Ontario provides significant financial support to the arts sector

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TORONTO – Two Manitoulin Island arts organizations are among 140 in the province that are receiving funding to cover losses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 Tuesday by Lisa MacLeod, minister of heritage, sport, tourism and culture industries. Through the funding, $24 million will be provided to 140 arts organizations, including Debajehmujig Storytellers, which will receive $265,473, and the Weengushk Film Institute in M’Chigeeng, which is to receive funding of $50,000.

“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 contributions the arts will provide to the economic and social recovery of Ontario economies.”