The cash infusion for arts and culture expected in today's announcement of the federal budget will be placed squarely on infrastructure, festivals and training.
On the weekend, Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore said $160-million will be designated to the sector over the next two years, and did not rule out the possibility that there could be more in store in today's announcement. Deirdra McCracken, Moore's communications director, confirmed that the entire $160-million would be over and above existing funding, and is not a re-announcement of any money already pledged.
Several arts executives said yesterday that such a windfall shows that the Conservatives are becoming more aware of the economic clout the sector holds, after $44.8-million in cuts to arts funding last year cost the party votes come election time. Alain Pineau, the executive director of the Canadian Conference of the Arts, said he is still concerned about the effect of cutting programs such as PromArt, but if arts and culture do indeed receive $160-million in additional funds today, "we can only rejoice."
Here's how the $160-million is expected to break down:
The amount, over two years, to be funnelled into the Arts Presentation Canada program and the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program, which support arts festivals across the country.
What existed before A $30-million annual budget instituted by previous heritage minister Josée Verner in 2007, with no sunset date.
Who could benefit Large entities such as Luminato, Just for Laughs, the Cultural Olympiad, the Montreal and Ottawa Jazz Festivals, Magnetic North Theatre Festival, as well as a host of smaller outfits across the country.
The amount to be added to the Cultural Spaces Canada program, over two years. Cultural Spaces supports construction, renovation and improved accessibility for arts and heritage structures.
What existed before An annual budget of about $27-million, which currently exists in tandem with the cultural component of the $8.8-billion Building Canada Fund for new infrastructure projects.
Who could benefit The Royal Conservatory of Music, the Art Gallery of Alberta, Saskatoon's Mendel Art Gallery, the Banff Centre, the Mont-real Museum of Fine Arts and The Toronto International Film Festival Group all have projects
on the go.
More to come?
Moore hinted this weekend at a possible increase in funding for the National Arts Training Contribution Program, which funds the training "of artists with high potential through institutions that offer training of the highest calibre." What existed before
A $16-million annual budget.
Who could benefit The National Ballet School, the National Theatre School of Canada, the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Banff Centre. Those programs that lost money when the Conservatives cancelled the National Training Program in the Film and Video Sector could also see some relief.
So far, there has been no mention of money
for international touring or promotions despite slews of submissions from arts organizations calling for programs to fill the void left by the cancellation of the PromArt and Trade Routes programs.