Wednesday, February 19, 2014

More post-budget statements from arts and culture organizations

It has been just over a week since the federal budget sent ripples through the arts and culture sector.  Here are a some more statements from cultural organizations in the wake of the announcement:

The Canada Council for the Arts issued a short statement that they were ‘delighted’ by the announcement of continued funding.

“The Canada Council for the Arts is delighted at the announcement of $25 million in ongoing support to the Council in the 2014 budget,” said Council Chair, Joseph L. Rotman. “This is a strong vote of confidence by the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, the Honourable Shelly Glover, and demonstrates her Government’s commitment to arts and culture, a major contributor to the economy and identity of this country.”

The full statement is here.

Though there were no announcements in the budget specifically for heritage sites, the Heritage Canada Foundation is hopeful that funding allotted more broadly will trickle down to them.

“HCNT is also hopeful that some of the $391.5 million for Parks Canada, earmarked for improvements to highways [etc.], will be invested in the agency’s 158 historic sites […]”

“Budget documents are silent on Parks Canada’s National Historic Sites Cost-Sharing Program, which in recent years has provided modest yet much-needed bricks-and-mortar investment in National Historic Sites not in federal ownership, and do not confirm proposed seed funding to ease lighthouses declared ‘surplus’ by the Federal Government into the hands of local groups.”

“HCNT applauds the budget’s enhancement of the Ecological Gifts Program, which provides attractive tax benefits to Canadians for the protection of natural areas, and the Certified Cultural Property Program, which does the same for donations of art and artifacts.”

The full statement can be found here.

The Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) joined many other organizations in applauding the government’s decision to renew funding for the Canada Council, Canada Cultural Investment Fund, and the Canadian Cultural Spaces Fund on a permanent basis.

“This is welcome news for Canada’s theatre sector,” said Camilla Holland, Advocacy Chair of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT). “This is demonstrated support of the Government’s commitment to the arts and culture sector. Thank you to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover and their colleagues.”

Read the full statement.

Orchestras Canada released a statement that they too are pleased by the government’s decision to renew funding for key initiatives.

“The specific references to arts and culture, and the positioning of our sector as a key contributor to the quality of life in Canadian communities, would be positive in any federal budget,” said Katherine Carleton, Orchestras Canada’s executive director.  “Combined with the early announcement of the renewal of key funding envelopes at the Department of Canadian Heritage, I’d call Budget 2014 very good news for Canadian orchestras.”

“While this is neither new nor increased funding, today’s announcement ensures that important programs at the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council can continue and evolve.”

Their full statement is here.

The Association of Canadian Book Publishers released a statement saying that they welcome the stabilization of the Canadian Book Fund.

“ACP President Erin Creasey responded to the budget announcement: “We’re very pleased to see a commitment to ongoing support of Canadian book publishers in the budget. The permanent addition of $9 million expected for 2015-16 — an amount that has been a supplementary addition to the fund for the past decade — is critical for independent Canadian publishers to thrive and maintain our competitive advantage. These funds mean that Canadian readers will have continued access to the work of Canada’s best writers.”

“Last renewed in 2010, the Canada Book Fund supports a range of programs that help ensure Canadians enjoy continued access to the widest possible range of Canadian books. In addition to support for book publishers, CBF has supported the development and launch of 49th Shelf (, a website that is increasing the online footprint of Canadian-authored books while showcasing them to the world, and eBOUND Canada, which provides the tools independent publishers need to engage in the digital book marketplace.”

The full press release can be found here.

The Canadian Independent Music Association was pleased with the budget, especially the renewal of the Canada Music Fund.

“The Canada Music Fund provides over $24.61 million in annual funding for the creation and worldwide promotion of Canadian music, $8.8 million of which was set to expire at the end of the 2014 fiscal year.

“Canadian music companies are thrilled that they will continue to have access to the Canada Music Fund, as it funds such a wide variety of Canadian music activity,” said Stuart Johnston, President of the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA). “The continuity provided by this renewal will position Canadian independent music businesses to contribute to Canadian economic growth, and the vibrancy of Canadian culture.”

