David Diamond Submission to the BC Standing Committee on Finance

To the Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services:

September 16, 2010

Hello, my name is David Diamond and I am the Artistic Director of Headlines Theatre. The best way, I believe, to talk about arts and culture is to make it personal.

One of the reasons I am here because sometime in the last 30 years, Headlines will have done a project in every single one of your constituencies; projects on addiction, family violence, racism, intergenerational conflict, homelessness, gang violence, suicide prevention and many others.

I want to acknowledge off the top that I am very happy that a portion of the money that was cut from Arts and Culture has come back to the BC Arts Council. Let us not think, however, this has solved the problem.

Mr. Les – you came to the opening of Meth, in Sto:Lo Territory – Meth toured into 27 communities across BC and then toured western Canada. I remember you came to me after the show, literally vibrating and said you had never experienced anything like this powerful theatre project on addiction;

Mr. Ralston – you might recall “Here and Now”, on gang violence. It was so deeply embraced by the Indo-Canadian community it was created and first performed inside the Ross Street Temple in Vancouver and then moved to the Surrey Arts Centre;

Mr. Donaldson – I carry a Gitxsan name because of the theatre work over many, many years throughout the Hazelton area – in Kispiox and Gitanmaax in particular.

Mr. Rustad – Street Spirits in PG who do work with at-risk youth, who I am sure you must know, were born directly from a Headlines’ workshop over 10 years ago.

I could go on through all of your constituencies.

It is already well researched that art and culture is a great financial investment for Government – but art and culture is far more than that:

Art IS the psyche of a society.

Continued ...

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