Petition to recognize comedy as an art form in Ontario on behalf of Sandra Battaglini, Co-Founder of Canadian Association of Stand-Up Comedians
To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:
In Ontario, comedy is not recognized as an art form. In fact, comedy is not recognized as an art form in all of Canada.
It is not included within our culture sector. This oversight ignores the cultural necessity, the sharing of characters, storytelling, and diverse narratives that is at the heart of comedy. Provincial recognition of comedy as part of our culture sector would give comedians access to grants and other funding opportunities other art forms receive to help create, disseminate and promote their art.
WHEREAS Canada is known internationally as an exporter of some of the world’s best-known comedians, such as Jim Carrey, Russell Peters, Andrea Martin, Arthur Simeon, Catherine O’Hara, Kenny Robinson and Sandra Battaglini and the late John Candy just to name a few.
WHEREAS comedians must often cobble together many precarious ‘gig economy’ jobs to make ends meet and are invaluable members of the live entertainment and cultural worker community which was first hit, hardest hit, and will likely take the longest to recover from COVID-19.
WHEREAS in Ontario, comedians do not have access to arts grants that are available to peers in theatre, music, circus, dance, sports, literature and the visual arts. Access to these grants will immediately create career opportunities for comedians in stand up, sketch and improvisation as well as Canadian television and film.
WHEREAS The lack of recognition has not only left comedians out of professional advancement and development opportunities offered by these grants, but most recently the lack of recognition has left comedy as an arts form and profession out of consideration for culture COVID-19 relief and recovery funding.
WE THE UNDERSIGNED, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to recognize comedy as an art form in our province of Ontario and to include comedy within our province’s culture sector and strategy.