THE CANDIDATES, THE ISSUES, OUR FUTURE
October 16th, 2018
Please join EC3 and our Artsvote Coalition Partners for an evening of discussion and debate about the issues, opportunities and challenges facing the local arts, culture and heritage (ACH) sector, meet the Ward Candidates and check out the Conversation on the Arts with the Mayoralty Candidates. The results of the 2018 Municipal election will have a serious impact on artists, audiences and every citizen who cares about local culture. This is a crucial event that can make a real difference.
We want to bring public awareness to the ACH sector during the upcoming municipal election, meet face to face with and talk to candidates who are potential municipal policy and funding decision makers. We need to elect candidates who know, understand and support our sector, who value the impact of long term, strategic investment in the arts and appreciate the vital role our sector plays in the social and economic health of our community. This is a rare opportunity for all of us to establish a broad platform on arts, culture and heritage and offer candidates a forum in which to express their commitment and support. We want all of you to be able to make a more informed decision when you vote.
We are looking for changes in the kind and level of support our sector receives and for more transparency and consultation on the pathways for building the capacity of our arts organizations, artists, heritage assets and cultural institutions to advance and enhance community well-being and connectedness.
A Conversation on the Arts
Join EC3 Executive Director Su Ditta and the Mayoralty Candidates for a relaxed conversation on the arts. Explore the facts, ask questions, shape ideas.
Ward Candidates Round Tables
Nineteen out of 25 potential Ward Candidates have accepted our invitation to participate in the round table discussions exploring critical ideas in our sector. Join the table leaders and the candidates for conversations, learn, educate and follow the wrap up summaries presented by table leaders including: Bill Kimball, Public Energy, Jon Lockyer (Artspace), Chad Hogan (Market Hall) and others TBA.
Let the candidates know that the arts community matters and so does our vote!
Check out our Background Information at ecthree.org or call 705 749 9101 for more information.
Special thanks to Annie Jaegar and our colleagues at the Kawartha Lakes Arts Council for their assistance in developing this project.
ARTS, CULTURE AND HERITAGE IN PETERBOROUGH
ALL CANDIDATES EVENT
BACKGROUND INFORMATION – MUNICIPAL ELECTION 2018
Did you know?
- The arts contribute to a strong economy - in Ontario alone, 270,000 jobs are in the arts and cultural sector, which accounts for 4% of the total workforce. The sector also contributes $25.7 billion to the GDP in Ontario, which is 3.5% of the total provincial economy.
- The arts help communities attract and retain employees – 65% of Ontario business leaders say that a thriving arts and culture scene is something that would make it easier to attract top talent to their community, and 65% of skilled workers agree the arts and culture scene is something they would look for when considering a move to a new community.
- The arts revitalize Ontario communities and build local economic development – a 2010 survey of 18 mid-sized Ontario cities revealed that all municipalities use cultural and recreational amenities as a tool for downtown revitalization and 83% deemed this strategy to be an effective tool. According to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, “arts, culture and heritage improve the ability of municipal governments to influence local economic development by attracting and retaining a skilled and talented workforce.”
- Ontarians value the arts – 79% of Ontarians believe that the government should spend public dollars to support the arts and 88% of Ontarians believe that if their community lost its arts activities, people living there would lose something of value.
- For every $1.00 invested in the arts, $17.75 is generated in the larger economy.
Read on for more information about the impact of the arts and culture in Peterborough:
Statistics and data drawn from “Vital Arts, Vital Communities” produced by the Ontario Arts Council and available at http://www.arts.on.ca/oac/media/oac/Publications/Impact-of-the-arts-in-Ontario-Brochure-EN.pdf, and Impressions of the Impact of the Arts on Quality of Life and Well-Being in Ontario: Ontario Arts Council Survey Findings by Nanos Research (March 2017) http://www.arts.on.ca/research-impact/research-publications/impressions-of-the-impact-of-the-arts-on-quality-o
“Artsvote” was originally founded in Toronto by the Toronto Arts Council in 1993 to raise awareness among the cultural community and the general public about the role of municipal government in the development of the arts, culture and heritage sector and to provide tools to inform voters and electoral candidates’ positions on arts and culture issues. In Peterborough, ad hoc coalitions or individual arts organizations began organizing similar all-candidate events and the Electric City Culture Council (EC3), along with its Artsvote partners in the arts and culture sector, has been holding Artsvote events since 2014 for municipal, provincial and federal elections.
EC3 is a not-for-profit organization serving the arts, culture and heritage sector in Peterborough and the surrounding region. Our mission is to develop and strengthen the creative ecology of the region by connecting individuals and organizations and by providing the leadership, advocacy, professional development, information, research, networking, programming and collaborative partnerships that build the capacity of the local arts, culture and heritage community. EC3’s job is to act as an antenna and sounding board for the Arts, Culture and Heritage (ACH) community, to identify challenges in the sector and develop and deliver services that will help our members and the broader creative community meet those challenges, discover new opportunities, implement useful and innovative strategies to strengthen organizations and provide meaningful support to better serve artists, heritage professionals, cultural managers and audiences. We build capacity and represent the ACH sector, making sure its voice is heard on important issues.
