Ottawa, Thursday, March 4th, 2010 – The Canadian Arts Coalition is pleased to see that arts and culture investment has been sustained in Budget 2010 and that the Government will continue to deliver on stimulus measures for the cultural sector identified in the Economic Action Plan. In particular, we commend the Government for wisely protecting investment to the Canada Council for the Arts, and look forward with interest to the unveiling of the Canada Prizes with hopes that this initiative will focus on celebrating the exceptional talent of our Canadian artists.
Budget 2010 makes repeated reference to the need to keep Canadian businesses competitive in the global marketplace. While no measures were introduced to advantage Canadian cultural products, it is hoped that going forward, initiatives such as a new support for international market access and development and increased investment to the Canada Council for the Arts will be introduced – ensuring Canadian cultural content maintains and enhances its presence and competitiveness at home and on the world stage.
As Canada embarks on a path of economic recovery, the arts sector is poised to play a key role in the revitalization of Canadian communities as an efficient engine of job creation across a number of sectors including industry, hospitality and transportation, that benefit from increased cultural activity. There is a growing consensus among leaders in all economic sectors that arts investment is a cost effective catalyst for high economic returns and we hope to see the Government lever this tremendous opportunity through new and increased investment in the arts going forward. The Conference Board of Canada has noted that cities rich in cultural resources are hotbeds of creativity, economic wealth generators, and magnets for talent across all sectors of the economy.
As part of the creative, knowledge economy, the cultural sector is growing at a rapid rate. Cultural workers, including artists exceed 600,000. “One in every 30 people in Canada has a cultural occupation. That’s twice as many people as work in the forestry sector and more than twice as many as work in Canadian banks,” said Eric Dubeau, co-chair of the Canadian Arts Coalition. “We need to be part of the plan going forward.”
The Canadian Arts Coalition is Canada’s largest ever group of artists, business leaders and volunteers assembled from across the country. We are united in the knowledge that greater public investment in the arts is essential to Canada’s future. We believe that the high quality of life, for which Canada is known, depends on a rich, vibrant and diverse arts and heritage community.