The Canadian Arts Coalition (CAC) is pleased to see an investment of $300 million over 10 years for the Cultural Spaces Fund. This is part of a larger $1.6 billion investment for cultural and recreational infrastructure in the 2017 federal budget which bear the potential to yield significant societal benefits, in addition to economic impact. Sustained investment in cultural infrastructure will help ensure arts facilities meet the needs of today’s communities. Successful cultural spaces reach out to new audiences, accommodate diverse communities such as refugees, and offer community engaged arts programs. By extending the Cultural Spaces Fund into Phase Two of the Infrastructure plan, the potential growth for the arts sector is significant.
“These welcoming cultural spaces are community hubs that truly represent an investment in inclusive, sustainable development,” says Kate Cornell, Co-Chair of the Canadian Arts Coalition and Executive Director of the Canadian Dance Assembly. “We look forward to continue to work with the federal government on improving social infrastructure in arts and culture.”
With the increases to the Canada Council for the Arts beginning in 2016, the federal government took the first step by investing in the artists and organizations. Those artists will have more and better functioning arts facilities in order to create their works and to reach Canadians. Commensurate investments in arts infrastructure will create synergies with the investments at the Canada Council, making it possible for organizations receiving funding to create and present their work in more places and deliver added value to Canadians and their communities.
The Canadian Arts Coalition is eager to learn how the government intends to deliver on its Budget 2016 commitments and on its other landmark initiatives, such as the Showcasing Canada program and the reflection on the digital world. We are deeply committed to the discussions on digital culture, having organized a series of consultations on Canadian Content in a Digital World within the arts and culture sector throughout fall 2016, which culminated in a session with Minister Joly in Ottawa during Arts Day on the Hill.
The Canadian Arts Coalition looks forward to working with Minister Joly on public policies that will enable the arts sector to thrive in 2017 and beyond, including the statutory review of the Copyright Act, the modernization of the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act, the creation of artists’ resale rights in Canada, the creation of a digital secretariat and the Showcasing Canada program.