Moving Ontario Forward By Investing In The Arts

    Caroline DiCocco Outlines Plan To Invest In Our Cultural Industries And
    Support Ontario's Artists

    TORONTO, Sept. 22 /CNW/ - In our globally connected and competitive
world, support for the arts is a smart and necessary economic strategy, said
Culture Minister Caroline DiCocco at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto
    Speaking at the launch of the Ontario Liberal platform for Arts and
Culture, DiCocco outlined the Liberals' plan to build on progress and continue
to support and promote the arts for all Ontarians to enjoy.
    "The arts have the power to improve Ontario's quality of life - both
materially and culturally - as few things can," said DiCocco.
    "Under the previous Conservative government, cultural organizations were
barely recovering from widespread cuts in 1995 and funding was limited and
continued to pose a major challenge to day-to-day operations," she added.
    "Ontario Liberals will continue to build on our progress and move
Ontario's arts and culture communities forward."
    Over the past four years, the Ontario Liberals have increased funding for
artists and arts organizations across Ontario by 38 per cent through the
Ontario Arts Council. Today's platform unveils the next steps in our plan to
strengthen arts and culture in Ontario, which includes:

      -  Increasing funding to the Ontario Arts Council by an additional
         $5 million per year starting in the 2008/09 budget year in addition
         to our previously committed funding of $55 million by 2009/10

      -  Revitalizing local arts and culture through a three-year,
         $40 million cultural capital program that will help municipalities
         provide artists with space to do their work

      -  Creating a $15 million special events fund for our cultural
         attractions and agencies to host blockbuster attractions

      -  Enabling our museums to engage new ideas and technology through an
         annual $2 million investment that will make history more accessible
         and tangible to Ontarians as well as increasing support for museums
         and heritage preservation through an annual $650,000 investment

      -  Developing libraries as community hubs of technology and recorded
         knowledge and supporting the implementation of new technology
         through a $13 million investment over four years.

    "Arts and culture help define what we're about. They enrich our lives.
They enable us to express - to ourselves and to others - what it means to
live, work, build and dream together," said DiCocco.
    "That is why Ontario Liberals recognize the power of arts and culture -
bringing people together, bringing communities to life, and improving quality
of life."

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Ontario Liberal Party Media Relations, (416)
961-3800 Ext. 386

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