A society that is vibrant is a cultured one, and this finds expression in the way stories are told, the way be celebrate, entertain ourselves, and remember the past while imagining the future. Our identity is defined by our creative expression and helps us to see the world through other people’s eyes. The people of Ontario take part in cultural activities in many ways, as professionals, audiences, volunteers, amateurs, donors, or investors.
Culture has an intrinsic value and provides important benefits, both social and economic. Culture enhances the quality of our life and leads to an increase in overall well-being for both the community and for us as individuals, due to improved health and learning, tolerance, and the opportunities that we have to come together. If you are looking for leadership training programmes then look no further!
Benefits of Culture – Individual and Social
Individuals benefit by participating in cultural activities in many diverse ways, some of which can be deeply personal. These activities can become a source of wonder and delight which provide emotional and experiences that can move us intellectually, in a pleasurable or unsettling way that will encourage us to celebrate or contemplate. Culture gives expression to creativity, forges an individual’s identity, and enhances or preserves the sense of place of the community.
Cultural experiences make for an opportunity for entertainment, leisure, learning, and to share our experiences with others. Culture makes people come together, whether it be in museums, theaters, dance studios or public libraries.
These are the benefits that are an essential part of culture. They are also what makes culture attractive to us and leads to our participation in it.
Valuable Skills and Improved Learning for the Future
When children and the youth participate in cultural activities it helps them to develop their thinking skills, helps in building their self esteem and improves their resilience, all of which can enhance their educational outcomes. As an example, students who belong to low-income families who participate in a schools’s art activities are more likely to get a degree than those who do not, in a ratio of one three to one. Many schools in the US have integrated courses that have arts in their curriculum, and these schools have consistently shown higher average scores in reading and mathematics, compared to schools who do not have such integrated teaching. There are many jurisdictions that have made strong linkages between culture and literacy and their enhancement of educational outcomes, both in public education and while developing valuable skills for a workforce.
A cultural heritage broadens the opportunity for lifelong learning and education, and will allow for better understanding historical events. The heritage cultural sector in Ontario has developed and continues to develop learning resources and educational products in museums that are designed around cultural landscapes and built heritage.
Public libraries have an important role to expand literacy and education opportunities that can overcome the digital divide, support lifetime learning, and prepare people to work in the digital economy, and act as trusted hubs for the community as centres for knowledge and information. When people participate in library activities it has been shown to improve their literacy and increase their cognitive abilities.
E-learning is rising in both professional and academic settings. The use of games is being made to enhance skills in math, writing and other spheres of academics, as well as to motivate employees. Ontario has more than 120 companies that specialize in e-learning.
Better Health and Well Being
A participation in cultural activities can contribute to the population being healthy. Cultural engagement and creativity have been known to contribute to both physical and mental health. The integration of culture into health care in the UK, and other jurisdictions like Canada is to be noted.
There has been research, a growing body, that the health and well being of older adults is improved by arts. When you participate in arts it relieves isolation and promotes the formation of identity and intercultural understanding. An Arts, Health and Senior’s project in Vancouver found that there were positive developments in health when there was participation in arts that led to social cohesion and both physical and emotional well-being. Health and chronic pain showed improvement over time.
In Inuit, Metis and First Nation communities, culture is a simultaneous expression of art, creativity, religious practices,
markers of territorial heritage and governance, ritual models, and also makes for maps of community and individual identity. That there is a link between the efforts in the past to eradicate indigenous culture and health in indigenous communities has been recognized. Research has indicated that if indigenous cultures are revitalized it will play a role in healing communities and individuals and support their health and well being.