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Ontario Arts Council

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Petitioning Chris Moise, Mike Gallagher, Ontario Arts Council, Doug Ford

Fight for Central Tech's Art Program

My name is Katie Luu and I am a specialized senior art student representing all art students at Central tech. I am deeply concerned for the state of our art program, the art students, and the hard working staff members. The art program is not allowed to be advertised outside of Central Tech which has caused the enrollment to decline, adding onto the existing cuts. The program is completely ignored by our principal Lisa Edwards as most of the program funds and advertising go to the sports sector. She is not aware of the iconic importance of the art program and takes NO EFFORT to listen to student voice, often skipping meetings to meet with student council. We have a whole building with one of a kind facilities dedicated to nurture art students but now there are plans to turn the whole third floor into an archival gallery which is a complete waste of the unique space. The third floor was built specially with rooms and windows to receive the best lighting for life drawing and painting. We are the only high school that can create bronze sculptures in Ontario and there is no other art building like this, discarding it would be Central Tech’s biggest regret. As a matter of fact, the art building can still be a competitor against any post secondary art school in the nation if it was used to its full potential. When a school prides itself on diversity, every type of student should be integrated, represented, and treated fairly and no voices should be swept under the rug. Our sculpture technician Adam Brockie has been an absolute pillar to the program and is of irreplaceable value to Central Tech. Adam has always extended his title as a technician as he teaches drawing and sculpture to high school students and adult students during the day and night. He is a true mentor, friend, and role model to anybody that has had the privilege to be his student including myself, he has contributed greatly to the person I am today. The staff members of Central Tech's  Art Program are essential to providing an environment of creativity and passion for all students in Toronto. I personally know a significant amount of people that have come to Central Tech for the specialized opportunities and to have the freedom to express themselves with the support of dedicated teachers. These teachers and technicians NEED to be protected and supported in order to preserve the proper art education that has existed for artists since 1915. Notable alumni such as Lauren Harris and Kazua Nakamura have permanent artworks in the Art Gallery of Ontario and a considerable amount of the art program has played a role in their iconic success.  Students have been told their whole lives that high school is suppose to set them up for the future, not for failure. Without the teachers and technicians to help run these special opportunities there will be a loss of career driven students. You can count the art staff on one hand and with reduction of instructors, students, and funding, the whole art program will be not only be severed from Central Tech’s history but from Toronto’s history. Our voices should be heard and action should be taken for we are students that have passions that should be equally nurtured. No dreams should be robbed from any students at Central tech for it is the duty of education to cultivate futures, not crush them. From a student with a deep devotion to art and to the teachers that fed the passion.

Katie Luu
2,227 supporters
Petitioning Ontario Arts Council

Support Arts Council funding for Screenwriters and bring quality work to the screen!

We at Fund Screenwriting Canada are encouraging the Arts Councils to consider funding screenwriters the same way they fund playwrights.  The Arts Councils already have a template to support the writer through their development process. We are asking the Media Departments at the Arts Councils in Canada to take screenwriting as seriously as they do the literary and playwriting process and consider shaping a grant to support screenwriters. Not all screenwriters are directors; not all directors are screenwriters, and as a result, screenwriting artists often slip through the cracks when Media Arts funding is set up only for directors and their selected teams. While there are funds elsewhere for producers and directors, an emerging screenwriter or one who has a unique, non-commercial story has less access to producers and directors who can pay them for developing their script. Under the current system, small, independent directors working with micro-budgets are forced to make difficult choices that can sacrifice the quality of the film in order to pay the writer. This isn’t a choice that theatre artists are forced to make. Literary funding does not consider screenwriting part of their mandate. High-quality content is in demand, in order for a screenplay to be successful they must tell a unique, poignant and personal story. This doesn't just happen on a first draft with production around the corner. Art doesn't just happen. Writers need time and support. If we want to see a robust Canadian film industry founded on quality film art, it all starts with the script, and we need to invest in our screenwriters so that they can develop and practice their craft. Our first step is to deliver these signatures of support to the Ontario Arts Council who recently received $50 Million dollars in support from the Provincial government. Show your support for Screenwriters and Screenwriting and sign!

