On June 8, 2017, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) released the results of a study conducted by Nanos Research showing that Ontario residents recognize the important contribution of the arts to vibrant, livable communities. “This study clearly demonstrates that people across Ontario believe that the arts make an important contribution to their quality of life and social well-being and that arts activities are key factors in increasing the attractiveness of their communities as places to live and work,” says Rita Davies, chair, Ontario Arts Council.

Impressions of the Impact of the Arts on Quality of Life and Well-Being in Ontario, the Nanos Research report based on a random survey of 1,004 individuals, found that a large majority of Ontarians agree that the arts contribute to the various elements of quality of life and community well-being. The research also demonstrated how strongly these views are held by Ontarians. “Our research indicates that Ontarians not only value the arts for their impact on community and personal quality of life, but also for its ability to foster better cultural understanding and build shared community identities,” says Nik Nanos, chairman, Nanos Research Group.

Die Active’s new mural a the entrance of the County Fair branch of the Thunder Bay Public Library. Die Active is a local art collective where new and emerging artists can explore and experiment with both traditional and alternative art materials and methods.

Here are some of the highlights:

Arts and quality of life
93% of Ontarians agree that arts activities help enrich the quality of our lives.
90% of Ontarians say that the arts are important to improving the quality of life in their communities.
85% say that the arts are important to improving the quality of their own lives.

Arts and identity and belonging
91% of Ontarians agree that the arts help us to understand other cultures better.
88% agree that participating in arts activities builds a shared sense of community identity.

Arts and community well-being
90% agree that an active local arts scene helps make a community a better place to live.
97% agree that engaging children in the arts is important to their overall development.
80% of Ontarians agree that an active local arts scene helps communities attract businesses.

Government investment in the arts
82% of Ontarians agree that helping make the arts available to people in Ontario is an important government investment.
79% agree that government should spend public dollars to invest in the arts.

Positive views toward the arts across all regions and demographic groups
The survey also shows that regardless of the respondent’s region, gender and age, a majority of Ontarians had positive views about the arts and all of the following aspects: quality of life, community well-being, identity and belonging, and government investment.

“The results of the Quality of Life report confirm what we heard as we developed the province’s first Culture Strategy, and show that Ontarians intuitively understand that culture is a fundamentally important part of our lives and communities. I’m proud that our government is taking steps to strengthen the arts and culture sector as we implement the initiatives outlined in the Culture Strategy, and the Ontario Arts Council is an important part of that work,” says Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Thunder Bay is fortunate to have several organizations that provide top-notch arts programming for our residents. This report shows they are truly enriching our lives and strengthening our community. Click here to read the executive summary and here to read the full report.