Our Mission Statement
Since the onset of COVID-19, the safety measures and lockdowns have caused immeasurable damage to the arts sector placing a massive burden on artist(s) a burden that continues to destroy a once vibrant and valuable sector. At the outset, few of us (artists) reached out or organized with other organizations to lobby the government, but as the unrelenting damage to our industry persisted, we felt it was imperative to develop a Coalition of like-minded artists.
Over the last few months, we attempted to work with industry-related organizations and began to engage with members of the Federal and Provincial Governments with the goal of demonstrating that artists can work safely while ensuring that audience members are protected. Unfortunately, however, we have been met with a lest than enthusiastic response, false promises and outright dismissal. Several attempts to meet and align priorities with a few industry related organizations, who claim to represent artists, were never entertained and in fact ignored. During these initial meetings, it became abundantly clear that industry-related organizations and the government’s attention to the “Arts” have been focussed primarily on supporting venues rather than the artists themselves. These organizations focused their lobbying efforts on protecting their own interests while claiming they represented artists. Consequently, the funding distributed by the Ontario Government to the Arts sector is directed to these organizations without a clear path to the actual artists. This is not an equitable approach.
We have also realized that our Governments do not have any understanding of how artists actually make a living! This was aptly demonstrated in the CRA letter that many artists received in the fall of 2020 asking us to return the CERB. The letter produced greater fear and uncertainty at a time when artists were enduring significant financial stressors, and it simply underscored the Government’s unawareness of the financial realities of artists. Fortunately, labor groups reacted and fought for remedy on that issue, however, they too faced the uphill battle of educating government officials.
Hence, we Tony Carlucci, Mr. Ian Jutsun and Mr. Deryck Roche have initiated the formation of The Canadian Working Artist Coalition “Artist Coalition”. We need to speak with one unified voice.
Our unions have worked diligently to represent us and we have worked alongside with them. We plan to build on this synergistic relationship such that the voices of all artists are heard, whether a union member or not. It is our hope that through our collective efforts, we can get our industry working again in a safe and fair environment for all. We need government to act expeditiously otherwise, the longer our industry is shut down the less chance it will return to its invaluable place in society. This is about Artists empowering Artists.