The Pride in Art Society (PiA) announced today (May 8) that Canadian Heritage has restored partial funding for this year's Queer Arts Festival (QAF). The society received word in April that Canadian Heritage was withdrawing its funding for the festival.
Canadian Heritage had provided support to QAF since 2010, and in 2012 the grants the PiA received made up half of its overall funding. Following this abrupt cut, just three months before the festival's 2013 opening, PiA launched a campaign to raise awareness and to put pressure on the Ministry to restore the funding, which resulted in a great public outcry.
The press release and call for support issued last week by PiA stated: "When asked the reasons for the cut, Canadian Heritage representatives declined to give any details. When further pressed to explain how we could improve for next year, representatives insisted there were no specific areas of concern." The Ministry reportedly denied PiA the opportunity to meet with the Minister.
Within days of going public, the society was able to overcome this obstacle thanks to the help of its audience, artists, and local politicians. On May 3, Hon. Minister James Moore contacted PiA and reinstated 75% of its federal funding.
QAF began in 1998 as a tiny, grassroots, volunteer-run, community-based visual art exhibition and has grown into a cutting-edge, multidisciplinary, 3-week long professional festival that celebrates the unique creative expression of queer visual and performing artists.
This year's QAF, TransgressionNow, runs from July 24-August 9, 2013. Visit http://queerartsfestival.com/ for more information.