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Tag archive: Ontario Arts Council (4)

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Ontario Arts Council study confirms support for arts in Ontario

A new Ontario Arts Council (OAC) study conducted by Nanos Research has found that the arts maintain a high level of support among Ontarians. According to the report, Ontario residents recognize the important contribution of the arts—music included—to vibrant, liveable communities. This report is a follow up to OAC’s 2010 provincial survey, and offers an important perspective on arts in the public eye.

The survey, based on a random sample of 1,004 individuals, found that a majority of Ontarians recognize the positive impact that the arts have on quality of life, community well-being, identity and belonging, and government investment.

“The results of the Quality of Life report confirm what we heard as we developed the province’s first Culture Strategy, and show that Ontarians intuitively understand that culture is a fundamentally important part of our lives and communities,” said Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “I’m proud that our government is taking steps to strengthen the arts and culture sector as we implement the initiatives outlined in the Culture Strategy, and the Ontario Arts Council is an important part of that work.”

“This study clearly demonstrates that people across Ontario believe that the arts make an important contribution to their quality of life and social well-being and that arts activities are key factors in increasing the attractiveness of their communities as places to live and work,” said Rita Davies, Chair, Ontario Arts Council.

Highlights of the survey are as follows:

Arts and quality of life

  • 93% of Ontarians agree that arts activities help enrich the quality of our lives.
  • 90% of Ontarians say that the arts are important to improving the quality of life in their communities.
  • 85% say that the arts are important to improving the quality of their own lives.

Arts and identity and belonging

  • 91% of Ontarians agree that the arts help us to understand other cultures better.
  • 88% agree that participating in arts activities builds a shared sense of community identity.

Arts and community well-being

  • 90% agree that an active local arts scene helps make a community a better place to live.
  • 97% agree that engaging children in the arts is important to their overall development.
  • 80% of Ontarians agree that an active local arts scene helps communities attract businesses.

Government investment in the arts

  • 82% of Ontarians agree that helping make the arts available to people in Ontario is an important government investment.
  • 79% agree that government should spend public dollars to invest in the arts.

You can read the report’s executive summary on the OAC website.

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Ontario study shows arts and culture attract top talent

Business for the Arts has released the results of a new study that details the extent to which arts and culture attract both skilled workers and the businesses that seek them. Culture for Competitiveness: How Vibrant Culture Attracts Top Talent was created with support from the Ontario Arts Council, with research conducted by Nanos Research.

The study shows that a vibrant arts and culture scene, including live music events, can be a major driver in attracting and retaining employees, and is based on a survey of 500 skilled workers, and 508 businesses in Ontario. While businesses recognize the magnetic nature of arts and culture to skilled workers, the study concludes that they can do more to support local arts communities. According to the study, only 25% of businesses in Ontario make financial contributions to arts and/or cultural organizations in their community.

“The study’s bottom line is that businesses need to make arts and culture more of a priority,” said Nichole Anderson, President & CEO of Business for the Arts. “Our culture for competitiveness study confirms that skilled workers seek out vibrant arts and culture hubs when making job decisions, but businesses who could benefit from the magnetic effect of culture are not investing in their arts and culture ecosystem.”

The study includes the following findings:

  • 60 per cent of businesses said that there are usually more qualified and attractive potential employees in communities with a thriving arts scene
  • 64 per cent of businesses said that a thriving arts and culture scene is something that would make it easier to attract top talent to their community
  • 49 per cent of skilled workers go to arts and cultural festivals two to four times per year
  • Just over half of skilled workers said that a healthy vibrant arts and culture community has influenced their choice regarding which city they would want to work in
  • Skilled workers in Toronto tend to value arts and culture more than those living elsewhere (85 per cent compared to 73 per cent)
  • 75 per cent of skilled workers agreed that government support for the arts makes a more livable community

Thriving Arts Scene Image

The results of this new study echo parts of Music Canada and IFPI’s Mastering of a Music City report. One finding in the report was that music branding undertaken by a city adds a “cool” factor, that can attract and retain investment and talent. In Berlin, the intermingling of music and tech businesses has demonstrated that a successful music economy can attract and retain talent in other industries as well.

The Mastering of a Music City looks to global cities where an understanding exists that arts, culture, and music specifically, help to attract talent and business. Fredrik Sandsten, Event Manager Music at the public tourism agency in Sweden says of Gothenburg, “We have a very industrial city with huge industrial companies. They want culture and music to flourish because they see the link to attracting young workers to their companies.”

Ontario is home to many communities with vibrant arts scenes, where music, in addition to attracting businesses and talent, contributes directly to the economy. Music Canada’s report Live Music Measures Up: An Economic Impact Analysis of Live Music in Ontario identified that live music companies generated $628 million from live music activities in 2013, and brought a total impact of 10,500 jobs to the province.

Music Canada welcomes the results of Business for the Arts’ new study, and encourages Canadian businesses to support their local arts communities, including local music scenes, so that those communities and businesses continue to flourish together.