Read the full statement here.

CAPACOA posted a short statement saying they too were excited about the results of the budget.

“The Canadian presenting and touring sector is a proud partner to the Federal government in helping to ensure access for all Canadians to the live performing arts. We enthusiastically support and appreciate the renewal and transition to permanency for key PCH programs and Canada Council funding. We believe the government’s decisions reinforce the key findings in our “The Value of Presenting: A Study of Arts Presentation in Canada”, that demonstrate access to the arts increases quality of life for all.” said Paul Gravett, Board President.”

The full news release is here.

Be sure to like The Arts Advocate on twitter and facebook for real-time updates and information.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Federal Budget: A digest of reactions from within the culture sector

After yesterday’s federal budget, many in the arts and culture community were pleasantly surprised to see that it includes a commitment to renew and provide ongoing funding to key arts and culture programs at the Department of Canadian Heritage. The twittersphere was alive with comments when it began to sink in that this renewal was announced a year ahead of any anticipated news.

Many organizations submitted pre-budget recommendations in other areas; on these the budget was silent.

Here is a cross section of cultural sector responses to Budget 2014 to date:

ACTRA was disappointed that the budget did not do more to create security in the industry and capitalize on its potential to create jobs.

“This is yet another budget with no action on the part of this government to harness the enormous job-generating potential of our industry,” said Ferne Downey, ACTRA National President. “Status quo isn’t good enough. To compete internationally, our industry needs to grow and evolve. That means solid, long-term investments and public policy that boosts production from coast to coast.”

“ACTRA has asked the federal government to guarantee stable, long-term funding for the CBC, NFB, Telefilm and increased funding for the Canada Media Fund. ACTRA is also looking to the federal government to make regulatory changes to re-introduce income averaging for artists, and to sign and ratify the Beijing Treaty, thereby extending moral and economic rights to audio-visual performers.”

Read the full statement here.

The Canadian Arts Coalition was pleased about the renewal of key Canadian Heritage programs on a more permanent basis.

“[the Canadian Arts Coalition] applauds the Government of Canada for renewing key programs at the Department of Canadian Heritage in Budget 2014. These programs include the Canada Arts Presentation Fund, the Canada Cultural Investment Fund, and Cultural Spaces Canada. The Canada Book Fund and the Canada Music Fund have also been renewed.”

“Budget 2014 also makes permanent $25 million to the Canada Council for the Arts that had previously been renewed from year to year. This is a promising step and welcomed by the Canadian Arts Coalition.”

Read the full statement here.

The Canadian Museums Association was similarly buoyed by the announcement that funding for the Virtual Museum of Canada will receive a boost and that the government seems to be committed to important role of heritage activities and museums.

“The Federal Government has demonstrated its continued support of Canada’s museum community by allotting new funding to a few key areas in a time of overall financial constraint,” observed John McAvity, executive director of the CMA. “We welcome the proposals for ongoing funding of heritage programs as they clearly recognize the important role of museums in our society.”

“The Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) will see its annual funding increased by $4.2 million for a total of $6.2 million per year. The VMC is to be taken over by the Canadian Museum of History.”

“A total annual investment of $2.1 million (a $1.2 million increase to the existing $0.9 million) for the Online Works of Reference, which provides access to The Canadian Encyclopedia/Encyclopedia of Music in Canada and The Dictionary of Canadian Biography. The Canadian Museum of History will also take over this program.”

“With 2017 fast approaching, it’s good to see that the celebrations for Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation are on the Federal Government’s list of priorities,” says McAvity, “but there is still no confirmation regarding the allocation of funds toward the initiative. The CMA will keep reminding politicians across all parties about the importance of museums in the 2017 celebrations, as well as other critical issues affecting the museum community.”

The full statement by the CMA can be found here.

We anticipate further statements from other organizations.  We’ll keep the blog updated.