Everything You'll Need to Know About Voting
This page will help you get out the vote on October 19!
Declining voter participation in Canada is a major issue. For arts and culture to be recognized in this election and by the next federal government, we all need to do our part by educating ourselves and getting our communities out to the polls. The more that we as a community are engaged in this election, the more that the outcome will help improve the state of arts and culture in Canada.
Register to Vote
It's very easy to register to vote online! All you need is your driver's license or provincial ID card. If you are unsure whether or not you are registered at your current address, you can check that as well.
Click here to ensure that you are registered as a voter now!
Educating yourself about the parties and candidates is not hard! There are a lot of resources that can help you determine how you would like to vote.
Take a look at each party's website. They have their platforms presented in a quick, easy-to-read format that can help you get an idea about where they stand. Additionally, follow the parties and their leaders on social media! This will allow you to stay up to date on what they are up to, and what they are saying.
Figure out who your candidates are and what each one is about. Oftentimes, the parties' websites will have a short bio on each candidate with links to his or her website and social media pages. They will also list some contact information - have a look at our Engage Your Candidates section to learn more about getting in touch with your future representative!
If you want to see what your current MP is up to, head to openparliament.ca and see how they've been voting in the House, which committees they've been engaged with, and what they've been saying in the media.
Keep an eye on the news! Getting information from non-partisan sources is integral when deciding who to vote for. The CBC is a good resource for keeping up to date on day-to-day political news. Maclean's also has a great election resource called Issues 2015, which summarizes major election issues and the parties' stances on them in brief primers.
We have gathered information along with the Canadian Arts Coalition that is relevant to the Arts + Culture Sector. You can view the Coalitions survey results here. So far we have only received responses from the Green Party, the Liberal Party and the NDP. Read over their responses and form an opinion. We will update this page as soon as more information comes in. Don't forget to share your thoughts on social media using #artsvote.
The Alliance is a subscriber to The Arts Advocate, a great supporter of the arts in Canada. They have put together a concise single page document that shows what all the parties are saying about specific arts + culture related topics. Click here to have a look.
Imagine Canada's Early Alert is a great resource for charitable organizations when it comes to being informed on Parliamentary and electoral activity. Sign up to stay up to date on important election developments affecting the not-for-profit and charity sector.
You can also watch the polls to see what the current balance looks like - Nanos Research is one of the most reliable pollsters!
Engage Your Community
The best way to get out the vote is to help inform your peers, friends, and family. Link them to our Election Toolkit or send them articles that you think are of interest. Even if you disagree on the issues, you are still encouraging your communities to go out and vote on October 19.
Join the social media conversation! Popular hashtags include #artsvote, #elxn42, and #cdnpoli. When discussing or sharing election material online, make sure that you include these hashtags to link yourself to the broader conversation.
The youth vote is very important! Not only are the youth a "sleeping giant" demographic when it comes to voting, but they are often engaged in the arts and culture and are very passionate about the issues. If you are a young voter in Canada, help us educate your peers, make sure that they are ready to vote, and show them that the issues are relevant to them.
Non-partisan is defined as: "Not biased or partisan, especially toward any particular political group."
The Alliance for Arts + Culture is a non-partisan organization devoted to serving the arts and culture community. During an election campaign, we advocate the importance of voting with arts and culture issues in mind, and we provide unbiased resources to keep our members and the public informed.
If you belong to a charity or nonprofit, there are certain rules and guidelines that you must follow in regards to political activity. To help protect yourself and your organization, please read up on the rules and regulations that govern charities, nonprofits and individuals. There are several sources to help guide your political activities. The Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) has done excellent work in putting together information that will be useful for theatre charities. Based on this document and other resources, the Alliance has assembled a document to assist charitable organization’s sector-wide. Please note that these resources are not the final legal word. For official documentation, consult the CRA directly.
Be Ready on October 19
Make sure you know where your nearest polling site is. If you are registered, Elections Canada will have mailed you a voter information card on October 1 containing the location of your polling station and the hours that it will be open. Know that if you did not recieve this card, you can still register at your voting station. To see a full list of the different ways that you can vote on October 19, click here.
There are three different options for identifying yourself at the polling station: (1) your driver's license, provincial or territorial ID card, or any other government issued card with your photo, name, and current address, (2) one piece containing your current address and another with your name and photograph, or (3) take an oath in lieu of ID showing your current address.
For a full list of eligible voter ID, click here!
You are legally entitled to take time off work to vote. To read the rules about election day and getting time off from work to vote, please refer to the Elections Canada Website.
Advanced voting was held on Oct 9, 10, 11, and 12th (Thanksgiving weekend). A Record number of Canadians went to the polls to cast their vote early. If you have not already voted, check your schedule now and make sure to plan ahead. October 19th is the big day. Some advanced polls experienced wait times. Although lineups should be shorter based on the number of volunteers, be prepared for a wait time and to adjust your schedule accordingly. Voting in BC begins at 7:00am and goes until 7:00pm. Click here and enter your postal code under "My voter information" to double check when your polling station is open.
If you have experienced issues with voting such as ballet printing errors or long linups, report the issue by using the hashtag #pollwatch on social media.