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Survey shows Ontarians think art is important

By Samantha Mehra

Most Ontarians believe that the arts are important to the quality of life in their communities and their own personal lives. These sentiments were revealed in the Ontario Arts Council’s (OAC) survey “The Arts and The Quality of Life: The Attitudes of Ontarians”. Findings show that eighty-nine percent of Ontarians believe that if their communities lost arts activities, community individuals would be losing something of value; ninety-five percent believe that the success of Canadian artists creates pride in Canadian achievement; and eighty-one percent agree that the government should direct public dollars toward the support of the arts. The survey also indicated that most Ontarians place arts facilities on par with public transit (rated as important by ninety-one percent), but less important than parks and green spaces (ninety-seven percent), and sports and recreational facilities (ninety-nine percent). The results also suggested that positive attitudes towards the arts and quality of community lives extend across all regions and demographic groups. The provincial survey, which was conducted by Environics Research Group, is the first of its kind since 1994, when the OAC commissioned a similar survey. It examines the opinions of a probability sample of 1000 Ontarians aged eighteen or older, and is estimated to be accurate within approximately 3.1 percentage points.

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