April 14, 2007
Jim Biros Comments on Status of the Artist Legislation
STATUS OF THE ARTIST LEGISLATION FOR ONTARIO
Following almost two years of artist and industry consultations, by the Ministry of Culture’s Status Of The Artist Sub-Committee, and the release of the Committee’s “Report On The Socio-Economic Status Of The Artist In Ontario In The 21st Century”, the Province of Ontario’s March 2007 budget contained a Status of the Artist Act that failed to address the needs of Ontario’s professional artists.
To say that the legislation was extremely disappointing is an understatement. The Status Of Ontario’s Artists Act, 2007 does not address collective bargaining rights, working conditions, protection for child performers, or any other economic and social benefits referred to in the 23 recommendations contained in the Committee’s report. The Government legislative undertakings contain no specific action with the exception of a proclamation that, “The first weekend wholly in June every year is proclaimed as Celebrate the Artist Weekend.”
What Ontario’s musicians and other artists will continue to work for and need is effective Status of the Artist Legislation which at the very least provides artists with the right to improve our economic, social and working conditions through collective bargaining.
Jim Biros, Executive Director