TORONTO ― The Ontario government is supporting the arts sector with a one-time investment of $25 million to help artists and arts organizations survive the COVID-19 pandemic, remain solvent and prepare for a time when they can fully re-open their facilities, resume full programming and welcome back their visitors and audiences.
Details were provided today by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.
Through the funding, $24 million will be provided to 140 arts organizations, including:
- 4th Line Theatre, Millbrook
- Varley Art Gallery, Markham
- Hot Docs, Toronto
- MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie
- Mariposa Folk Foundation, Orillia
- Lighthouse Festival Theatre, Port Dover
- London Arts Council, London
- Great Canadian Theatre Company, Ottawa
"Arts organizations make an important contribution to our province, providing thousands of jobs for musicians, writers, painters, actors, dancers, stagehands and the many others working behind the scenes," said Minister MacLeod. "They entertain us, but they also play an important role in the mental health and well-being of Ontarians and an equally important role in the province's economic and social recovery. Providing the help they need is a critical part of our plan to support individuals, families and job creators impacted by the virus, while laying the foundation for a strong economic recovery."
Additionally, $1 million will provide much-needed support directly to artists and creators from across the province. More information on this, including eligibility requirements and application deadlines, will be available soon on the Ontario Arts Council website.
"We are honoured that Minister MacLeod has asked the Ontario Arts Council to administer this special initiative," said OAC Chair Rita Davies. "While the pandemic has hurt so many in this province, we are grateful the government has recognized the arts sector as one of the most severely affected. The announcement today also underscores the essential contribution the arts will provide to the economic and social recovery of Ontario communities."
This initiative is part of the government's 2020 Budget, Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover, the next phase of a comprehensive action plan to respond to the devastating health and economic impacts of COVID-19.
- Ontario's Action Plan sets out a total of $45 billion in support over three years to make available the necessary resources to continue protecting people, deliver critical programs and tax measures to support individuals, families and job creators impacted by the virus, and lay the groundwork for a robust long-term economic recovery for the province.
- The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries that provides grants to Ontario-based individual artists and arts professionals, ad hoc groups/collectives and organizations. Grants support a range of arts activities and disciplines.
- The Ontario Arts Council offers two types of granting streams: one-time project grants for specific projects, and operating grants to support Ontario-based, not-for-profit arts organizations and for-profit book and magazine publishers.