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Analysis of Budget 2013 : A Missed Opportunity

The Canadian Arts Coalition is pleased to release its first analysis of the federal budget from the perspective of the cultural sector [1].

The main issues animating the analysis are four-fold. First, while there is no further bad news for the sector in Budget 2013, with the exception of a change to program eligibility, arts and culture were scarcely mentioned in the budget. Second, while the government is intent on returning to fiscal balance, funding reductions to some areas of government activity are being used to underwrite the cost of new programs and initiatives. Third, the significant spending cuts in Budget 2012 are still being rolled out and funding levels for some organizations such as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation are dropping significantly. Fourth, accessing clear information regarding the budget has been a challenge and there continues to be considerable uncertainty as to how the remainder of the Budget 2012 cuts will be implemented.

The 2013 federal budged analysis was prepared against this backdrop. Following a brief introduction, the text proceeds in three sections. The first examines ‘the big picture’ of overall federal funding levels to key cultural institutions. It also examines possible opportunities for the arts and cultural sector in other expenditure priorities announced in Budget 2013. The second section focuses on the Department of Canadian Heritage, examining its organizational structure, expenditures and staff levels. The third undertakes a more detailed analysis of expenditures in key programs across the arts, heritage and cultural industries.

This analysis of the federal budget was prepared for the Canadian Arts Coalition, with the collaboration of members of the Canadian Arts Coalition’s Research and Policy Committee. In previous years, the annual analysis of the federal budget used to be prepared by the Canadian Conference of the Arts. With the suspension of the CCA’s activities in 2012, its caretaker board of directors enthusiastically passed the baton of the budget analysis to the Canadian Arts Coalition.

“The Coalition is proud to provide this cultural analysis of the federal budget. We hope the arts community will find this report helpful as a part of our ongoing efforts to make a case for renewed public investment in arts and culture. Arts and culture are major economic drivers, a source of significant job creation in Canada, and federal investments in the arts and arts institutions are key contributors to raising quality of life for all Canadians. The Coalition will continue to work with Government in hopes that arts and culture will be central to future budgets,” said Coalition co-chair Katherine Carleton.

The Coalition will continue to offer an annual analysis of the federal budget in years to come.

A Missed Opportunity: Analysis of the 2013 Federal Budget from the perspective of the cultural sector [1] [pdf]

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