We've made some updates to the Call to Action for the 2017 Provincial Election we issued last week to hone in on the matter of requesting increased funding for British Columbia's arts and culture sector through the BC Arts Council.
We need to hear from you. See below for our updated goals for the December 6 public meeting, and, if you haven't already done so, register to be part of this important conversation!
Please share this invitation with members of the arts, culture and heritage sector as well as supporters from other sectors.
The BC Alliance for Arts + Culture is taking a leadership role to develop and organize an inclusive and equitable arts advocacy strategy in advance of the 2017 provincial election and requests your participation.
The purpose of the strategy will be to ask the provincial government to follow the lead of the federal government and double the budget of the BC Arts Council over the next three years. Members of the arts, culture and heritage sector as well as supporters from other sectors are invited to attend a public meeting to discuss the development of a provincial strategy.
You are invited to attend a public meeting
Tuesday, December 6, 3—5 p.m.
at the Scotiabank Dance Centre
677 Davie Street, Vancouver
Data collected through Statistics Canada’s Culture Satellite Account (CSA) provides a gauge of the economic state of arts, culture, heritage, and sport in Canada and within each province. The statistics demonstrate that, in 2014:
- Culture accounted for 3% of Canada's total GDP and 3.5% of jobs.
- BC’s culture GDP and jobs mirror the national statistics, and are the third-highest in the country. There were over 80,000 culture-related jobs in BC in 2014.
- BC’s culture GDP ($6.7 billion) is larger than the value added of agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting ($4.4 billion), utilities ($4.7 billion), and accommodation and food services ($6.3 billion).
The Alliance recently commissioned a study, conducted by Hill Strategies Research Ltd., on the situation of arts and culture in British Columbia. Findings revealed that, despite recent increases and the significant impact of our province’s cultural sector on national GDP, the majority of BC arts organizations are still underfunded at a provincial level compared with peers in other provinces.
We are encouraged by recent substantial increases in funding in to BC’s creative industries (music, book and magazine publishing, and motion pictures) to fuel our province's economy, and are requesting increases of stable, multi-year funding to arts and culture organizations through the BC Arts Council.
As part of its advocacy work in the lead-up to the 2017 provincial election, the Alliance is requesting an immediate 34% increase to the BC Arts Council of $8.1 million in order to bring provincial arts funding on par with other provinces in Canada.
The meeting discussion will be guided by the following questions:
- Why does BC's arts and cultural sector need increased investment from the provincial government?
- What are the priority areas for increased funding? How could increased funds best be used or allocated?
- How would an increase to the BC Arts Council change the situation of artists and arts organizations in our province?
- How would increased investment in arts and culture bring changes in terms of healthier communities, job creation, and an elevated global presence for BC’s cultural sector?
At the Alliance, we believe that we need to engage as many British Columbians as possible in our efforts to build awareness about the value of arts, culture and heritage in our communities. When people understand the impact of the arts on their day-to-day lives, they will become our strongest allies.
We are inviting all arts, culture and heritage organizations to take part in developing a strategy in collaboration with the Advocacy Committee of the Alliance. In these times of political unrest, your participation is critical in order to ensure that we are speaking with one voice and reaching as many people as possible, including politicians and stakeholders.
The meeting will be facilitated by Alliance executive director Brenda Leadlay and board member Joel Klein, who also serves on the board of the Canadian Arts Coalition.
In addition to addressing the broader questions focusing on the request for increased BC Arts Council funding, some of the provincial election-related advocacy strategies that could be considered at the meeting will include, but are not limited to:
- The creation of a provincial Arts Day on the Hill;
- An election toolkit that can easily be referenced for arts facts and promotional tools for your own organization in your community;
- A coordinated celebrity social media campaign which will feature high profile artists from all disciplines and leaders in business and philanthropy speaking online about why the arts are important, what the arts mean to them, why the government needs to increase their support for the arts; etc.
- Town hall meetings with provincial MLA candidates in regions across BC to discuss their vision for the arts;
- One-on-one and group meetings in communities with MLAs and candidates;
- A call for each political party to create and publish their arts and culture strategy for BC;
- Curtain speeches to audiences about the need for increased investment;
- A symbol (button/pin/poster) of support for the arts – i.e.: Artsvote, Arts for Social Change; Arts Matter; etc.
Attendees are encouraged to bring their own ideas to the discussion.
Please Note: If you're unable to attend in person but are interested in participating in a follow-up session by video conference, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.