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Ontario Budget — SoA/DoA

By Christopher Moore | March 30, 2007

Mostly positive reaction to Ontario’s budget from the cultural community, and with reason. Funding for the Ontario Arts Council, museums, the Media Development Corporation, festivals, and the Trillium Foundation. After the federal budget, it’s good to see a government that believes in supporting the arts.

But they are promising a bill called the Status of Ontario’s Artists Act, and it ain’t Status of the Artist legislation.

Okay, “Status of the Artist” is a mealy-mouthed phrase. But it has always been used (this is from UNESCO’s guiding principles on the subject) to “make it possible for organizations representing artists to participate in the formulation of cultural policies and employment policies including the … determination of conditions of work.”

That is, SoA is about labour relations and bargaining rights. Ontario is redefining it to cover the usual subsidies for the arts.

Good to see spending in culture. But on SoA, still a lot of heavy lifting to do.

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