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The Rambler by Graham Henderson: Analyzing Premier Wynne’s Inaugural Throne Speech’s Impact on Music

Graham_headphones3Blog ThumbnailThe Rambler is a column by Graham Henderson, President of Music Canada. Graham writes from time to time about developments in the music industry, new trends or just about music! Let’s face it, Graham has been around for a long time and has a lot to ramble on about.

After having gone MIA for a few weeks in terms of my contributions to the Rambler, I am back with an analysis of Premier Wynne’s inaugural throne speech.

The last few months have been good ones for music in Ontario. Under the leadership of Minister Michael Chan, the Ontario government launched an ambitious plan to turn Ontario into one of THE global destination for music tourism. And with good reason. Music tourism is Ontario’s hidden, un-accessed super power, fueled by our live music scene. This is timely and visionary because the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, just this week, identified Canada’s poor performance in the tourism sector as one of our top 10 barriers to competitiveness. You can read about Ontario’s plan here.

So what do we know about Ontario? We know from our economic impact study that there are more than 7400 employed in live music in Canada, and we have estimated that over HALF of them are here. We know that we have one of the largest, most diverse music scenes in the world. That gives us a built in advantage. We know from the Discovering Ontario report that tourism is the largest employer of young people in this province. We know from a report by the Ontario Arts Council that 9.5 million overnight tourists to Ontario participated in arts and culture activities during their trips in 2010. For almost half of them music was the motivation for their trip. It is also a fact that arts and culture tourists stay longer and spend more. And that’s without a coordinated marketing plan. Imagine what we could do if we had a plan and devoted even modest resources to this? Well, that plan in underway NOW.

Last Friday I was honoured to have been invited to Premier Wynne’s first “Jobs Roundtable”. Meeting participants were asked to share their insights and recommendations on what the government and businesses can do together to create jobs – particularly for youth – in the immediate term. I had three specific, achievable recommendations in the areas of tax credits, music tourism and music education. All of which seemed to have been very well received.

Then today came the Throne Speech which included, likely for the first time in history, a mention of music. While the reference was muted, it nonetheless came in a key economic section and in the same breathe as sectors that have long enjoyed powerhouse status in Ontario, automotive and agriculture. Here is the reference:

“[The Government] will look to stimulate productivity across all sectors, from automotive and agriculture to film, music, and digital media; from small business to start-ups and social entrepreneurs.”

The proposals we have put in front of the Government would help to do exactly this, and in an achievable, manageable way. Ontario’s music cluster is ripe for growth. Over 80 percent of the economic activity of the sound recording industry in Canada takes place here. This sector is one of Ontario’s competitive advantages, as the Ontario Chamber of Commerce has noted. Revenues for the Ontario sound recording industry totaled $408 million in 2010. Ontario has not yet fully capitalized on the strategic advantage it enjoys in the global music industry. Targeted provincial support is needed. According to an independent analysis, strategic productivity and jobs-focused supports for Ontario’s sound recording industry would trigger 60 million dollars in additional spending, generate 1,300 new jobs and result in almost $300 million in new economic output. This proposal was highlighted in the Ontario Chamber’s Emerging Stronger 2.0 document.

While music was not specifically mentioned again, arts and culture was highlighted as one of the aspects of our society that makes Ontario a great place to live:

“It will prove once again that Ontario is a great place to work and live, but also to visit, to invest in, to believe in. It will celebrate our hard work, our ingenuity, our diversity, our arts and culture, and protect the beauty of our natural environment.”

And this is the message that we have delivered repeatedly to all levels of government for the past year or more. Arts and culture and in particular music, serve to both attract and retain talented people. This in turn has a significant impact on business recruitment, retention, and expansion, as well as local entrepreneurship. An economic plan that stimulates the music community will in turn help to stimulate the economy at large. The Throne Speech noted that creative jobs are in every region of Ontario noting as an example that “We have authors and artists and actors in Timmins…”

On the subject of education, the Throne Speech noted that:

“Our young people will experience a world of which we can now only dream, and we must all work together to ensure they are equipped with the appropriate tools for their time. They must be literate in the languages of tomorrow; encouraged to pursue the paths of their choosing and prepared for the challenges ahead. We must emphasize critical thinking, creativity, teamwork and an entrepreneurial spirit.”

What is encouraging here is that while not specifically mentioned, music education is widely regarded as a key component in developing young minds and preparing them for careers in not just music, but in science, technology and mathematics. But as I pointed out at the Jobs Roundtable, music education is Ontario’s abandoned “game changer”. There are many people reading this who will understand me when I point out that music has a transformative power to open minds, to enhance collaborative skills and to change lives. Highly successful people in various fields, including Commander Chris Hadfield, have spoken of the important role music education played in preparing them for their career. It should not be discarded and lost in the shuffle. Music Canada recently announced a major donation to music education through our partners at MusiCounts. A $250,000 dollar grant to acquire musical instruments for at risk music programmes. You can read about it here.

