Advocating for the Arts in the Ottawa Region
A thriving arts scene creates a community that people want to live in – one where ideas, talents and cultures are celebrated, and identities are shared.
Serving the arts in the Ottawa region, Arts Network Ottawa builds relationships to generate greater awareness of the value of the arts and to strengthen our local arts sector.
As a member, you are ‘part of a strong voice’.
A new generation of cultural planning has arrived. Ottawa is ready to join it.
A Liveable City for All: A New Cultural Roadmap for Ottawa 2019-22 maps out the path to an Ottawa where all citizens can take part in Ottawa’s culture scene.
The Ottawa Cultural Alliance facilitated the creation of this new community-driven Cultural Roadmap for 2019-2022 that recommends the strategy and priorities for culture. The results are also intended to inform Ottawa City Council’s planning for the next four years.
Current Advocacy Work
Ottawa’s 2022 Municipal Elections
With the municipal elections fastly approaching in the fall of 2022, here’s an informational list of resources to keep you informed and ready to vote!
- When are the elections?
The next regular municipal election to elect a Mayor, City Councillors, and School Board Trustees will be held on Monday, October 24, 2022. Eligible electors will have the opportunity to cast a ballot for the following offices:
- Mayor – one elected at large
- City Councillor – one elected per ward
- School Board Trustee – one elected per zone
- Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
- Ottawa Catholic School Board
- Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario
- Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est
Who is running in my ward?
The City of Ottawa will have new ward boundaries for the 2022 Municipal Elections and 2022-2026 Term of Council. There will be one new ward and new names for six existing wards.
From Monday, May 2, 2022, to Monday, October 24, 2022, voters can use their address to verify their ward number, ward name, and the candidates running for Mayor, City Councillor and School Board Trustee, by using the Who is running in my ward? tool.
This tool will be updated regularly between Monday, May 2, 2022 to Friday, August 19, 2022 as candidates submit their nomination forms to the Elections Office.
For more information on the new ward boundaries, please visit the Ottawa Ward Boundary Review 2020, page.
- Who can vote?
A person is entitled to vote in a municipal election if they are a qualified elector. That means, on voting day, you must be:
- a resident of the City of Ottawa, or an owner or tenant of land in the City, or the spouse of such an owner or tenant;
- a Canadian citizen;
- at least 18 years old; and
- not prohibited from voting by law.
If you are not a resident of the City of Ottawa, to vote for a School Board Trustee, you must be:
- an owner or tenant of residential property in the area of jurisdiction of the school board, who does not support any other board.
- Voting in person?
There will be three separate voting opportunities with a total of seven in-person voting days for electors to cast their ballot in the 2022 Municipal Elections.
Voting places are listed on voter notification letters and can be found using the Where do I vote? tool from Thursday, September 1, 2022, to Monday, October 24, 2022.
1. Special Advance Vote Days
Special Advance Vote Days will take place from Saturday, September 24 to Tuesday, September 27, 2022, and voting places will be open from 10 am to 8 pm.
During this voting event, voting places will offer “anywhere voting” which allows electors to attend any of the nine voting place locations across the City of Ottawa, regardless of their address, to cast their ballot. Anywhere voting uses an electronic Voters’ List and election workers print ballots on demand.
2. Advance Vote Days
Advance Vote Days will take place on Friday, October 7 and Friday, October 14, 2022 and voting places will be open from 10 am to 8 pm. On these voting days, electors will have the opportunity to vote in their wards at their assigned voting location.
3. Voting Day
Voting Day is Monday, October 24, 2022. On this day, electors will have the opportunity to vote in their wards at their assigned voting place from 10 am to 8 pm, with the exception of long-term care centres and retirement homes which may have reduced hours.
- Voting by Special Mail-In Ballot?
Electors can apply to vote by special mail-in ballot should they be unable to make it to a voting place during voting opportunities or feel uncomfortable about voting in person. This alternative voting method is available to all eligible electors upon request.
Any eligible elector can request a special mail-in ballot from the Elections Office between Thursday, September 1, 2022 and Friday, September 16, 2022 at 4:30 pm. To request a special mail-in ballot:
- Use the Application for special mail-in ballot tool, or
- Complete an Application for Special Mail-in Ballot form and submit by mail or email.
An elector’s name must appear on or be added to the Voters’ List in order to apply and receive a special mail-in ballot. Electors can verify if their name appears on the Voters’ List by using the Am I on the voters’ list? tool from Thursday, September 1, 2022, and end on Friday, September 16, 2022 at 4:30 pm.
Once an application is reviewed and accepted, the Elections Office will send a Special Ballot Voter Kit, which will include instructions on how to vote, a voter declaration form, a ballot, a ballot secrecy envelope, and a prepaid return envelope to the applicant by mail following the close of the application period. Electors can expect to receive their special mail-in ballot kit during the week of Monday, September 26, 2022, which provides electors nearly one month to fill out and return their special mail-in ballot.
Completed special ballots must be received at the Elections Office or Client Service Centers by 4:30 pm on Monday, October 24, 2022, in order to be counted. Any special ballots received after 4:30 pm will not be counted.
Have more questions? Consult the City of Ottawa’s Information for voters FAQ here for more information.
Past Advocacy Work
Call to Conversation – City of Ottawa 2022 Budget
If you’re reading this, you know art is integral to our daily lives and well-being.
Studies have shown that expressing oneself through art can help with depression, and anxiety while enhancing brain function by impacting our emotions. How is the 2022 Ottawa Budget investing in our mental health, growth and the vibrancy of Ottawa’s arts and culture scene for the benefit of all residents? This is the question that Arts Network Ottawa and Ottawa Arts Councils are asking of our City Council this fall.
