2023 Ontario Pre-Budget Consultations

As part of the the 2023 Pre-Budget consultations, CARFAC Ontario recommended that the Government of Ontario in its 2023 budget:

Sustain the 2022 level of investment in the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) at $65 million

Founded in 1963 by Progressive Conservative Premier John Robarts, the Ontario Arts Council’s work touches all almost all of Ontario’s cultural economy which, in 2019, contributed $28.7 billion to the provincial GDP. This includes $5.5 billion GDP contribution from arts education, performing arts, festivals, original visual art, craft, books, and sound recordings—sectors that are heavily supported by the OAC. In 2021-22, OAC made investments in all 124 Ontario ridings through 2,665 grants to individual artists, and 1,050 grants to organizations.

The arts sector is grateful for the additional investment of $5m to OAC’s general grant in 2022, which, per OAC’s projections has the potential to generate an additional $79m in revenues, along with 4800 new jobs. As such, we highlight that sustaining this funding can result in significantly more economic growth. In addition to its direct GDP contribution, the arts and culture sector plays a central role in driving tourism and enhancing local business, as well as creating jobs, with over 300,000 Ontarians currently employed in the sector.

Ontario cannot afford to fall behind. Previous governments have not pursued the economic impact directly associated with investment at the OAC, with the Council’s general grant from the province remaining at or around $60m since 2009; and these annual investments have not reflected population growth or inflation. While Ontario is home to approximately 42% of Canada’s artists (almost twice as much as any other province), between 2016 and 2022 British Columbia and Quebec have more than doubled their investments in their provincial arts councils. During this challenging time, sustaining a $65m general grant for the OAC represents an effective strategy to stabilize, and protect, the arts and culture sector’s economic impact.     

The full submission can be read and downloaded here.

For more information please contact: Jason Samilski, Managing Director, CARFAC Ontario | jason@carfacontario.ca