The Federal Budget 2013 and the Arts

March 21, 2013 - The Economic Action Plan proposes to "make targeted investments in Canada’s vibrant arts and culture community."

The Investments

Jim FlahertyThe budget announces that the Endowment Incentive component of the Canada Cultural Investment Fund will increase to a maximum benefit of $15 million over the life of the program, an increase of 50 per cent. This measure is meant to help large art organizations become "more resilient and self-sustaining through the continued support of the private sector." No detail is given as to whether this will be enabled through new funding or through the existing envelope of the program.

The budget also proposes continued support for the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages over the 2013–2018. This roadmap is a suite of program for official-language minorities which included three programs dedicated to arts and culture organizations. It is not know at this point whether these specific programs will be renewed. The Fédération culturelle canadienne-française commanded the government for renewing the roadmap.

Finally, the budget proposes funding of $8 million in 2013–14 to help support the restoration and revitalization of Massey Hall. Massey Hall, which was opened in 1894, has played a unique role in Canada’s cultural history and is an important venue for concerts and other events, attracting many of the world’s leading performers.

Other Areas

The budget does not mention other agencies and crown corporations that fall under the Heritage portfolio: Canada Council for the Arts, CBC, Library and Archives Canada, the National Film Board, the National Arts Centre, the National Gallery, and others.

Other Announcements of Interest

The budget does provides details about the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017. On the road to 2017, the Government will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I and the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War II. As Canada prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary, the Government "wishes to ensure that a broad, national perspective is brought to these celebrations. Currently, the locally based National Capital Commission is responsible for promoting the National Capital Region. In order to ensure that the annual Canada Day shows that take place on Parliament Hill and the promotion of National Capital Region events such as Winterlude draw on the cultural and social fabric of the whole of Canada, the Government will transfer the mandate to promote the National Capital Region from the National Capital Commission to the Department of Canadian Heritage."

The budget also delivers a new Building Canada plan, including a $32.2 billion Community Improvement Fund which may provide funding for "recreational facilities and other community infrastructure across Canada that will improve the quality of life of Canadians."

Finally, the budget introduces a new temporary First-Time Donor’s Super Credit (FDSC) designed to encourage new donors to give to charity. This is in response to the report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance on charitable donation. CAPACOA and the Performing Arts Alliance (PAA) had submitted a brief as part of the Committee's consultation, recommending a stretch tax credit to increase donations, as proposed by Imagine Canada. While the FDSC is significantly different from the stretch tax credit, it may be effective in increasing the number of donors and the total amount of donations. Arts charities may choose to adapt their fundraising campaigns to this new credit and to recent data on donors in the arts released by Hill Strategies.


Updated: March 27, 2013


Other Responses to the Bubdget

Canadian Arts Coalition

Orchestras Canada


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