Entertainment

Ontario boosts arts council budget by $5M

Ontario's culture ministry offered some good news to the province's artists this week, announcing a funding boost of $5 million to the Ontario Arts Council.

Ontario's Culture Ministry offered some good news to the province's artists this week, announcing a funding boost of $5 million to the Ontario Arts Council.

"Ontario's artists and arts organizations are essential players in Ontario’s new creative economy. Investments in the arts help to stimulate economic development, strengthen tourism to the province and create jobs," Culture Minister Aileen Carroll said in a statement.

The extra funding brings the government's annual bankrolling of the council to nearly $60 million for 2009-2010.

Established in 1963, the council is a primary provincial arts funding body. During the 2007-08 year, it distributed $40 million among 1,300 individual artists and 874 organizations, benefiting arts and culture in more than 200 communities across Ontario.

The council said that the additional money will fund increases to a host of its arts programs, including boosting national and international touring, augmenting artist outreach, helping individual artists and supporting programs in aboriginal, culturally diverse, francophone and regional art communities.

"By investing in the Ontario Arts Council, this government is placing value on our arts infrastructure, helping us reach new audiences and supporting artistic exploration," said council chair Martha Durdin.