October 15, 2008 – The importance of arts and culture headlined Canada’s 40th federal election, like never before. In towns and cities across the country, artists, arts organizations, board members, cultural workers, audience members and supporters called on all parties to increase federal investment in arts and culture. Thousands of individuals showed up at concerts, rallies, town halls and local all-candidates debates organized in centres, large and small to demonstrate their support for the important role that arts and culture hold in Canada.
The Canadian Arts Coalition notes that all parties recognized the important role of arts and culture in our country: “The arts are essential to our country and our communities. The arts should not be a luxury available only to a privileged few – arts should be accessible to everyone,” said the re-elected Conservative government.
The Coalition looks forward to working with Prime Minister Harper, his new Cabinet and caucus to realize the full potential of the arts in Canada. Similarly, we will count on the interest and support of all parties and MPs to ensure that federal investment in arts and culture stays on the agenda in Ottawa.
All parties recognized the important contribution arts and culture makes to Canada, and the country’s economy. A new report from the Conference Board of Canada found that the contribution of the cultural sector to the economy increased to $46 billion directly, $87 billion indirectly.
The Canadian Arts Coalition is Canada’s largest consortium of arts, culture and heritage supporters advocating for increased federal investment in arts and culture. We believe that a thriving arts and culture sector, supported by adequate investment by the federal government, will place Canada at the forefront of a global society that values innovation, excellence, social cohesion and economic prosperity.