Arts Advocates, it’s time to talk to candidates.
Some of the major political parties in #elxn42 responded to the Coalition’s questions, but now what? These answers signal a new call for arts advocates to talk to candidates in their riding and explore further the parties’ plans for arts & culture on the local, national, and international stages. Let’s take this opportunity to join with other arts advocates and let the parties and candidates know about what we have to offer.
Arts and culture creates jobs, contributes to the economy, and enriches our communities. Our leaders, the political parties, and all the candidates need to hear from you (and the artists, your staff, and volunteers).
We have tools to help.
If you haven’t already, download the #ArtsVote Election Toolkit. There are many resources included in the toolkit, including A Story we all Share and the Arts Facts Infographic which are great handouts for candidates. Here are a few other ways that you can make sure the arts are on candidates’ agendas.
Contact candidates in your riding to ask their views on arts support and policy. The Talking to Candidates primer will help you position topics and questions.
- Use this Sample Letter and adapt it to connect with candidates via email or snail mail.
- Encourage your board, staff and volunteers to use these resources as well and to ask questions about the arts at town hall meetings.
- Reach out to candidates in ridings where you work, where you live, and where you tour or produce work. With 30 new ridings this election, we have more people to connect with.
- Not sure of your riding? Elections Canada has the answer!
Don’t want to go it alone? The Canadian Arts Coalition has one of the strongest support systems — we have members and fellow arts advocates across the country! Engage with the #ArtsVote hashtag and join one of our members meetings to connect with other arts advocates in your riding.
Candidates are on social media now more than ever!
Here are a few sample tweets to start reaching out to candidates. Feel free to edit these Tweets as much as you like (reminder that there is a 140 character limit). If you think a visual will help, add the photo below with your tweet.
- [@TwitterHandle], how will your party support arts & culture in the next 4 years? #artsvote
- [@TwitterHandle], #arts connect us & make for stronger communities. How can we improve support for arts & culture in [insert riding]? #artsvote
- [@TwitterHandle], what is the [insert party’s] vision for the @CanadaCouncil and the @CBC? #artsvote
- [@TwitterHandle], how have the #arts played a role in the wellbeing of your riding? Let’s keep it a Canadian priority! #artsvote
- [@TwitterHandle], we can’t wait to celebrate @Canada150th in 2017. How will you maintain a strong & vibrant future for the #Arts?
- [@TwitterHandle], how will [insert party] support creation, distribution & access to Canadian content? #artsvote
- [@TwitterHandle], we’re proud of our arts & culture sector in Canada. How will [insert party] help promote artists work abroad? #artsvote
Are you a non-profit or charity?
As a staple organization in your community, you play an important role in making parties and candidates aware of arts issues. Make sure any statement or action your organization undertakes, or any event you host, is non-partisan. Here is another resource to help:
- Imagine Canada’s 2011 Charitable and Nonprofits Dos and Dont’s during an election campaign.