Federal Budget, Culture and the Arts: Still Smarting from Budget 2012 Cuts but Better Times on the Horizon?

Parliament of Canada. Photo by Hudation, under Creative Commons Attribution - Share Alike license.The Canadian Conference of the Arts, Canadian Arts Coalition and Saskatchewan Arts Alliance are pleased to release the analysis of the 2014 Federal Budget which examines federal funding for the arts and culture sector over the whole 2014 calendar year. The analysis explores funding to the Department of Canadian Heritage and other federal cultural agencies and crown corporations; organizational and funding trends at the Department of Canadian Heritage; expenditures on key programs across the arts, heritage and cultural industries, and other developments affecting the sector.

While overall, funding levels remained relatively steady compared to last fiscal year, the roll out of funding cuts announced in 2012 continues to have an impact on the sector. Those particularly hard hit are the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (down $115.0 million) and the Department of Canadian Heritage (down $46.2 million), with Telefilm, the National Film Board and Library and Archives Canada also experiencing major cuts. The ripple effect, particularly of the 2012 cuts to the audiovisual sector, is felt by the whole cultural sector.

The good news is that, as of 2015-16, the government has committed to make permanent the $25 million in additional annual funding to the Canada Council for the Arts, and ongoing funding for a number of arts and culture programs at the Department of Canadian Heritage. However, this does not constitute an increase in overall funding.

Although funding to the Canada Council for the Arts was protected, on a per capita basis, funding to the Council has declined. What funds the Council has are being stretched further and further and the Council is also facing the challenges of supporting growth in the sector, particularly since new art practices and art forms are appearing on the scene.

While funding levels are relatively stable, the reality is that arts organizations – particularly smaller ones – are struggling. There is some hope that, with a balanced budget in 2015, the government will reinvest in the sector so that it can rebuild its capacity. Kathleen Sharpe, president of the Canadian Conference of the Arts notes that, “Arts and culture has played an important role in the social and economic development of the country. This is an auspicious time for our government to invest in the potential of the sector and the pivotal role arts and culture can play moving our country forward.”

Budget 2014: Culture and the Arts – Still Smarting from Budget 2012 Cuts but Better Times on the Horizon? [pdf]

 

For more information, contact:

Kathleen Sharpe
Canadian Conference of the Arts
416-969-7421

 

Pour de plus amples informations, communiquez avec :

Frédéric Julien
Canadian Arts Coalition
613-562-3515

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3 Responses to Federal Budget, Culture and the Arts: Still Smarting from Budget 2012 Cuts but Better Times on the Horizon?

  1. Margaret Sharon Olscamp September 6, 2015 at 8:29 am #

    I’d like to say I care about government budgets that fund arts programs on the backs of taxpayers. However I think arts agencies along with many other groups in this country, need to learn to fend for themselves. Let’s say give them a pole, teach them to fish and they can feed themselves. That is how poor people have always been treated. That is how most independent artists are still being treated.

    I think government should take most of the funding that goes into select privileged groups like arts and culture organizations, chosen areas of multi-generational EI and welfare recipients as well as many other over-inflated agencies. They should roll all of that funding into one big Unconditional Basic Income Fund and start treating Canadians like valuable citizens rather than untrustworthy children.

    I am an artist too as well as a senior citizen and all my life no arts organization has ever done anything for me.

    As for CBC? Last year when my husband had to close down his business CBC gleefully covered it as a story that told about how yet another government agency might help prevent this. CBC completely ignored the part where my husband was trying to help me as an independent artist try to turn the former business location into a community arts centre.

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