We are the land of Glenn Gould and Nickelback, Jon Vickers and kd lang, Margaret Atwood and Doug Coupland, Luminato and The Fringe — and every kind of art in between.
Where does the government imagine these artists come from? Do they wander in off the street, fully-prepared to perform? Of course not. They are trained, educated, given apprenticeships and innumerable opportunities to perform. They are given forums like festivals and films and much more, and they are given the means to make art.
Some philistines argue that the arts should pay their own way. This is aberrant nonsense. Canadian art is more than arenas full of visiting American rockers. Canadian art is who we are as a people.
Money is NOT the measure of merit. It is a means of supporting merit.