Status of the artist legislation fails to deliver real change for artists in Ontario

    TORONTO, March 29 /CNW/ - The Status of Ontario's Artists Act 2007,
introduced as part of the province's budget, fails to improve the lives and
incomes of Ontario's artists in the cultural sector.
    "Equity shares the disappointment felt by our arts and culture colleagues
from across the province. The bill in its current form will do more harm than
good if implemented. Empty legislation will hurt the arts industry as a whole
and the livelihood of individual artists across all medias." said Canadian
Actors' Equity Association's Executive Director Susan Wallace.
    The Liberal Government has introduced legislation that falls far short of
delivering on its promise from the 2003 provincial election campaign. The Act
in its present form does not address improved minimum working conditions,
enhanced economic and social benefits and collective bargaining rights for
professional artists and other self-employed cultural workers.
    Equity calls on the Government of Ontario to implement legislative
amendments to the Act, specifically providing for a collective bargaining
procedure for professional artists and engagers. Equity also wants to see the
introduction of protections for child performers, enhanced training and
professional development programs in the cultural sector, income averaging for
artists and greater protections for senior members of our community.
    Provided the Government of Ontario is amenable to changing the
legislation as it stands currently, it is not too late to implement meaningful
legislation to truly meet the diverse needs of professional artists, cultural
workers, engagers and producers in the province.

    Canadian Actors' Equity Association is the voice of professional artists
working in live performance in English Canada. It is a national artists'
association representing more than 5,500 performers, directors,
choreographers, fight directors and stage managers working in theatre, opera
and dance from coast to coast.

For further information:

For further information: Lynn McQueen, Communications Director: (416)
867-9165 ext. 2620, (cellular (416) 476-7037) or

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