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Contacting policy-makers

Elections-ImageElection Kit 2015

Every time we elect leaders to represent us, it is an important time for our Arts and culture, for our heritage, and for future generations. MPs live in and represent our communities.  They will have an influence on our lives.  Check out our new Election Kit (English | French) with suggested questions related to music in our schools and communities for you to use with your local candidates.  

letter-writing-picAdvocacy Letter Writing Tips

  • Keep it short and simple.
  • Make it personal.  Stories are more memorable than statistics.
  • Request a specific action at the end of the letter

Who to Write

Education is under provincial jurisdiction in Canada and the curriculum is overseen by the province. School trustees are very important at the local level. Be sure to get to know yours and look for opportunities to connect and present your views at your local school board.

Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) or Member of Legislative Assembly

(MLA) To find your MPP or MLA follow these 2 steps:

Find your electoral district:  http://www.elections.ca/home.asp

Find your current MPP or MLA by province:  http://www.canadaspeaks.ca/resources/find-your-mpp/

Minister of Education

Find your Minister of Education: http://www.cmec.ca/Pages/Default.aspx

Premier

Find contact information for your premier: http://canadaonline.about.com/cs/premiers/a/writepremiers.htm

It is also recommended that you not only contact elected officials, but officials of other parties as well.  Election time is an excellent time to communicate your message.  Read below for election specific tools

Face to Face Meetings

A meeting with an elected official can be useful in getting active interest.  If the official is unavailable, meeting with their staff is acceptable.  Here are some tips:

  • Be prepared with what you are going to say and stick to your points (having it in writing will help)
  • If possible, invite a music teacher or administrator to join you in the meeting.
  • Don’t feel intimidated as you may be the expert in the situation.
  • Bring a pamphlet or brochure about Music Education to leave with the official (Click Here to order some)
  • When possible, end the meeting with an invitation to a school music event.
  • After your meeting, follow-up with a note of gratitude restating your concerns.

Phone Calls

A telephone call can also be worthwhile.  If the official is unavailable, talking with their staff is acceptable.  Follow the tips given for face to face meeting, mailing supplementary information to their office.

During an Election

Candidates are always eager to meet with constituents to hear their concerns.  You can find out who your candidates are by first identifying your riding at www.electionscanada.ca and entering your postal code.  Research all the parliamentary candidates:

  • Find out if they and their party have ever said anything regarding music education
  • Do they have a personal connection to music education and/or music?

Writing to Your Candidate

Candidates want to hear what you care about.

  • Many candidates do door-to-door campaigns.  Be prepared with some carefully prepared questions.
  • Participate in online, television and radio forums and find out in advance if music education will be an appropriate topic to raise.
  • Send a copy of your letters to your local newspaper
  • Once an official is elected, send a note of congratulations and request a meeting so you can build a relationship to help bring awareness about music education.  This relationship is also good for future invitations to recitals and music events.