Friday, November 6, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Dear Minister Krueger,
We represent 20 Canadian professional orchestras with over 1,100 members. We are writing to express our grave concern about the proposed cuts to the BC Arts Council.
Considering how the arts are a growing industry and provide major economic benefits throughout the province, it seems short-sighted to reduce government support in this sector. These cuts will result in further shrinkage of the BC economy and lost tax revenues for the BC government.
There are 80,000 people employed in the arts sector in BC and it is estimated that artistic activities generate $5.2 billion annually. It is bigger than the forestry and fishing industries combined. According to your own government statistics, for every dollar invested in the arts, the province gets back $1.38 in taxes.
We wll know that the social benefits that the arts provide to our society are immeasurable. All communities are enriched by a vibrant cultural presence.
The provinces of Ontario and Alberta have chosen to increase funding to the arts during this economic downturn in recognition of the importance that a stable long-term investment will provide to its citizens.
As Minister of Culture, you have the ability to defend and promote stable and consistent funding to ensure that this most important industry can remain strong and healthy in the future.
We urge you and your fellow elected representatives to reconsider this decision and fully restore the BC Arts Council budget.
Sincerely, Francine Schutzman, President Organization of Canadian Symphony Musicians
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Metro Vancouver board calls on Premier Gordon Campbell to rescind arts cuts | Vancouver, Canada | Straight.com
At the board meeting today (October 30), Broughton told her fellow regional district directors that the arts have been proven to be an effective tool for steering people, particularly youth, away from anti-social behaviour.
Broughton also pointed out that children who are exposed to arts have shown “less inclination” to engage in “scurrilous activity” as adults.
Amir Ali Alibhai, executive director of the Alliance for Arts and Culture, said he applauds the council’s augmented advocacy but he questions just how far the organization can go, given its financial reliance on the government.
“It’s welcome for the B.C. Arts Council to take a stronger leadership role in advocacy,” Alibhai told the Straight by phone. “I’d be concerned that staff would be in an awkward position if they’re criticizing and suggesting different actions than those taken by the government.”
Metro Vancouver’s board of directors has approved the awarding of $100,000 in grants to the Arts Club Theatre Company, Vancouver Symphony Society, and other arts and culture organizations in the region.
Thank goodness we have a Vancouver city council that understands the value of the arts.