Greetings friends and colleagues,
The Ontario Historical Society would like to inform you that the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS) is pursuing the development of a Culture Strategy for Ontario. The Ministry’s objective is to establish a vision for culture across the province, and they want to know which aspects of Ontario’s culture are valuable to you and your community.
One of the most valuable cultural resources in Ontario is our heritage sector. All across the province, not-for-profit organizations such as historical societies, museums, archives, and other heritage organizations and institutions are working to preserve and promote our diverse history. Activities such as cemetery tours, historical walks, community bike tours, plaque unveilings, archaeological digs, and visits to museums and historic sites are just a few examples of how Ontarians participate in culture by connecting with their heritage. Many of Ontario’s grassroots heritage organizations also work tirelessly to protect our natural history—which is a vital part of both our cultural identity, and our tourism industry.
Since government funding to heritage organizations was both cut, and frozen, in the mid-1990s, the groups who provide these services to their communities have been forced to do more with less. These are the people restoring our train stations, preserving our lighthouses, defending our cemeteries, protecting our genealogical resources, and telling our stories through lectures, films, publications, and exhibitions. Despite all their valuable work preserving our historical landmarks and cultural landscapes, government funding to these not-for-profit organizations remains incredibly low.
These groups are also acting as a voice for their communities. Aboriginal history; women’s history; the history of diaspora in Canada; black settlers who fled north to escape slavery; family genealogy—all of these narratives are pieces of our identity as Ontarians. We have hundreds of historical societies, museums, and other heritage institutions working to tell these stories, and many more. Help ensure that their valuable work is recognized and supported!
The deadline for public submissions to the MTCS is December 7, 2015.Make sure that your interests, and those of your community, are accurately represented in the new Culture Strategy for Ontario.
How to get involved:
The Ministry has developed a Discussion Paper outlining the importance of culture within our communities, and the many different events, institutions, and industries which help us to define and express that culture. Pages 3, 14, & 15 will be of particular importance to those with an interest in heritage activities and services. The Ministry has also provided a list of discussion questions at the end of the paper (page 16), for your consideration.
In addition to the discussion paper, the MTCS issued a press release defining the Guiding Principles of the Culture Strategy initiative, and announcing the members of the Culture Strategy Advisory Group, who will provide expert advice to the MTCS on the Culture Strategy.
|Sudbury||October 29||Science North, Vale Cavern
|Danielle Daniel (writer, painter); Jack Blum (actor, director, filmmaker)||7:00 pm – 9:30 pm|
|Ottawa||November 4||National Arts Centre, Fountain Room||To be announced||7:00 pm – 9:30 pm|
|Markham||November 10||Markham Museum, Transportation Hall||To be announced||7:00 pm – 9:30 pm|
|Toronto||November 23||Toronto Reference Library, Bluma Appel Salon||Miriam Toews (author), Ravi Jain (playwright, actor, director)||7:00 pm – 9:30 pm|
|London||November 19||Museum London||Camilla Gibb (writer); Ali Al-Aasm (web developer)||7:00 pm – 9:30 pm|
|Kingston||November 25||Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning, Malting Tower||Jamie Kennedy (chef), Merilyn Simonds (author, editor)||7:00 pm – 9:30 pm|
|Mississauga||December 1||Art Gallery of Mississauga||Bonnie Devine (artist, writer, professor); Arlene Paculan (musician)||7:00 pm – 9:30 pm|
|Windsor||December 3||Art Gallery of Windsor, Rodzik Gallery||To be announced||7:00 pm – 9:30 pm|
(Two town halls will be broadcast live on the web to give Ontarians from all locations the chance to participate in this important conversation.)
Make sure that your voice is heard before the December 7 deadline!
Thank you for your continued support and engagement
The first months of the OHS Reach project have been very busy with initial research and networking with peer organizations. Along with the Society's Ontario History Committee, OHS Reach has been actively exploring options for the best method of online delivery for Ontario History, and legal support for our copyright law memo has already been sourced.
This series of short films explores a variety of topics concerning the local history of Elgin County
On July 15th 1887 a London & Port Stanley Railway train collided with a Michigan Central Railroad train at the diamond at Centre and Moore Streets in St. Thomas, Ontario. The resulting explosions and fire remains the worst loss of life and property in the City's history.