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Ontario Arts Council: New research demonstrates the impact of the arts on Ontarians’ personal and community well-being

October 10, 2023. Ontario Arts Council Newsletter.

“On World Mental Health Day (October 10), the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) is sharing new research demonstrating that the arts play a major role in the personal and community well-being of Ontarians.

Arts and Quality of Life for Ontarians, commissioned from Nanos by OAC, surveyed Ontarians on the importance of the arts for their quality of life and mental health, as well as their opinions towards the role of the arts in relation to community, diversity and identity. Nanos’s research revealed four key findings:

  1. Ontarians believe arts are important for a high quality of life.
  2. Ontarians say that the arts have a significant impact on community well-being.
  3. Ontarians show strong support for government investing in the arts.
  4. A strong majority of Ontarians say that arts are important to community-building.

Data highlights

Quality of life and mental health

  • 79% of Ontarians believe that the arts are important to their mental health.
  • 80% believe the arts are important for their own quality of life, and 85% believe the same for their community’s quality of life.

Community Value

  • 90% of Ontarians agree that an active local arts scene helps make a community a better place to live, and 82% agree it also helps communities attract businesses.
  • 85% agree that if their community lost its arts activities, people living there would lose something of value.

Diversity, identity and belonging

  • Close to 90% of Ontarians agree that participating in arts activities builds a shared sense of community identity, and that it helps bring people from diverse backgrounds together as a community.
  • 89% agree that the arts help us understand other cultures better.

Education and development

  • 96% of Ontarians believe that engaging children in the arts is important to their overall development.

Value of public funding

  • 78% of Ontarians believe that helping make the arts available to people in Ontario is an important government investment.”