More information about EC3 is available at www.ecthree.org.
On April 23, 2012, City Council adopted Peterborough’s first Municipal Cultural Plan. This formal recognition of the important role that the City’s cultural assets play in building Peterborough’s civic identity and future prosperity launched EC3 as its signature recommendation and set out strategies to promote culture within the municipality and surrounding community, identify existing and needed resources to build cultural capacity, explore collaborative frameworks and partnerships, and integrate a “cultural lens” into the different areas of the City’s processes and city-building activities.
Six years later, many of the strategic directions in the Municipal Cultural Plan have been completed or are currently being pursued, but there is more work to do to effectively develop local arts, culture and heritage and ensure that the sector reaches its potential and maximizes its impact.
One of the ways ACH organizations are supported is through the City’s Community Investment Grants Program. In 2018, 19 out of 33 grants went to ACH organizations with a total of $124,660 invested. That means that investment in those independent organizations that create, produce and present contemporary art or heritage programs was $1.52 on a per capital basis in 2018.
Additional funding was provided to cultural facilities through the Service Grants Programs and through direct departmental funding. On a per capita basis, the combined grant expenditure (including Project and Service Grants) was $8.25 in 2017. Looking at total municipal spending on cultural services (including the Peterborough Library, the Peterborough Museum, and the Peterborough Art Gallery), the per capita expenditure in 2017 was $126.23.
Peterborough has a thriving arts, culture and heritage scene – more than 150 not-for-profit arts organizations, hundreds of professional cultural workers, and many local businesses involved in cultural activity. However, challenges continue to persist in the sector and new challenges arise every day, which will require innovative and forward-looking approaches.
Priorities for the ACH Sector in Peterborough
- Direct support for local artists
Over the past number of years, the City of Peterborough along with community organizations in the arts, culture and heritage sectors have conducted numerous studies to assess the impact of support for the arts in the community. These studies, along with those conducted at a provincial and federal level, demonstrate that direct support for artists – that is, dollars in their pockets – helps to maintain an innovative, thriving arts scene and ensure artists can contribute to the quality of life in our community. Local artists aren’t looking for a ‘hand out’, but want to be fairly compensated for their work and contributions to Peterborough. There are numerous tools and vehicles used by other municipalities to achieve this goal.
- Managing gentrification in the downtown core
As Peterborough’s arts and culture rich downtown continues to attract new businesses, residents and customers and with the higher densification targets set by the Place to Grow legislation in Ontario, new pressure will arise for higher-end accommodations, shops and spaces to locate downtown. While this could be positive for many who want to see our downtown continue to thrive, it raises the prospect of runaway gentrification that brings rapidly increasing property taxes, a rise in rental costs, and ultimately, a ‘squeezing out’ of the venues, creative spaces, presentation spaces, live-work spaces, studios and galleries that working artists, those on low-income, students, seniors and other community members rely on. Ironically, those who have made the downtown so attractive, will no longer be able to live and work there and many of its “attractions” may close down. Planning for the downtown core must ensure that heritage assets are protected, that artists can afford to live, make work and have access to exhibition and presentation venues and a meaningful voice in defining development priorities and approaches.
- Increase sector sustainability and build capacity for the ACH sector
Currently, organizations in the sector receive funding from the City of Peterborough in two primary ways – through the Community Investment Grants program and the Community Service Grants program. Additionally, a few organizations receive funding as a line item in the City’s budget. As costs rise and the nature of work for artists and arts organizations continues to be precarious, there is a need to consider ways to improve these mechanisms, including providing grants to individual artists, increasing both the budget and the cap for the Community Investment Grant program, and conducting a program review to ensure the highest standard of assessment and results for the granting process. There is also a need to ensure a consistent ‘voice for the arts’ within the municipality and to build internal capacity. The addition of a new Arts Officer position within the City could help clarify processes for artists and organizations, ensure the cultural lens is applied at every level of City decision-making, and build mutually-beneficial relationships with other departments such as Public Works.
- Economic Indicators of Arts, Culture and Heritage
- 2018 Community Investment Grants Report
- Click here to access the Municipal Cultural Plan
- Click to read 'UNPACKING ARTIST SPACES: Which candidates understand the need for affordable space for artists?" by Ann Jaeger for Electric City Magazine
- 'Peterborough Artsweek puts an important economic driver in the spotlight' Opinion piece, Peterborough Examiner
- Arts hub Presentation To Council
- Arts Vote Slideshow