Our hope, therefore, is that this government will easily grasp the role music can play in helping to achieve its educational objectives. We will certainly stand ready to help.

All in all, another great day for music in Ontario.

Graham Henderson is the President of Music Canada. He also writes on an eclectic range of topics on his personal blog at www.grahamhenderson.ca.

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Ontario Arts Council releases comprehensive profile of Ontario’s Arts and Culture Tourists and Their Economic Impact

Today, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) released the Ontario Arts and Culture Tourism Profile, a report conducted by Research Resolutions & Consulting Ltd. and commissioned by the OAC. The report provides a comprehensive profile of Ontario’s arts and culture tourists and their economic impact. 

The report finds that 9.5 million overnight tourists participated in arts and culture activities in 2010, representing over one fifth of the 42.8 million overnight trips to Ontario that year. Of those 9.5 million arts and culture tourists, 66% were Canadian, 23% were American, and 1.1 million were from overseas. Arts and culture was a major draw for international tourists, with arts and culture tourists representing 39% of all American overnight visitors to Ontario in 2010, while 63% of tourists from overseas took part in arts and culture activity while visiting Ontario. 

The OAC report shows that arts and culture tourism has a significant economic impact in Ontario, with arts/culture tourist spending generating $3.7 billion in GDP in Ontario in 2010, supporting 67,000 jobs and $2.4 billion in wages and generating $1.7 billion in taxes for all levels of government. 

For more than 44% of the 20.8 million North Americans travelling to Ontario, at least one arts and culture activity was the main reason for their trip. 

Music was a major driver of Ontario tourism, as 6.5 million North American tourists took in music performances including classic, jazz, opera, popular/rock ‘n roll and country while visiting the province, making up approximately 31% of all North American tourists to Ontario. Music performances were the largest tourism driver among all Arts activities, with more attending concerts than theatre, art galleries, or ballet.

Of the 6.5 million tourists who attended music performances in Ontario, 44% of them said that the concert was their primary reason for traveling to Ontario, comprising a total of 2.9 million tourists who said that a concert was their main reason for traveling to Ontario.

The report also found that Arts festivals such as international film festivals, music, and/or literary festivals, drew 3.8 million tourists to Ontario. Music festivals were by far the biggest draw among Arts festivals, attracting 54% of these fans. The report says that “apart from music festivals, theatre is the only arts/culture trip driver to attract at least one third of group members (37%).”
While taking in arts and cultural activities, Ontario’s North American tourists also participate in many other types of activities during their trip, with 84% of them also participating in Outdoor experiences such as a nature park, and 75% of these tourists adding Shopping as part of their trip.

The Music Performance tourist group had the highest proportion of younger tourists (18 – 34 years) among all groups surveyed, with 36% of respondents in the younger age range, compared to 30% in the tourism market as a whole. 
The report also shows that the value of arts and culture overnight tourists is high, with arts and culture tourists outspending typical overnight tourists in Ontario by nearly two-to-one, spending $667 per trip in Ontario, compared to $374 spent by the typical overnight tourist.

The economic benefits of arts and culture tourists reach many other sectors, the report shows: 

  • Arts and culture tourists contributed $1.1 billion to the lodging sector, close to two-fifths of all spending on lodging by overnight tourists during the year (38%)
  • Arts and culture overnight tourists spent $1.1 billion on food and beverages, making up one-third of all overnight spending by overnight tourists (34%)
  • Arts and culture overnight tourists contributed $0.6 billion to the retail sector, or two-fifths of all spending by overnight tourists in Ontario (43%)
  • Over half of all spending by overnight tourists in Ontario came from arts and culture tourists (51%), who contributed $0.5 billion

In an OAC release, Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport said “Cultural tourism is a powerful force that is transforming global travel and trends. Our diverse arts, culture and heritage has helped us attract visitors from within our borders and beyond to explore and experience our exciting province. Our government is committed to evolving our tourism strategy to align with our cultural assets – for example, harnessing live music experiences that will drive our economy and firmly place Ontario on the international map as a premier cultural travel destination.”

“The conclusions that can be drawn from this ground-breaking study confirm that the instincts and vision of Minister Michael Chan are bang on,” said Graham Henderson, President of Music Canada. “Despite the fact that music tourism has never been seriously promoted in Ontario in its history, among ALL arts activities, music remains the largest driver of tourism. It is also worth noting that music is an essential underpinning for cultural events perhaps not categorized as a music event; Toronto’s Caribbean Carnival, for example. We might also have regard to the category of “Arts Festivals.” Within this category, music festivals outclass all other sectors by a substantial margin.

And this is all without a PLAN or any focus. As our Austin study has shown, when a city or state puts its mind to it and develops a strategy, great things happen. In 5 short years, the economic impact of music in Austin jumped from $616 million to $1.3 billion. Fortunately, that is all about to change for Ontario, and the music community eagerly awaits the announcement by Minister Chan tomorrow at the Horseshoe.”

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