As we have in previous years, the Canadian Arts Coalition will submit a brief to the Standing Committee on Finance. Making a pre-budget submission is a great opportunity to share with our government what our industry needs are, and to have our voice be heard.
The Canadian Arts Coalition steering committee  recently met to discuss possible recommendations. The new Liberal majority government and the recent infusions of funding to Canadian arts and culture mean the advocacy landscape is much different this time around. For example, all three of our recommendations for the 2015 budget were met in some way , which means we now have the opportunity to turn our attention to issues not previously addressed. It’s an exciting time!
The steering committee decided on the following two recommendations for this round of pre-budget consultations:
To implement the Artist’s Resale Right in order to recognize the rights of individual artists, especially Indigenous artists.
The Artist’s Resale Right (ARR) entitles visual artists to share in the ongoing commercial success of their work by entitling them to a percentage of the sale price each time their work is resold through an auction house or commercial gallery. The full value of an artwork often isn’t realized on the initial sale. It is common for visual art to appreciate in value over time. If an artwork is resold in the secondary market, Canadian artists do not currently benefit financially from further sales of that work, even though its increased value is usually based on the experience and reputation of the artist. The implementation of ARR would offer significant income potential for Canadian visual artists, who often rely on many sources of income to make a living, including sales, exhibition fees, and other projects or forms of employment.
To extend and sustain two-year arts investments from Budget 2016, in the Cultural Spaces and in the Showcasing Canada programs.
The reinvestment in the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, as part of Phase 1 of the Government of Canada’s infrastructure plan, is a timely recognition of the aging infrastructure at many arts organizations. Currently, one of the pressing needs is to make these older facilities fully accessible for the Canadian public. Considering the preparations necessary for a large-scale renovation such as feasibility studies, the timeline of just two years will significantly limit the eligibility to only shovel-ready projects in 2016. By extending the Cultural Spaces program into Phase Two of the Infrastructure plan, the potential growth for the arts sector is exponential. Notably, with the increases to the Canada Council for the Arts beginning in 2016, the federal government has taken the first step by investing in the artists and organizations. Those artists need more and better functioning arts facilities in order to reach Canadians. More and more cultural spaces have evolved to become community hubs, as a result these spaces are essential to the well-being of Canadian communities. A sustained investment in the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund is necessary at this time.
The new Showcasing Canada’s Cultural Industries to the World fund is still in the consultation phase. The arts sector is eager to benefit from funding for international market access, especially the collaboration with the experts from International Trade and Global Affairs. Specifically, Canadian artists and companies (businesses) stand to benefit from this targeted investment in international cultural trade which will also result in reciprocal relationships for Canadian presenters. Showcasing Canada will fill a hole in the arts sector experienced for over five years. As a result of this gap in funding, international relationships with promoters, programmers, and curators have not been a priority. It takes more than two years to develop these relationships again and to secure tours. In addition, it takes more than two years for a program to deliver measurable outcomes. Consequently, funding for Showcasing Canada needs to be extended up to 2020, at which point this new program should be subject to a summative evaluation. Showcasing Canada addresses a priority in the sector, in order to encourage the export of cultural products, investment must be sustained.
We encourage you to support and echo the Coalition’s recommendations in your own submissions, providing illustrations of their impact from your own artistic and geographic community.
The deadline to make submissions is Friday, August 5th. For more information on how to make a submission you can visit the Finance Committee website .Share on Facebook Share on Twitter