In June 2020, CARFAC Ontario’s Managing Director, Jason Samilski, presented a deputation to the Government of Ontario Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs regarding the impacts of COVID-19 on the arts and culture sector. Our deputation, as well as the written brief submitted, included a strong focus on the pandemic’s economic impacts on artists and cultural leaders representing equity-seeking groups. Our key recommendations were as follows:
1) Immediately invest $5m into the Indigenous Culture Fund;
2) Increase the base level of funding to the Ontario Arts Council to $80m so that it is in line with the 2021 funding level set in 2017;
3) Ensure that artists and cultural leaders representing equity groups and marginalized communities are positioned at the forefront of recovery and rebuilding efforts. We recommended doing this by engaging stakeholders representing these communities to co-design a long-term stabilization fund so that the arts can not only continue to drive tourism and economic growth, but will provide increased economic benefit through the reduction of barriers, and the increase of inclusion, equity, and diversity.