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Advocacy for the Arts in Mississauga

Mississauga Arts Council believes in the critical role the arts play in our communities. Arts and culture are essential to enriching our communities, advancing our economy, and enhancing our overall quality of life. Our advocacy efforts work in tandem with MAC’s mission, to promote the value of the arts in Mississauga to ensure a thriving arts community and economy.

Advocacy Updates

Advocacy for the Arts Update – Imagine a Thriving Arts Economy

Letter from MAC ED Mike Douglas on MAC's advocacy efforts, presented to City Council in June 2024.

Imagine a Thriving Arts Economy

On June 19, 2024, the Mississauga Arts Council (MAC) presented Imagine a Thriving Arts Economy to the General Committee meeting of Mississauga City Council. 

MAC advocated for $4 million in increased funding for the grassroots Arts, Culture and Heritage groups in Mississauga. We pointed out the disparity between how Mississauga is funded versus Toronto. We noted cost of living pressures on underpaid artists and especially grassroots capacity limitations on collaborating with the City’s new Future Directions Culture Plan. Council’s progressive response led by Councillor Butt introduced his intention to move that a new committee of Council be struck to investigate new funding resources for arts, culture, festivals and heritage groups that can make a case for more.

You can view the presentation below, and watch the live deputation to Council here.

The Case for Arts Advocacy

MAC knows that arts and culture are powerful forces that provide economic, social, and community value. The following resources provide insights on the current state of the arts locally, and demonstrate the profound impact the arts have in both Mississauga and all of Ontario.

Statistical profile of the 2,800 professional artists in Mississauga – Hill Strategies

Hill Strategies Inc. published a statistical profile of Mississauga’s professional artists, covering 2,800 artists based on data from Statistics Canada’s 2021 census.

The report covers demographics and characteristics such as job title, income, and education level, as well as their comparison to provincial averages.

  • There are 2,800 professional artists in Mississauga
  • Nearly one-half of professional artists in Mississauga are racialized
  • Two-thirds are self-employed
  • The median income of professional artists is $26,400, 46% lower than other local workers.

Impact of the Arts in Ontario – Ontario Arts Council

The arts contribute to a strong economy

  • Arts and culture in Ontario directly contribute $27 billion annually to the provincial economy, representing 3.4% of Ontario’s GDP.1
  • There are more than 254,985 culture jobs in Ontario or 3.8% of total Ontario employment.1

The arts revitalize Ontario communities and build local economic development

  • In a 2010 survey of 18 mid-sized Ontario cities, all municipalities reported using cultural and recreational amenities as a tool for downtown revitalization. 83% deemed this strategy to be an effective tool.2
  • According to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, “arts, culture and heritage improve the ability of municipal governments to influence local economic development by attracting and retaining a skilled and talented workforce.”3
  • 88% of Ontarians agree that arts and cultural activities are important to a community’s economic well-being.4

The arts help attract and retain employees

  • 65% of Ontario business leaders say that a thriving arts and culture scene is something that would make it easier to attract top talent to their community.5
  • 65% of skilled workers agree that a thriving arts and cultural scene is something they would look for when considering moving to a new community.6
  • 80% of Ontarians agree that an active local arts scene helps communities attract business.7

The arts help drive tourism across Ontario

  • 9.5 million overnight tourists participate in arts and culture activities while visiting Ontario, generating $3.7 billion in GDP province-wide.8
  • Arts and culture tourists spend more and stay longer: the average Ontario arts/culture tourist spends twice as much per trip as a typical tourist and stays more than one night longer.8

Ontarians support public funding of the arts

  • 79% of Ontarians believe that the government should spend public dollars to support the arts.7

Ontarians link the arts with improved quality of life

  • 93% of Ontarians believe that arts activities help enrich the quality of our lives.7
  • 90% of Ontarians agree that an active local arts scene helps make a community a better place to live.7
  • 88% of Ontarians believe that if their community lost its arts activities, people living there would lose something of value.7
  • 92% of Ontarians agree that exposure to arts and culture is important to individual well-being.4

Ontarians show their support for the arts in many ways

  • 86% of Ontarians attend live arts events or performances (such as music concerts, plays or visual arts exhibits) at least once a year.4
  • Over 280,000 Ontarians volunteer in arts and culture organizations.9
  • Over 380,000 Ontarians donate money to arts and culture organizations annually.9

Canadians recognize how arts education can foster creativity and positive outcomes

  • 84% of Canadians agree that engaging children in the arts helps them be more creative and expressive.10
  • 97% of Ontarians agree that engaging children in the arts is important to their overall development.7
  • 78% of Canadians believe that the arts help children from disadvantaged communities succeed.10

Ontarians believe that the arts enhance shared community identity and belonging

  • 88% of Ontarians agree that participating in arts activities builds a shared sense of community identity.7
  • 90% of Ontarians agree that arts experiences help bring people from diverse backgrounds together as a community.7
  • 86% of Ontarians agree that the arts help us express and define what it means to be Canadian.7

How You Can Help

Donate

Consider donating to MAC to help us continue to build opportunities and support our local artists and creative communities.

Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to give back, spread kindness, and build empathy within our community.

Spread the word

Whether on social media, email, or as physical mail, please continue to advocate as to why supporting the arts, and artists, matters.