So the Standing Committee on Finance has recommended that all arts funding by the province be restored to the levels of 2008/09. Good. Now what? Rest assured that this is significant, but it is not over. Minister Krueger “gets it”, but is that enough? Nobody knows if Minister Coleman “gets it” since he refuses to meet with anyone. Funny, I thought that was his job.
I thought the Premier “got it”, and I hope these funding cuts are recognized as the big mistake that they are and he proves me right.
In any case, folks, the work is not yet done.
We need to get our stories out there and let the premier and our MLAs know what is going on in their constituencies, and that arts and culture are important to voters. Creativity Counts and Culture Matters.
It is crucial that this happens in the next 6 weeks, as the budget for 2010/11 is developed. The Treasury Board and Government need to be strongly urged to take the advice of their own Standing Committee.
There are many wonderful and diverse strategies out there at the moment to engage our communities – it is important that we all have the tools to engage our boards, audiences, neighbours, business contacts, and partners to tell their own stories about why the arts and culture are important to them and to restore arts funding now. They need to tell these stories to their own MLAs, most of them should be in their ridings after November 26th.
A soft launch of a new website will take place on November 23rd at the Wrecking Ball at the Vogue Theatre at 8pm.
This website, unlike ours, which is for our members, is meant to provide tools to the general public to be effective advocates for arts and culture in this province; you are all welcome to use it. The address is www.creativitycounts.ca.
Amir Ali Alibhai
Alliance for Arts and Culture