Ontario has launched its first Culture Strategy, which establishes goals and actions to promote participation in arts and culture, build on the sector’s economic impact in communities across the province and help Ontarians tell their stories and express themselves. The Honourable Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, made the announcement July 20 at Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario.
The strategy reflects the input of nearly 3,000 people who provided feedback during 2015’s Culture Talks — a three-month public engagement process on the value of culture in people’s lives. The Culture Strategy sets out four overarching goals for the next five years:
- Promote cultural engagement and inclusion;
- Strengthen culture in communities;
- Fuel the creative economy and;
- Promote the value of the arts throughout government.
These goals reflect a commitment to removing barriers and increasing opportunities for cultural participation. They balance the important social and economic benefits of culture and reinforce the vital role artists and arts organizations play in communities, in the creative economy and in helping to build a more inclusive society. Each goal includes strategies and actions.
Key actions include:
- Helping to conserve heritage buildings with energy efficiency improvements through Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan
- Enhancing technical and business skills training for workers in the culture sector
- Developing a new fund to support cultural activities in Indigenous communities and supporting youth cultural camps that build leadership and promote awareness of traditional knowledge.
- Supporting the use of more Canadian authors’ content in schools
The Ontario Culture Strategy reflects the diversity of cultural expressions and experiences heard through the Culture Talks engagement process. It will guide the government’s support for culture over the next five years.