Smiling Coalition advocates in a reception room within the Parliament.

2017 in Review

The Canadian Arts Coalition articulately and strategically advanced the cause of the arts sector in 2017. Like previous years, the Coalition responded to the federal budget, prepared a pre-budget brief, hosted an Arts Day on the Hill, and participated in the Alternative Federal Budget. The Canadian Arts Coalition also continued to build relationships with MPs from all parties, Senators, and senior staff members at the Canada Revenue Agency, Global Affairs Canada, and the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Budget 2017 saw the use of Canadian Arts Coalition’s language again this year with the $1.6 billion contribution to cultural and social infrastructure. Specifically, Budget 2017 invested $300 million over 10 years for the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. By extending the Cultural Spaces Fund into Phase Two of the Infrastructure plan, the potential growth for the arts sector is significant. Following Budget 2017, the Coalition also collaborated with Global and CAPACOA to co-present on webinar on infrastructure funding.

In the Spring, the Coalition was invited to participate in the Ad Hoc Cultural Sector Advisory Committee on International Trade. In anticipation of the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, we collaborated with our Canadian allies and U.S. counterparts to design recommendations for enhancing cross-border mobility of performing artists. Our message was heard and made it into the Government of Canada’s list of priorities for the modernization of NAFTA. Since then, the negotiation has proven to be difficult, but we are keeping hope for good news.

The Canadian Arts Coalition’s pre-budget brief was submitted in Summer 2017. The brief reflected the broad agenda within the arts sector and the multiple needs that exist. The brief indentified five concerns: Artist Resale Right, arts presentation and export, training, endowments, and the Copyright Act review. Notably, the Cultural Export Strategy was delivered in the Minister’s Creative Canada announcement at the end of September.

In November, our advocates spoke with Parliamentarians in order to see continued investment in the arts and culture sector. For a condensed Arts Day on the Hill, the Coalition focused on the Canada Arts Presentation Fund and the Canada Arts Training Fund as budget asks. These messages were well received by 14 MPs of all parties, as well as senators and key bureaucrats. In total, we had 31 meetings with 35 individual delegates and 29 arts organizations. For more information, we encourage you to read our Arts Day recap.

The Co-Chairs of the Coalition would like to recognize the work of the Steering Committee of the Coalition. The Steering Committee has been an essential volunteer group passionate about arts advocacy. Members of the steering committee have been particularly active on various working groups supporting the Coalition in the areas of finance (Emmanuel Madan and Julia Horel), membership (Sara Meurling), communications (Monique Renaud and Meg Shannon), and Arts Day (Sara Meurling, Renuka Bauri and the communications team). In addition, the Co-Chairs would like to acknowledge the valuable support of the Canadian Arts Summit; the Summit participation in the Coalition is essential. Lastly, the Co-Chairs would like to thank Naima Phillips for her dedication to the Coalition as its first-ever Communication Coordinator/Coordonnatrice.

Kate Cornell and Frédéric Julien, Co-Chairs

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