March 22, 2016 – The Canadian Arts Coalition (CAC) is extremely satisfied to see the government commit in the 2016 Federal Budget to the doubling of the Canada Council for the Arts operating budget by 2020.
This represents $550 million in an overall $1.87 billion commitment to arts and culture over five years. For the last decade, the CAC has advocated for the doubling of the Canada Council’s operating budget. Budget 2016 achieves this goal and represents an important milestone for the arts sector and for Canadians.
“The Coalition is very pleased to see the government follow through on their electoral promises to the arts sector.” says Kate Cornell, Co-Chair of the Canadian Arts Coalition and Executive Director of the Canadian Dance Assembly. “We look forward to continuing the open dialogue and our work with the Federal government that has enabled this new direction.”
This much-needed investment in the Canada Council, an essential arm’s-length agency that has supported Canadian artists and arts organizations since 1957, is timely as the funder moves towards its new, more nimble funding model in 2017. It will help ensure support across the broad spectrum of the artistic landscape, which has diversified tremendously over the last decades.
Notably, in addition to the key support for the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canadian Arts Coalition is very pleased to see $35 million commitment invested in Showcasing Canada’s Cultural Industries to the World over the next two years, another long-time request of the arts sector. Canadian artists and arts organizations are eager to share their work with the world. The Coalition looks forward to the consultations on this program that will take place this year.
The Coalition is encouraged by further investments in the 2016 Federal Budget, especially in Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. The $168.2 million investment in Cultural Spaces over the next two years is well-timed considering the aging infrastructure at many arts organizations. For an overview of the 2016 Federal Budget investment in the arts and culture, please see the table below (pulled from p. 185 of the Federal Budget).
The arts and cultural sector represents 4% of Canada’s labour force and contributes $48 billion to Canada’s annual GDP, making it an enormous source of strength to the Canadian economy. Minister Joly has stated several times that economy-stimulating innovation starts by investing in arts and culture. The Canadian Arts Coalition is optimistic about the potential for the financial commitments made in Budget 2016 to provide jobs and economic opportunities in Canada’s cultural and creative sectors. Given that many Canadian artists and cultural workers are self-employed small-business owners, this support will bring prosperity to thousands of families across the country.
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