News > Budget 2023: A Troubling Oversight

Budget 2023: A Troubling Oversight

Dancers on stage wearing white, hands in the air with their fingers spread. They are circling around one dancer who has a concerned look on her face.
"Forgotten feelings" by Trip the Light Fantastic at Festival Quartiers Danse in Montréal, QC. Photo credit: Melika Dez.

The 2023 federal budget fell short of the expectations of the live performance sector. While the budget provided partial reassurance about some funds that were set to expire in 2024, it did not deliver new investments for the long-term resilience and growth of the sector.

Today’s federal budget tabled by the Honourable Chrystia Freeland provided $14.0 million over two years, starting in 2024-25, for the Department of Canadian Heritage to support the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage (BCAH) program. This is an extension of supplemental funds first announced in 2019.

The budget did however not include a similar extension for the Canada Arts Presentation Fund (CAPF). Yet, this program had also received supplementary funds in 2019, along with BCAH and the Canada Music Fund. Unless further announcements are made, as of March 31, 2024, the CAPF’s funding will be decreasing by $8 million per year.

​​“We are extremely disappointed by the blatant omission of the Canada Arts Presentation Fund in this year’s budget. Although we are happy to see an extension of supplementary funds for presenters and festivals through the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program, we must stress that this is not new funding. This lack of support is a troubling oversight that will significantly impact the live performance sector’s continued growth and sustainability.”

Natalie Lue, Chair, CAPACOA

It’s worth noting that the live performance sector’s current reality is still far from what it was before the pandemic. 28% of arts goers have not returned yet, the live performance GDP is still 10.7% away from a full recovery, and the cost of life has increased by 12.5% between February 2020 and today. Yet, funding for presenting organizations and festivals via the Canada Arts Presentation Fund is set to decrease by 36% between 2019 and 2024.

So long for the additional investment of $30 million per year in CAPACOA’s latest pre-budget recommendations

Take Action: #FutureOfLIVE Town Hall

A purple square with an image of seated audience members in the background. The title “#FutureOFLIVE Town Hall” is featured in white font, with the date of April 03 and time of 4:00 pm EST in purple font. The logos of the four event partners are shown at the bottom of the image.

April 3, 2023 | 4pm ET

CAPACOA, Festivals and Major Events, the Canadian Live Music Association, and RIDEAU are inviting their members to a #FutureOfLIVE Town Hall on Monday, April 3 at 4:00 p.m. (EDT). This event will be an opportunity to discuss the 2023 federal budget.

Other noteworthy budget announcements

Supporting the National Arts Centre

  • Budget 2023 proposes $28 million over two years for Canada’s home for the performing arts, the National Arts Centre.

Supporting the Growth of Canada’s Tourism Sector

  • Budget 2023 proposes to provide $108 million over 3 years, on a cash basis, starting in 2023-24, to the Regional Development Agencies to support communities, small businesses, and non-profit organizations in developing local projects and events.
  • Budget 2023 also proposes to provide $50 million over 3 years, starting in 2023-24, to Destination Canada to attract major international conventions, conferences, and events to Canada.

Supporting Travel to Canada 

  • Budget 2023 proposes to expand eligibility for the Electronic Travel Authorization Program to low-risk, trusted travellers from additional visa-required countries—a service which is currently available only in Brazil.
    • This may alleviate barriers to artist mobility.

Supporting the Canadian Screen Sector

  • Budget 2023 proposes to provide $40 million over two years, starting in 2023-24, to the Department of Canadian Heritage for the Canada Media Fund to make funding more open to traditionally underrepresented voices, and to increase funding for French-language screen content. This approach ensures support for the production of Canadian content while the government continues to review and modernize its support for the Canadian screen sector.

Supporting Our Official Languages 

  • Budget 2023 proposes the Action Plan for Official Languages, 2023-28, which includes $117 million to ensure the prosperity of official language minority communities, including increased support for the non-profit organizations that serve these communities.
    • This funding will benefit Francophone community and cultural centres, many of which regularly present live performances.

Measures related to “junk fees” and credit card interchange fees

  • Budget 2023 announces the government’s intention to work with regulatory agencies, provinces, and territories to reduce junk fees for Canadians. This could include higher telecom roaming charges, event and concert fees, excessive baggage fees, and unjustified shipping and freight fees.
  • In Budget 2023, the government is announcing that it has secured commitments from Visa and Mastercard to lower fees for small businesses.
    • These measures may impact performing arts organizations procurement decisions regarding ticketing services, pricing strategies and/or box office revenues.

Media Inquiries

For media inquiries, please contact: Colin Frotten, Communications Director, CAPACOA at

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