Fund Screenwriting Canada
859 supporters
Petitioning Ontario Arts Council

Arts in All Public Schools

Performing arts in public schools in america are disappearing and labeled as ‘waste of time’ ‘waste of money’ or ‘useless’. In many cities and towns, tight budgets mean that arts are the first to go. In California, financial problems have wiped out art classes in many schools, particularly in Los Angeles. In New York City, two-thirds of public elementary schools have no art or music teachers. Many highly regarded programs are suffering, including the selective-admissions high schools for which New York was once renowned. Not only have teachers and classes been eliminated, but even supplies and instruments for after-school activities like band or theater productions are gone. Arts education, its supporters say, helps children develop their own artistic talents, encourages some to stay in school, builds future audiences and teaches them about past civilizations. There have been new theories about how children learn and think suggest that the arts can inspire children often dismissed as failures. Many kids are dismissed as failures because they are told they will never make it that there dreams will never be a reality or that they need to choose something reliable that will pay the bills. Yes making it into the art business is a very hard thing to achieve but with hard work and determination it’s not impossible.  The arts don’t just develop a child’s creativity, the skills they learn because of them spill over into academic achievement. A report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who participate regularly in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement. While mastering a subject builds a student’s confidence, there is something special about participating in the arts. Getting up on a stage and singing gives kids a chance to step outside their comfort zone. As they improve and see their own progress, their self-confidence will continue to grow. With group performances helps build confidence without facing the spotlight by yourself. Many of the arts such as band, choir, and theater require kids to work together. They must share responsibility and compromise to achieve their common goal.  It was not long ago that arts education in schools was thought to be a luxury, and arts classes were cut from the curriculum to make room for more time to prepare for standardized tests. Art can nourish our souls, but it can nourish our families as well. The nonprofit arts and culture industry drove $166.3 billion of economic activity during 2015. Art Center during her exhibition “Autumn de Forest: Selected Works.'This activity includes 4.6 million jobs and $27.5 billion in government revenue every year. Growing international interest in the potential of the cultural and creative industries to drive sustainable development and create inclusive job opportunities.  2.1 million workers held primary positions as artists. A primary job is defined as one at which the greatest number of hours were worked. In that same year, an estimated 271,000 workers also held second jobs as artists. Twelve percent of all artist jobs in 2013 were secondary employment. In many districts, the arts have struggled for so long that it will take years, and massive investment, to turn things around. Arts education has been slipping for more than three decades, the result of tight budgets, a growing list of state mandates that have crammed the classroom curriculum, and a public sense that the arts are great but not essential. It is estimated that by the end of this year, more than 25% of public high schools will completely get rid of them. This isn’t just bad news for teachers working in the arts, such as those at traditional schools for dance or online colleges for photography. Many studies done in the past have demonstrated the amazing benefits of such an arts education. Students who don’t have access to art classes may not only miss out on a key creative outlet, but might also face greater difficulty mastering core subjects, higher dropout rates and more disciplinary problems. It has become a mantra in education that No Child Left Behind, with its pressure to raise test scores, has reduced classroom time devoted to the arts. Therefor the arts benefit all different sorts of people in different but all positive. They shouldn't be the first the dropped out of a public school every art give each individual student a voice whether it's a solo or a group effort. The arts also give many people jobs that give them the opportunity to change a child's life. The arts make a difference for kids inside and out side of school. Please sign my petition to make a difference in a child's life no matter the age you could give them the chance to express themselves and have a voice. “Katy Independent School District.” The Importance of Fine Arts Education,  “10 Reasons Why Arts in Education Is So Important for Kids.” Learning Liftoff, Lauren Martin, 2 Dec. 2015, “10 Studies on the Importance of Art in Education.”, 3 June 2016, Smith, Fran. “Why Arts Education Is Crucial, and Who's Doing It Best.” Edutopia, Jan. 2009, Snowball, Jen. “Why Art and Culture Contribute More to an Economy than Growth and Jobs.” The Conversation, The Conversation, 22 May 2018,

Savannah Schulze
96 supporters
Remove OAC restrictions on Indigenous and culturally diverse curatorial projects.

As a public agency, the Ontario Arts Council welcomes feedback on our programs and initiatives. We regularly evaluate our work to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of an evolving and diverse arts sector. The petition, “Remove OAC restrictions on Indigenous and culturally diverse curatorial projects” highlights many important issues and perspectives. However, we would like to take this opportunity to offer some clarity and context on the concerns raised. OAC recognizes that Indigenous and culturally diverse communities have the right to self-define their forms of artistic expression, and that those diverse forms may not be supported by some institutional curatorial practices and contexts in the visual arts. OAC supports this reality through developing a number of different programs over time that respond to the various and evolving ways that artists and arts professionals pursue their work. All of the activities described in the petition are currently eligible for OAC support, although not all in any one program. We have also created programs and initiatives that respond to specific gaps and inequities in the arts sectors and in the arts funding landscape. The Culturally Diverse Curatorial Projects and Aboriginal Curatorial Projects programs came about as a result of OAC’s commitment to Indigenous curators and curators of colour, who continue to be underrepresented in Canada’s art galleries and arts institutions. These programs were created to address a particular barrier: the lack of diversity among those making curatorial choices within gallery spaces and visual arts organizations. One of the primary goals of these two programs was to assist organizations to open up access to their presenting spaces to support and include the viewpoints of independent Indigenous curators and curators of colour. We value and recognize community engagement and residency as curatorial initiatives and we certainly do not wish to prevent Indigenous or culturally-diverse curators from pursuing their projects. It is impossible for one program to address all needs of all grant applicants. However, we strive to ensure our programs do meet the needs of those they are intended to support. We continue to evaluate all of our programs and look at ways to streamline more effectively to achieve the goals of our strategic plan, which was developed in consultation with Ontario’s arts communities. (See more here: We will take this and all ongoing feedback into consideration as we examine both our programs and how we as an organization are keeping pace with the changing needs of Ontario artists and arts workers. Sincerely, Carolyn Vesely Director of Granting Ontario Arts Council

3 years ago