompson, Communications Branch, (416) 314-3497

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Ontario Ministry of Culture

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