Ontario Delivering Much-Needed Support to Niagara's Arts Sector

Published on March 02, 2021

Beamsville - The Ontario government is supporting the arts sector with a one-time investment of $25 million to help artists and arts organizations remain solvent and prepare for a time when they can fully re-open their facilities, resume full programming and welcome back their visitors and audiences as a result of COVID-19.

Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West, announced today that the following initiatives in Niagara are receiving funding support through the Arts Recovery Support Fund:

  • Shaw Festival Theatre
  • Niagara Symphony Orchestra

"Ontario's arts sector, like so many of the province's heritage, sport, tourism and culture industries, was among the first and hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a 'high-touch' sector that depends on gatherings of people, and will take the longest to recover," said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.

"That is why I am proud that our government is providing much-needed support through initiatives like the Arts Recovery Support Fund. Arts and cultural festivals, live musicians, writers, filmmakers, art galleries, and dance and theatre companies are vital to the cultural fabric of this province. They also play an important role in the mental health and well-being of Ontarians and an equally important role in the province’s economic and social recovery."

"This support will help organizations like the Shaw Festival Theatre and Niagara Symphony Orchestra continue to make important contributions to our community, while building the groundwork for long-term economic recovery," said MPP Oosterhoff.

"Artists and creators have been deeply impacted by the pandemic but continue to work hard every day to keep our communities engaged and connected. Providing the help they need will make a real difference in the lives of individuals in Niagara and their families."

"We cannot overstate the value of this investment by the province into Ontario's Arts and Culture institutions or thank the ministry enough," said Tim Jennings, Executive Director of the Shaw Festival Theatre.

"As one of the Niagara Region's twenty largest employers, and an economic generator that anchors thousands of related tourism jobs for our local wineries, hotels, restaurants and retail shops, the Shaw Festival knows that we, and our colleagues across the province, are deeply and intrinsically linked to the economic success and stability of our communities, as well as their cultural health. Minister MacLeod and her team at the ministry have been beside us every step of the way through the last year and know how deeply we have all been impacted and have worked tirelessly to support us. From all of us here, thank you and we look forward to welcoming you back to our stages soon!"

This initiative is part of the government's 2020 Budget, Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover, the next phase of a comprehensive action plan to respond to the devastating health and economic impacts of COVID-19.

More information about grant programs available to Ontario-based individual artists and arts professionals, ad hoc groups/collectives and organizations, is available on the OAC website.