Starting October 13, Councillors are offering consultations with the public on the 2022 city budget.
2018 Election Year
As 2018 is an election year in Ontario and Ottawa, we encourage you to let your local candidates for office know that Ottawa’s arts scene matters to you.
October 17, 2018
Join the Ottawa Cultural Alliance and Ottawa leaders saying #OTTAWACULTURECOUNTS! Keep culture at the heart of our city and a term of council priority for 2019-2022.
Ottawa Board of Trade President Ian Faris:
Ottawa Tourism President and CEO Michael Crockatt:
Shopify Director of Talent Acquisition Anna Lambert:
FALL UPDATE – ONE WEEK UNTIL THE OTTAWA MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS – #OTTAWACULTURECOUNTS
One week from today, October 22, Ottawans will elect our 2019-2022 Mayor, City Councillors and School board trustees. Let’s take the value of culture into account as we vote!
Arts Network Ottawa asked all the candidates running in the election to provide us their thoughts about the arts, you can view their answers below:
See below for a list of candidates and their platforms.
NEW: Ward 1 residents are invited to an all-candidates debate on Wednesday, October 17th. Arts Network Ottawa will be on-hand to ask a question to the candidates on behalf of its members and the arts community.
Date: Wednesday, October 17th
Time: 6:30 pm sharp
Venue: Sir Wilfrid Laurier High School Cafeteria
Did you know that the arts provide both important economic and social benefits to our City? Yet our local artists and arts organizations are under-resourced. Find out more here.
FALL UPDATE – ELECTION TIME! – #OTTAWACULTURE COUNTS
A thriving arts and culture scene makes our city a great place to live. Monday October 22, Ottawans go to the polls to elect our 2019-2022 Mayor, City Councillors and School board trustees. Advance polls start October 4th. Let’s take the value of culture into account as we vote!
Did you know that the arts provide both important economic and social benefits to our City? Yet our local artists and arts organizations are under-resourced. Find out more here. Arts Network Ottawa supports the #OttawaCultureCounts campaign of the Ottawa Cultural Alliance.
What can you do? Don’t wait for candidates to come to you. Seek them out, ask them where they stand on advancing Ottawa’s local arts community! Tell them you know the value of the arts sector – for community-building, families, jobs and tourism.
- Ask them when they come to your door – or send them a message
- Go to all-candidates debates
- Check out their websites
- Share the #OttawaCultureCounts message
- How are they involved in the arts in their ward?
- Will they make arts and culture a priority for the next term of City Council?
- Will they support the new Cultural Roadmap now in development by the local cultural community?
For School board trustees, ask how they would support increased attention to arts learning within the school curriculum.
To find out when there are debates and where Candidates stand go to your preferred media source or:
We wish to congratulate all those recently elected in the Provincial legislature. Thank you to Ottawa City Councillors who are not seeking reelection: Deputy Mayors Bob Monette (Orléans), Mark Taylor (Bay Ward), Jody Mitic (Innes ward), Marianne Wilkinson (Kanata North) for your service.
Advocacy 101 – Putting Cultural Priorities on the Agenda
April 23 | 5 – 7 PM | National Arts Centre
Attend event and dinner
Solid evidence shows that the arts build strong communities with many social and economic benefits, please share or quote from these reliable sources to the candidate in your riding:
Connections and Resilience through the Arts
Ontarians for the Arts, March 2018
Impressions of the Impact of the Arts on Quality of Life and Well-Being in Ontario
Ontario Arts Council, March 2017
- 270,000 Ontario jobs are in culture (4% of the workforce); 41.2% of culture jobs in Canada.
- The culture sector contributes $25.7B GDP in Ontario; 47.8% of Canada’s total culture GDP.
- 65% of Ontario business leaders say that a thriving arts and culture scene makes it easier to attract top talent to their communities.
- Ontario is home to 39% of the Canadian population (14,279,196 people). Current federal arts and culture investments don’t reflect this population growth or our diverse cultural landscape.
- The arts empower youth, especially at-risk youth, to succeed in school, in work and in later life. Canadians know this and 85% believe that investment in arts education assists in the emotional and intellectual development of children.
Source: Ontarians for the Arts http://ontariansforthearts.ca/art-facts/
Local Arts Ecology
A healthy local arts ecology is interconnected with the community and its neighbourhoods. We strive to achieve a greater understanding of how the practice of art contributes positively to the development of the city and the quality of life of its citizens.
We strive for an inclusive, creative city where artists and arts organizations are thriving so that residents can engage with artistic diversity, and the sector makes a strong contribution to the social and economic development of Ottawa.
How we do this
Arts Network Ottawa advances initiatives to help the Ottawa arts scene thrive through increased partnership with and support from the public, private and non-profit sectors. We build ongoing relationships with:
- Local representatives of municipal, provincial and federal governments and agencies
- Chambers of Commerce and Business Improvement Areas (BIAs)
- Local media and educational institutions
- Non-profits dedicated to community building
An example is our special Neighbourhood Arts 150 initiative where we brought together all parts of the community to offer free arts experiences in 21 neighbourhoods – all three levels of government, local businesses, philanthropists, media and over 50 community partners and agencies.
“The ability to come together as a community, to celebrate Canada 150 and to celebrate our roots perfectly embodies my view of Canadian culture. We are open. We are kind.
We are compassionate people. This project enables us to come together as a community and celebrate everything that we as a nation have accomplished in 150 years.”
Jenna Sudds, Former member of the Kanata North Business Association