Canadian Arts Coalition Disappointed with Federal Budget, Vows to Keep Up Pressure for Sustainable Arts Funding

(March 19, 2007 Ottawa) – The Canadian Arts Coalition is disappointed that today’s federal budget did not adequately address funding for the professional arts. However, the Coalition will continue to work with all parties in Parliament to secure increased sustainable support for the arts through the Canada Council for the Arts.

“The government had an opportunity in this budget to extend sustainable support of the arts by making permanent its onetime $30 million allotment of funds to the Canada Council,” said Micheline Mckay, CoChair of the Coalition and Executive Director of Opera.ca. “We are disappointed that the government did not seize this opportunity, a recommendation advanced by the Coalition and supported by the Standing Committee on Finance which consists of MPs of all parties.

“It is heartening that $60 million over two years has been earmarked for arts and heritage festivals,” Ms McKay continued. “But this will not foster the creation, development and production of new works and talent.”

“Increased and sustainable funding of the arts through the Canada Council is central to building on Canada’s vibrant arts sector and supporting community growth across the country,” commented AnneMarie Jean, CoChair of the Canadian Arts Coalition and Executive Director of Culture Montréal “The Coalition will keep up its advocacy with government and will work to ensure that support of the arts is a prominent issue in the next federal election campaign. It is essential that the contribution made by the arts to our communities is fully understood and recognized.”

The Coalition has called on the federal government to make this $30 million increase to the Canada Council permanent and, over time, to invest in stable, long term funding that increases the Canada Council’s budget by an additional $100 million annually.

The Canadian Arts Coalition is the largest group of artists, arts executives and business leaders ever assembled from across the country who are united in the view that greater public investment in the arts through the Canada Council for the Arts is essential to Canada’s future. Arts and cultural organizations include opera, orchestras, visual arts, theatre, magazines, museums, writers and dance, among others.

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