PASO Coalition Meets with Ontario Arts Council Senior Staff to Discuss Cuts to Arts Sector

PASOExecutive Directors representing the Coalition of Provincial Arts Service Organizations (PASO), met with senior staff at the Ontario Arts Council to better understand the nature of forthcoming cuts to arts funding that were announced in a letter sent by the OAC to operational clients dated October 22, 2014.

PASO requested the meeting after learning that the Ontario Arts Council plans to address a projected funding gap for 2015-2016 by reducing all operating and project grants with a 5% cut across the board, effective April 1, 2015, for a total of $2.6 million. These cuts will apply to all 550 organizations that receive OAC operating grants.

Since 2010, the Government of Ontario has provided funding to the Ontario Arts Council of just under $60 million per year. In 2013-2014, the OAC funded 1,737 individual artists and 1,095 arts organizations in 223 Ontario communities, for a total of $52.1 million.

The reductions to OAC operating and project grant programs announced for April 1 come after many years of stagnant government arts funding to the Ontario Arts Council.

Since 2009, the value of OAC grant levels to arts organizations has already been significantly reduced through the impact of inflation, damaging the ability of arts organizations across the province to work effectively. The new cuts will also increase competition in already oversubscribed project programs.

The PASO Coalition has been supporting the work of the OAC over the last seven years and making the case to various Ministries about the fundamental social and economic value of the arts. As a result of this meeting, PASO will continue to develop a business case for increased public investment in the arts that aligns with the priorities of the Ontario Government.  In 2015 PASO will be leading consultations with the arts community and providing deputations to government to ensure the health of the arts sector.

About the PASO Coalition

PASO operates on the principle of voluntary contributions of time and travel from Coalition member organizations. Since 2007, member organizations have contributed almost $120,000 in time and costs to PASO Coalition activities. These activities have included supporting the OAC in the delivery of Arts Day at Queen’s Park.

PASO is a Coalition of Provincial Arts Service Organizations that strives to strengthen the environment for the individuals and institutions that create and disseminate the arts in this province and for public access to the arts. Its collective memberships are made up of individual artists as well as the performance and exhibition organizations that create and support artistic expression.
Feel free to connect with PASO by e-mailing Kristian Clarke at: kc@carfacontario.ca. Demetra Christakos can be reached at:  oaag@oaag.org.  Kristian can be reached by phone at: 416-340-8850.

PASO Coalition Representatives Attending the Meeting

Artist-Run Centres & Collectives of Ontario (ARCCO)
Jewell Goodwyn, Executive Director
http://www.arcco.ca/

Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists – Ontario (CADA-ON)
Amelia Ehrhardt, Administrative Director
www.cada-on.ca

Canadian Artists’ Representation / Le front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC Ontario)
Kristian Clarke, Executive Director
http://www.carfacontario.ca/

Dance Ontario
Rosslyn Jacob Edwards, Executive Director
http://www.danceontario.ca/

Media Arts Network of Ontario (MANO)
Ben Donoghue, Managing Director
http://mano-ramo.ca/

Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG)
Demetra Christakos, Executive Director
http://oaag.org/

Theatre Ontario
Bruce Pitkin, Executive Director

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