Thursday, March 21st, 2013 – The Canadian Arts Coalition (CAC) – a united national movement of artists, cultural workers, business leaders and volunteers – is hoping that no news is good news for arts and culture in Budget 2013.
Last year’s budget preserved investment in the Canada Council for the Arts. This was a key recommendation of the Canadian Arts Coalition and is expected to carry forward. This year, Parliamentarians were asked to maintain investment through critical programs including the Canada Arts Presentation Fund, the Canada Cultural Investment Fund, the Canada Arts Training Fund and Cultural Spaces Canada. Together, these programs contribute to maintaining a robust arts and culture industry in Canada, ensuring that Canadians from coast to coast to coast have access to high quality artistic and cultural experiences. Despite the fact that the Department of Canadian Heritage has weathered significant reductions, budget cuts have affected administration and operations within government departments and agencies more than programs providing direct investment to the sector.
“When our Government is ready to better leverage the potential of Canada’s creative economy through new and strategic investment in arts and culture, all Canadians will stand to benefit. We are an industry poised to lead the country in achieving its social and economic goals.” said artist and Coalition spokesperson Shannon Litzenberger. “As our economy recovers and stabilizes, we feel the time has come for renewed, consistent investment in the arts.”
The arts and culture sector offers considerable opportunity to advance Canada’s status as a leader in the creative, knowledge-based economy. Without new investment matching this growth, the Canada Council’s budget is increasingly under pressure. To build capacity for a new generation of creative artists and enterprise, the Coalition recommends that Canada inject new investment in arts and culture through the Canada Council for the Arts, achieving a minimum budget of $300 million annually. The re-integration of culture into Canada’s foreign policy is also a key priority that will improve Canada’s status internationally, helping to build relationships with current and future trading partners. 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