BC Arts Funding Cuts – continued

by Kenji Maeda on September 14, 2009

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Just over a week ago we posted a timeline of events that led up to the BC Arts sector losing its gaming grants. Later it was announced that three-year gaming grant agreements will be funded which only came after an uproar within the arts community.

Despite the fact that those gaming grants were reinstated, the fight isn’t over.

On September 9, the arts community gathered to protest the funding cuts.  Below is a video of Amir Ali Alibhai, Executive Director of Alliance for Arts & Culture.

News Article: Arts community protests B.C. Liberal funding cuts at the Vancouver Art Gallery – [straight.com]

Alliance for Arts also released a “Culture Matters” flyer [pdf] encouraging you to contact your MLA to ensure the government hears from the arts sector.

An excerpt of the document which describes the cuts:

According to our most recent sources, 85%-92% of core provincial funding for arts and culture will be cut by 2012, from both tax-based and non-tax-based [gaming] streams.   The arts and cultural sector is bearing the brunt of discretionary cuts compared with other areas.  During this economic crisis we are willing to make reasonable sacri?ces, but cannot accept outright decimation of the sector.

Total support for arts and culture organizations in BC from 2008-2012, including all sources (Gaming, BC Arts and Culture Special Endowment, Direct taxpayer investment) are:

2008/2009 – 47.8 million
2009/2010 – 42.219 million (as of February)
2009/2010 – 23.075 million (suddenly, as of September)
2010/2011 – 3.749 million (not including Gaming funds)
2011/2012 – 3.675 million (not including Gaming funds)

The document also outlines how the investment in the arts works to benefit the economy.  One point in particular: “Every dollar invested by the province in arts and culture organizations returns between $1.05 and $1.36 directly to provincial treasuries through tax revenues.”

And if you think that this only an issue for the live theatre productions, as Marsha Lederman reported in the Globe and Mail today:

Even the Vancouver International Film Festival lost out on a $70,000 grant. But artistic director Alan Franey says VIFF will be able to deal with it: “If no money falls from the heavens in the next couple of months, at fiscal year end, we will have a deficit. But we are not in the position of some of our poor colleagues who can’t even afford to make payroll.”

News Article: Dramatic cuts, dramatic fallout for B.C. arts [theglobeandmail.com]

[Post image by Neubie]

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Alicia October 10, 2009 at 4:19 pm

This is because of the damn Olympics!

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