Proposed legislation recognizes importance of Ontario's artists

    Province honours artists' contribution to Ontario's economy and quality
    of life

    TORONTO, March 23 /CNW/ - New legislation was introduced yesterday that
would recognize artists' contributions to Ontario's creative economy, quality
of life and sense of identity, Culture Minister Caroline Di Cocco announced.
    "Our government is taking a leadership role in recognizing Ontario
artists," said Di Cocco. "The proposed legislation recognizes artists'
contributions and establishes Ontario's first arts and culture strategy. It is
a major first step in our plan to create a better environment for our artists
to live and work."

    The legislation, if passed, would:

    -   Formally recognize artists' unique economic and social contributions
        to Ontario's society;
    -   Establish the province's first arts and culture strategy: this
        government will provide a clear vision for arts and culture, one that
        will serve as a guide in the development of future policies;
    -   Convey the government of Ontario's commitment to implement
        initiatives that enhance the socio-economic status of artists.
        Undertakings include: training and professional development
        opportunities, audience development, promoting artists' health and
        safety, strengthening arts and culture organizations, creating forums
        for artists to access information, promoting local cultural tourism
        and municipal cultural planning; and
    -   Declare the first weekend of June as Celebrate the Artist Weekend.
        This will provide opportunities to celebrate artists and their work
        in communities throughout the province.

    The proposed legislation responds to recommendations included in a report
created by the Minister's Advisory Council for Arts and Culture. The report is
based on the most extensive consultations ever undertaken in the province and
reflects the views of thousands of individual artists, arts organizations,
unions and supporters.
    "The report was instrumental in developing legislation that recognizes
Ontario artists and improves their living conditions," said Di Cocco. "I'd
like to thank the members of my advisory council for their hard work and
dedication and the more than 4,000 artists, arts organizations, associations
and unions who offered their views during the consultation process."
    A number of non-legislative initiatives, developed in partnership with
other ministries, will be announced in the coming weeks to complement the
proposed legislation. These initiatives will provide artists with specialized
training, support and information that will help them earn a living in their
chosen profession.
    "By supporting our artists, we're investing in the long-term prosperity
of the province," said Di Cocco. "Over the next two decades, job growth in the
creative sector is expected to surpass most of Ontario's other thriving
employment sectors."

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Mark Thompson, Minister's Office, (416)
325-4071; Guy Lepage, Communications Branch, (416) 314-3497

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Ontario Ministry of Culture

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