Thursday, March 29, 2012 (Ottawa) – The Canadian Arts Coalition (CAC) – a united national movement of artists, cultural workers, business leaders and volunteers, applauds the Government of Canada for preserving investment in the Canada Council for the Arts.
“We are very encouraged to see that the Government has delivered on one of our key recommendations” commented CAC spokesperson Shannon Litzenberger. “Heritage Minister James Moore has been a vocal champion for arts and culture, working with the Coalition to build a stronger relationship between the Government of Canada and the sector. As the budget document noted, “for over 50 years, the Canada Council for the Arts has been the leading supporter of Canadian artists.”
During pre-budget consultations, the Coalition presented a more modest set of priorities than in previous years, recognizing the Government’s goal to eliminate Canada’s deficit by 2014. Parliamentarians were asked to maintain investment in the Canada Council for the Arts, integrate arts and culture in the government’s foreign policy initiatives, and to maintain funding levels to key arts, culture and heritage programs delivered by the Department of Canadian Heritage.
Budget 2012 reveals that the Department of Heritage will weather significant reductions. “We hope that savings within this portfolio will be found primarily within operations rather than through granting programs,” said Coalition Co-Chair Eric Dubeau. “The arts have an important role to play not only in economic recovery, but also to the vitality of communities and the wellbeing of Canadians.”
For the arts and culture sector, there is still much work to be done to leverage Canada’s potential – in particular to re-integrate culture into Canada’s foreign policy and improve overall levels of investment in Canada’s creative economy. Unlike many other sectors, the cultural sector has continued to grow at a rapid rate in recent years. 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.
Photo: Province of British Columbia