We’re in the money

Federal budget adds to arts community coffers

Staggering deficit aside, it’s encouraging to see the federal government making investments in the arts in its 2016 budget.

Our #PMILF Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government announced $1.3 billion in funding, keeping an election promise made during the fall campaign.

This includes a promise to double the budget of the Canada Council for the Arts – albeit within five years – taking it from roughly $180-million to $360-million annually.

The CBC is up for an extra $675-million over the same five-year period to modernize and revitalize CBC/Radio Canada.

“Culture is synonymous with creation. It also creates a collective wealth that goes beyond economic benefits and statistics,” Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in his budget speech – we couldn’t agree more.

In a statement released after the budget announcements, the Artist Run Centres and Collectives Conference stated: “[It] is optimistic that this [Canada Council] investment will make up for years of stagnation in the funding of artistic organizations, including artist-run centres.”

Also responding to the funding, CARFAC (Canadian Artists’ Representation/ Le Front des Artistes Canadiens) sent out a statement reporting more than half of Canada’s visual artists subsist on less than $18,000 a year and the funding, “will contribute to the success of our careers, the growth of our artistic practices and the strength of our sector.”

Telefilm Canada will see $22-million and the National Film Board $13.5-million in the next five years, while $76.9-million will be spent over two years for the construction of cultural and recreational centres in First Nations communities.

Each month you find Monday Magazine reliably in its yellow box, you can thank delivery man Ric Munro who’s been on the job with Black Press for 27 years. Last month, Munro and his partner Carole Stanley’s belongings were destroyed when a fire ripped through their Shawnigan Lake home. Now, community members and co-workers are stepping up to help the couple with donations to help them rebuild. Learn how you can help by going to mondaymag.com/4Good.

 

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