It is that time of year again. My first year as ED of the Alliance has been wickedly quick. I began with a vision of expanding your Alliance, of growing our services and making our collective voice stronger. Some of this has happened. The arts and cultural sector has been united and singular in its lobbying of the provincial government to restore arts funding. We have developed a working relationship with the new Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, and we have been collectively successful in engaging our audiences and communities to join us in our plea.
It has been a challenging year as well. Your Alliance joins hundreds of arts and cultural organizations (and sports, environmental and other groups) that lost their regular Direct Access Gaming grant. The impact on our organization has been significant and has forced us to reconsider our operations and plans for the immediate future. We are luckier than some, who have had to lay off workers, establish hiring freezes, drastically reduce programs, or just shut down. This has been terrible to witness at a time when the world is changing and creativity becomes even more important to economies, health, education and sustainability.
At this time of year, when we approach the darkest days of the year and celebrate the return of the light as days get longer after December 21st, we would like to wish you a happy holiday season and a return to more hopeful times in the coming year.
Our good wishes are with you and your families and loved ones and we look forward to your support in the future. Your Alliance is as strong as its membership.
This past year has, as mentioned, yielded many positive directions as well. Let us not lose our focus, our engagement with our communities and our unity as we move forward. Let us explore ways to support one another and emerge a stronger and healthier sector.
The Alliance will be closed from Dec 19-Jan 3. We return on Jan 4, but will remain closed to the public until Jan 11th.
Amir Ali Alibhai
Alliance for Arts and Culture