Contact your MP

Arts advocacy works most effectively when you have an ongoing dialogue with your MP.

You will find below different email or letter templates that you can use to write to your MP to share specific messages or to request a meeting. Please customize them as you see fit. Add your personal story or insert specific messaging from the Coalition’s most recent pre-budget brief or from Arts Day on the Hill.

Please keep the Coalition in the loop. Add the Coalition Co-Chairs in c.c. at the bottom of your letter and send a copy to artscoalitionca@gmail.com.

Arts Day messages
Thank you and invitation
Policy request
Meeting request
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Subject: Arts Day and the priorities of the arts sector

Dear Mr./Ms. [Your MP’s name],

On October 2nd, one hundred artists, cultural workers, volunteers and philanthropists travelled to Ottawa to meet with Members of Parliament and Senators and to discuss policy priorities defined by members of the Canadian Arts Coalition.

I would like to add my voice in support of the Canadian Arts Coalition’s message.

I first want to express my gratitude for the continued support of the federal government to the arts sector. More specifically…

[If applicable, thank the MP for a recent federal grant or contribution and provide information about the difference it made. Refer to ‘Part 2’ of the Arts Day Meeting Script for specific language you can use. If your MP is from the Liberal party, you may also include a special thank you for the doubling of the Canada Council and/or the Creative Export Strategy, two long-time requests of the Arts Sector. Otherwise, you may stress investments into cultural infrastructure – an area in which both the Liberals and the Conservatives have shown generous support. Details about these various investments are available in ‘Part 3’ of the Meeting Script.]

With investments made in the last ten years, creation, production and export are now well supported by the federal government. But there remain a few weak links that hinder the whole creative value chain. Support for dissemination in the domestic market is one of them. Domestic dissemination enables economies of scale by amortizing production expenses and maximizing revenues through paid admissions and royalties. A strong domestic market is also a launch pad and a precondition for success on export markets.

The Canada Arts Presentation Fund is the main federal program that supports dissemination in the domestic market. It provides financial assistance to organizations that professionally present arts festivals or performing arts series. [mention program clients in the riding, if applicable].

I therefore ask for your help to:

Increase the Canada Arts Presentation Fund for performing arts presenters and festivals by $30 million per year, phased in over three years.

In addition to creating synergies with other areas of support for the arts, this investment will give Canadians [/constituents of our riding] access to a greater variety of professional artistic experiences. It will also promote a sense of belonging and identity, as well as cross-cultural literacy and understanding in communities large and small across the country.

You will find enclosed documents that provide further information on this and other policy recommendations by the Canadian Arts Coalition. [Attach the Arts Day Messages and the Arts Facts]

I would truly appreciate if you expressed your support for this increase within your caucus, to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and to the Minister of Finance.

[If you wish, you may conclude your letter with an invitation to an event or a request for a meeting in the constituency office. See the other template letters.]

Sincerely,

[Your Name]
[Your title]
[Your contact information]

Subject: Thank you and invitation

Dear Mr./Ms. [Your MP’s name],

I am writing to express my gratitude for the generous $XXX grant that [NAME OF YOUR ORGANIZATION] received from [NAME OF FUNDING PROGRAM], a federal funding program administered by [NAME OF FUNDER].

[Briefly introduce your organization. Provide information on your mandate and a few of the programs that you deliver in the riding.]

Federal support, through [NAME OF FUNDING PROGRAM], makes an important contribution to our organization. In fact, this generous support represents X% of our budget. Although this money does not cover all of our operational funding, nor do we expect it to, it nonetheless performs a critical function, because it significantly helps us amplify our impact on the communities we serve, as well as leverage support from the private sector and other levels of government. This funding is valuable to our organization and we appreciate it very much. It serves to benefit our community and the families and people who live here.

I would like to invite you to witness the impact of this support at…

[Insert all details about the event: location, date, time and duration. If applicable, indicate what particular role will be expected of the MP (speech or anything else). If other special guests are anticipated, mention them.]

If you have any question about this event, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I very much look forward to greeting you at [THE EVENT].

[Your Name]
[Your title]
[Your contact information]

Encl.

c.c.         Kate Cornell, Co-Chair, Canadian Arts Coalition
Frédéric Julien, Co-Chair, Canadian Arts Coalition

Subject: Policy request

Dear Mr./Ms. [Your MP’s name],

I believe that the future of our citizens, their towns and cities, and indeed, the nation itself depends on a rich, vibrant and diverse arts and heritage community. The viability of cities greatly depends on their cultural opportunities. Our artists are inventive and generous. But the arts can flourish only when they have adequate, stable, sustained investment.

I ask that you support the following cultural policy recommendations, as defined by the members of the Canadian Arts Coalition:

[Insert the recommendations from the Coalition’s most recent pre-budget brief or from Arts Day on the Hill]

[If applicable, include a thank you note for funding you may have received in the past or for recent investments. Then, justify your recommendation with some of the messaging below or any other rationale developed by the Coalition]

The arts define us. They give depth and meaning to our lives. They promote citizenship, belonging, social cohesion, dialogue, individuality, distinctiveness, as well as cross-cultural literacy and understanding in communities large and small across the country.

The arts are an essential part of Canada’s internationally competitive economy that positively impacts jobs, businesses, international profile and quality of life. Investment in a strong national cultural life is an investment in social and economic prosperity, creating a desirable environment for business development and growth, and a quality of life that is the envy of the world.

Stable, adequate federal funding ensures continuity at a time when the arts community, like other drivers of Canada’s economy, continues to face challenges rooted in global economic uncertainty. Increased investment in arts and culture over the long term will lead to greater productivity within the sector, broader access to arts and culture for Canadians, and extended reach into international markets for Canadian cultural products.

It is our contention that our sector can make an even greater contribution to economic growth with sustained—and, over time—increased strategic investment in Canadian arts and culture.

[Your Name]
[Your title]
[Your contact information]

Subject: Meeting Request

Dear Mr./Ms. [Your MP’s name],

I would like to request a meeting with Mr./Ms. [MP’s name] for [your name(s)]. We are [your position(s)] and residents of [your riding].

The meeting will be about the role the arts sector plays in communities all over Canada, and the important part that federal policies and programs play in our success.

[You can insert information about your organization in addition and/or some messaging that will foreshadow theme of the meeting: you may use the paragraph below or any other messaging from the other letter templates.]

Every year, millions of Canadians across the country show their support for the arts by spending their hard-earned money, and increasingly limited leisure time to attend arts events.  In 2016, 87% of Canadians attended performances and arts events. Such breadth of cultural participation would not be possible without supportive federal policies and programs.

We look forward to meet you in your riding office during the week of [look at the House of Commons calendar, and identify an upcoming recess week when the MP will be in the riding].

Thank you,

[Your Name]
[Your title]
[Your contact information]

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