Chronicling community action, revolutionary and revealing thought

Friday, September 22, 2006

Status of the Artist

I went to an interesting meeting about the Status of the Artist at the Ontario College of Art and Design organized by MPP for Trinity-Spadina, Rosario Marchese.

Our very own Cheri Di Novo attended, saying that she might just organize a similar meeting here in Parkdale-Highpark due to the number of artists who live in our riding.

Status of the Artist refers to Provincial legislation meant to protect artists as workers in this province. In terms of the rights of artists to collective bargaining on equal footing with any unionized worker in Ontario. And in terms of unemployment insurance and a guaranteed minimum wage.

These ideas were discussed at the meeting but do not exist in Ontario legislation. Also discussed by a handful of arts union reps and individual artists is why it is taking so long for Status of the Artist legilsation to be drafted.

And lastly which was not discussed is the definition of an artist. Who will be included as an artist in this legislation. Do writers count? How about journalists?

Marchese talked about how constituents can organize around this issue to pressure the government to act.

In the upcoming weeks I will be following the development, or not, of Status of the Artist legilsation. Particularly when it comes to Parkdale after Di Novo is sworn into Queens Park and settles into her new job.