(April 16, 2007 Ottawa) – The Canadian Arts Coalition (www.canadianartscoalition.ca ) is pleased that, working with special onetime funding, the Canada Council for the Arts has been able to support artists and arts organizations across the country. This funding allotment was $20 million in the fiscal year 2006-07 and raised to $30 million in the fiscal year 2007-08.
Eight hundred and fifty eight arts organizations submitted applications, with only 561 receiving supplementary grants. Application requests totalled $95.6 million – nearly three times the amount available for supplementary funding. Not all applications were successful, and most that were did not receive the full amount requested. Moreover, only those arts organizations already receiving Canada Council funding were able to access the supplementary funds, excluding other eligible professional organizations which are still blocked from accessing grants due to the overall shortfall in the government’s investment in the arts. “The Coalition is concerned that the public’s demonstrated desire for access to new and inventive creative works cannot be satisfied by the limited funds to which the Canada Council currently has access. The funding available to the Canada Council is neither sustained nor adequate,” commented Micheline McKay, CoChair of the Coalition and Executive Director of Opera.ca. “Last month, the federal government tabled a budget that did not extend support of the arts by making this onetime allotment of funds to the Canada Council permanent. Permanent additional support was a recommendation advanced by the Coalition and supported by the Standing Committee on Finance which consists of MPs of all parties.”
The Coalition has called on the federal government to make this $30 million increase to the Canada Council budget permanent and, over time, to invest in stable, longterm funding that increases the Canada Council’s budget by an additional $100 million annually.
“The pressure on the current dollars available confirms the need for both increased and sustained funding of the arts,” noted AnneMarie Jean, CoChair of the Canadian Arts Coalition and Executive Director of Culture Montréal. “The vitality of the arts is a critical component in the richness of our individual communities, our national economy and our international profile. The Coalition is dedicated to ensuring that support of the arts is a prominent issue in the next federal election campaign.”
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 operas, orchestras, visual arts, theatres, magazines, museums, writers and dance companies, among others.
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