Friday, February 26, 2010

Looking ahead to next week's budget -- cultural loose ends

As the glow of the winter Olympics and the Cultural Olympiad begins to dissipate next week, attention will shift to the federal Throne Speech and budget. With policy watchers fully anticipating the governing Conservatives to stay the course, so to speak, there are few expectations in the cultural sector. It is clear that two-year economic stimulus funding will continue for one more year, with strong signals expected that restraint will kick in from 2011 onwards.

That said, based on previous commitments, there remain a few loose ends for the Government to address in the cultural sector:

- Since last fall, details around the $25 million Canada prize announced in the last federal budget have been promised soon. No word on when that might be though.

- The Conservative election platform pledged a refundable tax credit, up to $500, for children who participate in eligible arts and cultural activities.

Next week might tell the tale on where these initiatives stand.