March 30, 2012 - The funding to the Canada Council for the Arts is preserved.
This is undoubtedly the highlight of this budget for the arts sector, and a positive response to one of CAPACOA's prebudget recommendations. The budget also includes laudatory comments in regards to the value of the cultural sector:
"The Government believes that supporting the arts is essential to supporting Canada’s economy and quality of life and will continue strong support for Canadian culture."
Economic Action Plan 2012
Beyond these positive aspects, the budget nonetheless includes several cuts within the Canadian Heritage portfolio. Total cuts represent $191.1 million over 3 years, approximately 6.9% of the total portfolio. The CBC will suffer the biggest cut, $ 115 million, and the National Arts Centre will also be cut by $1.9 million. The department itself will be cut by $46.2 million, slightly less than 4% of its operating budget. Such cuts, while in some cases smaller the 5 or 10% anticipated scenarios, will unavoidably have impacts on the performing arts presenting and touring sector.
CAPACOA responded to the Federal budget in a letter to Canadian Heritage minister, James Moore:
"CAPACOA members are grateful recipients of support through Canadian Heritage programs such as the Canada Cultural Investment Fund, Cultural Spaces and the Canada Arts Presentation Fund. We trust that these programs and their importance will continue to be recognized when the time comes for the Department to implement deficit reductions as outlined in Budget 2012. We look forward to understanding more about the mechanisms and measures the Department will be putting into place as you 'move to a more integrated policy framework' and seek to 'focus on funding that leverages contributions from partners'."
Phyllis Stenson, CAPACOA President
We will keep the sector informed over the next weeks and months, as the government provides more details on how these cuts will be implemented.
Previous and Related News Articles
Budget 2012 Preserves Key Arts Investments [external link]