Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday December 18, 2018
Ford government cuts funding to Ontario Arts Council, impacting Indigenous Culture Fund
The Ontario government has slashed base funding to the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) by $5 million, as well as more than $2 million to the Indigenous Culture Fund.
The agency that gives grants and services to Ontario-based artists and arts organizations said base funding for 2018-19 will drop from $69.9 million to the 2017-18 level of $64.9 million.
Ontario NDP culture critic Jill Andrew said the cuts include suspending the Indigenous Culture Fund at a cost of $2.25 million, an initiative set up a year ago to support cultural activities and programming in Indigenous communities.
“The government’s cut of $2.25 million to the Indigenous Culture Fund at the Ontario Arts Council is a disturbing step back from the TRC’s Calls to Action,” Andrew said in a tweet.
“This and the $5 million cut to @ONArtsCouncil’s base funding is an alarming attack on arts and culture.”
The Indigenous Culture Fund was set up by the previous Liberal government in 2017 with an investment of $5 million annually.
The fund was part of the province’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).
“Doug Ford’s cuts will cause the layoff of Indigenous staff, immediate cuts to granting budgets, and a significant cut to arts and cultural programming,” Andrew said in a media release on Friday. (Source: Global News)