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Guelph art organizations receive over $144,000 in provincial COVID funding

Hillside Festival and the Art Gallery of Guelph will be receiving over $71,000 each
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Performance by Janice Jo Lee on the Sunshine Stage during the Hillside Festival in 2019. Tony Saxon/GuelphToday file photo

The Art Gallery of Guelph and the Hillside Festival are receiving a helping hand from the province. 

On Tuesday, the province announced a $25 million investment in its arts sector to help artists and arts organizations survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Art Gallery of Guelph is set to receive $71,598 and Hillside Festival is set to receive $73,193 totalling $144,791.

"Arts organizations make an important contribution to our province, providing thousands of jobs for musicians, writers, painters, actors, dancers, stagehands and the many others working behind the scenes," said Lisa MacLeod, minister of heritage, sport, tourism and culture industries. in a press release.

"They entertain us, but they also play an important role in the mental health and well-being of Ontarians and an equally important role in the province's economic and social recovery. Providing the help they need is a critical part of our plan to support individuals, families and job creators impacted by the virus, while laying the foundation for a strong economic recovery." 

The funding varies across different organizations in different cities. In Hamilton, five organizations will be receiving funding totalling $1,452,662. Two organizations in Kingston will receive $224,032.

A single organization receiving the highest funding is The National Ballet of Canada in Toronto which is set to receive $1,982,623.

Out of the funding $25 million funding, $24 million will be distributed to 140 organizations across the province to help organizations cover losses, prepare for a time where they can re-open and resume their programs in the future. 

The remaining $1 million is set aside to directly support artists and creators across the province. Information about this will soon be available on the Ontario Arts Council website.

The funding announced on Tuesday is part of the provincial governments 2020 Budget, Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover which addresses the health and economic impacts of COVID-19.

"We are honoured that Minister MacLeod has asked the Ontario Arts Council to administer this special initiative," said Rita Davies, chair of OAC.

"While the pandemic has hurt so many in this province, we are grateful the government has recognized the arts sector as one of the most severely affected. The announcement today also underscores the essential contribution the arts will provide to the economic and social recovery of Ontario communities."


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