NDP Culture Critic Jill Andrew (Toronto-St. Paul’s) released the following statement regarding the cancellation of arts funding to Sistema Toronto:
“Today, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport refused to reinstate the $500,000 in promised funds that was cut from Sistema Toronto as recently as August. Sistema Toronto supports the social, emotional and academic development of children who live in marginalized communities through access to musical instruments and training. After-school recreational programs supplement but do not replace programs that provide skills-based training in the arts."
According to MPP Andrew, arts education and reducing barriers to participating in the arts builds healthy and vital communities, particularly when we encourage the artistic talents of young people. Public funding for these programs are absolutely essential for them to continue.
"It’s truly disappointing that the minister refused to acknowledge the value of Sistema’s work. Cutting funding from a program that gives once in a lifetime opportunities to marginalized and underserved children is wrong—people expect so much more from their government. The Ford government must do the right thing and immediately restore funding to Sistema so children can get the support they deserve.”