In 2014, a coalition of artists and organizations formed Kawartha ArtsVote to bring awareness to the cultural sector in advance of the 2014 municipal election. In the lead up to the 2018 municipal election this October, they are re-launching ArtsVote, working with Kawartha Lakes Heritage Network, and shining the light on the cultural sector once again.
Long-term investment in the culture of the Kawartha Lakes is vital to the economic and social growth of Kawartha Lakes, says a press release.
“We are creating an opportunity for electoral candidates to express their commitment to arts, culture and heritage because we want to empower you to make an informed decision when you vote. We are advocating for solutions based on current issues facing the cultural sector and we are asking all the candidates seeking office in the October election to respond with their answers and support.”
There are three significant current issues facing the cultural sector in the City, says the group, and they have recommendations on how to address them – sector sustainability, operational leadership, building towards the future.
“We are inviting all the candidates seeking office to visit the ArtsVote website, be educated about the issues and consider our solutions. All candidates’ answers will be posted up to September 6 on the Kawartha Lakes Arts Council’s website. We also want to hear from the community. All responses from candidates and community members will be posted at the site for public viewing.”
Ontario’s arts, culture and heritage sector represents $23.8 billion or four per cent of the province’s GDP and represents over 301,000 jobs.
Ninety per cent of Ontarians agree that an active local arts scene helps make a community a better place to live. As well, the average Ontario arts and culture tourist spends twice as much per trip as does a typical tourist – $667 per trip versus $374, and stays one night longer, according to a Ontario Arts and Culture Tourism Profile.
Attend the Town Hall Forum to learn more about the Mayoral candidates’ positions on the cultural sector. The debate is Thursday September 27 at 7 pm at the Academy Theatre in Lindsay. The evening moderator is Roderick Benns, a resident of the City of Kawartha Lakes and publisher of The Lindsay Advocate.