In the coming days and weeks, Ontario senior officials will meet to determine the specific regulatory details of the Roadmap to Reopen which was announced on May 20, including the offices of Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Williams, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, and public health officials.
Presently, this three-step plan does not give Ontario performing arts organizations the ability to prepare for re-opening, prohibits the safe capture of digital content, and does not reflect regulatory fairness with other peer industries.
By intent or oversight, the Ontario government is, indisputably, keeping performing arts venues in the Stay-at-Home order until July.
It is our understanding that the decisions made over the next few days will be locked in until the end of the summer and - as critically - sets precedents for our fall/winter seasons. Our ability to reopen outdoors this summer, generate digital content and ensure a timely Fall reopening is directly contingent on these closed-door conversations.
It is imperative that we make our voice heard as an industry and that we rally arts lovers across Ontario to demand regulatory fairness now.
On May 26th, you were invited to co-sign a letter that was sent to Premier Ford, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Health Christine Elliott and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams. In the last few days, efforts to elicit a response and changes have been unsuccessful.
The time is now for all Ontario performing arts organizations, artists, employees and audiences to act in unison. On Monday, May 31 we are launching a public campaign: Campaign for Fairness for Ontario Arts (#FairnessForArtsON) including letter-writing, social media swells, and extensive media coverage. The urgency in in timing is to ask you to please send on Monday, May 31. Ontario is home to the country’s highest concentration of performing arts workers and many millions of arts audiences. Let’s make some noise.
In preparation for this day, we ask you to help with three-time sensitive initiatives. We also ask you not to undertake any of them until Monday, May 31:
- Go to https://canadianlivemusic.ca/fairnessforartson/ on Monday, May 31 to send letters to the Premier, Ministers, MPPs, municipal leaders and representatives from you and your staff. Enter your name and postal code, and the site will automatically send your message (using pre-generated text) to your local representatives.
- Create a social media post (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to launch MONDAY May 31 using the hashtag #FairnessForArtsON
Click here to download the #FairnessForArtsON wordmark image to include with your post .
Click here for customizable text for your post.
- Prepare an email to send to your database of audience members on MONDAY May 31 asking them to participate in our campaign that day.
Click here for a sample email to send to your patrons including a link to customizable social media text for them to use as well as the #FairnessForArtsON wordmark image.
Time is of the essence. Our experience over the last year has demonstrated that the arts have been left behind by this government again and again, with other industries receiving preferential treatment. Monday is the moment to make our voices heard.
Thank you all for your engagement and participation.