Thursday, 28 August 2014

ArtsVote Across Ontario

by Brandon Moore, Communications Coordinator

Ontario’s municipalities go to the polls on October 27, 2014.  Approximately 2800 councillors and 700 school trustees will be elected.  ArtsVote organizations across Ontario are now mobilizing communities to ensure that candidates talk about arts and culture policy.  What’s happening in your community, and how can you connect?

ArtsVote Toronto has been active in municipal elections since 2000.  This year, they have identified four key issues, and issued surveys to candidates to prepare Report Cards.  They will also be hosting a lunch-time Mayoral Arts Debate at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on September 29—but I was especially interested to hear about “Art on the Ballot”, a partnership with the SummerWorks Festival, that featured a panel from the Toronto arts community answering questions from candidates.  (Torontoist covered the event.)  To get involved in Toronto, you can sign up for the newsletter, or connect with their Facebook page or Twitter feed at the ArtsVote Toronto website—and take your "what do you ArtsVote for?" photograph.

ArtsVote Hamilton launched on June 4 with their first event: a discussion about arts in Hamilton with local councillors and candidates, and Stephanie Vegh of the Hamilton Arts Council blogged about the event.  ArtsVote Hamilton has a Facebook page where you can follow for future event information.

Kingston Arts Council also launched the ArtsVote Kingston initiative this past year.  They ran a successful IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to make a public service announcement video—we look forward to seeing the results.  (UPDATE on August 29: ArtsVote Kingston's launch event is scheduled for September 13 at 2:30pm in the Atrium at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen's University)

The Mississauga Arts Council is holding a Mayoral Forum on Arts, Culture and Heritage on September 8 at the Living Arts Centre.  With Hazel McCallion retiring after 36 years in the mayor’s office, this is sure to be an important discussion as Mississauga chooses a new mayor.

Barrie, London, Niagara, Oakville, Ottawa, and Windsor all had activities in 2010, and hopefully we will hear more about the work in these communities in the months ahead—as well as other new initiatives across Ontario.  Please contact me at or 416.408.4556 x.13 to be included in the next update.

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