The Canadian Arts Coalition Brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance makes the case for a stronger relationship between the arts and culture sector and the federal government. A thriving arts and culture sector is an integral part of Canadian society and a key contributor to Canada’s success on the world stage. Sustaining a vibrant cultural sector is a strategic means of ensuring that Canada remains one of the best places in the world in which to invest, innovate and compete.
As Canada continues 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. Indeed, there is a growing consensus among leaders in all economic sectors that arts investment is a cost effective catalyst for high economic returns. In a 2008 report entitled Valuing Culture: Measuring and Understanding Canada’s Creative Economy, the Conference Board of Canada 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 the Minister of Canadian Heritage stated on July 21 2010: “By providing opportunities for Canadians and visitors to enjoy the rich cultural diversity that is characteristic of our country, we are fostering the growth of our artists, artisans, communities, and our society as a whole.”
We agree and hope to see the Government leverage this tremendous opportunity through sustained and increased investment in the arts in Budget 2011.
Recommendation 1: That the Government of Canada invest in Canadian creativity and Canadian communities by increasing the base budget of the Canada Council for the Arts by an additional $30 million per year in each of the next four years, bringing the Council’s funding base to $300 million per annum by 2015.
Recommendation 2: That the Government of Canada acknowledge the role that arts and culture plays in enhancing Canada’s reputation internationally and put Canadian artists on the world stage by investing $25 million in strategic international market access and development initiatives.
*flickr photo credit: Bryan Hughes