Appointed by the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, the all-party Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services is seeking the public's input on next year's provincial budget through public hearings, written submissions, and an online survey. It is important they hear from BC-based arts and cultural workers – presenters, venues, arts councils, community groups, artists and businesses.
The deadline for submissions is Thursday, October 18, 2012.
The Alliance for Arts and Culture is a member of the Arts Coalition of British Columbia, a network of BC's arts service organizations, and supports the Coalition's three recommendations to the Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services.
The following is the Coalition's submission to the Committee:
The Arts Coalition of British Columbia is a network of the province’s arts service organizations representing a combined membership of over 1,500 community arts societies, creative industry groups, museums, galleries, artist collectives, and performing arts companies.
We submit the following recommendations with respect to the arts and culture sector and the provincial budget:
1. Increase the grant budget of BC Arts Council to $32 million.
The BC Arts Council offers the best way to disseminate funding to BC artists and arts organizations, but the agency is not adequately funded to fulfill its mandate or address current and future demand for its programs. An increase to $32 million in 2013-2014 will begin to address existing demand while activating the associated economic and social benefits. A longer-term increase to $40 million will help to make British Columbia more competitive within a national context.
2. Increase community gaming grants to $156 million.
Community gaming grants provide essential funds for many BC arts organizations and specific community programs not funded by the BC Arts Council. Recent cuts to gaming grants created turmoil for the arts sector, and these cuts have still not been fully restored in spite of ongoing growth in gaming revenues. We urge the government to restore gaming grants to $156 million in 2013-2014 with plans for further increases in subsequent years.
3. Provide opportunities for multi-year grants within major arts funding programs.
Unpredictable arts funding levels threaten the arts sector and obstruct long-term planning. Government can provide greater stability for arts organizations by ensuring that funding programs such as BC Arts Council and Gaming receive stable, predictable investment from which they can fund multi-year operating grants.
Read the Hansard transcript of Rob Gloor's presentation to the Committee on behalf of the Alliance for Arts and Culture here.
For full details on the consultation process, visit http://www.leg.bc.ca/budgetconsultations/index.asp
We encourage you to download the .doc template below to create your own submission to the Committee (courtesy of ArtsBC, adapted for Alliance members), or click here for a .pdf version.