Each fall, the all-party Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services seeks the public’s input on the next year’s provincial budget through public hearings, written submissions and an online survey.
It is important that the Committee hears from BC-based arts and cultural workers as part of this process – presenters, venues, arts councils, community groups, service organizations, artists, educators and businesses.
The Alliance for Arts and Culture encourages all members of the arts and culture community to participate in the consultations by:
- Attending and/or presenting at a community public hearing;
- Making a written, audio or video submission to the Committee;
- Completing an on-line survey (Note that there is no mention of arts and culture in this survey).
Submission deadline is October 16, 2013.
Alliance executive director Rob Gloor presented to the Committee at a Vancouver public hearing in September, and made the following recommendations with respect to the arts and culture sector and the 2014-2015 provincial budget:
1) Increase the legislated appropriated investment in BC Arts Council grants programs to $32 million in 2014-2015, with a further increase to $40 million within two years.
An increase to $32 million 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) Restore Community Gaming Grants to $156 million, including reinstatement of the capital grants program, with plans for further increases in subsequent years. Furthermore, we urge the government to revisit the gaming grants policy as recommended by the BC Association for Charitable Gaming (http://bcacg.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/BCACG-Position.pdf).
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.
3) Increase funding to Creative BC programs which support creation, production, and marketing of BC's cultural exports.
The recent establishment of Creative BC responds in part to recommendations for a creative industries strategy in British Columbia. Work is still needed to ensure that this new agency is fully funded to drive success in the sector.
4) Introduce a cultural facilities infrastructure program to help develop and maintain arts and culture venues in BC.
Many of BC’s existing cultural facilities are the legacies of previous generations and are now in need of repair and replacement. A provincial program would enable BC’s cultural sector to begin addressing these issues and to access matching federal infrastructure funds.
For full details on the budget consultation process visit http://www.leg.bc.ca/budgetconsultations/index.asp