Write Your MLAs About the Importance of Arts Funding Now!

The BC Alliance for Arts + Culture needs your help to ensure that arts and culture are prominently included in the next provincial budget when it’s released in February 2019. Write your MLA to tell them that their promise to double the budget of the BC Arts Council is crucial in order for the BC Arts Council to implement its new strategic plan.

The BC Alliance has created a sample letter below that you can either edit or send to your representatives unchanged. You should also feel free to create your own letter advocating on behalf of arts, culture and heritage in British Columbia. To find your MLA, click here. You should also CC Minister of Finance Carole James (carole.james.MLA@leg.bc.ca), Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Lisa Beare (lisa.beare.MLA@leg.bc.ca) and Premier John Horgan (john.horgan.mla@leg.bc.ca).

 <Date goes here>

Dear <insert name of MLA here>,

As a constituent in your riding, I am writing to thank you for your increased investment of $5M in the BC Arts Council over the next three years. Your investment clearly illustrates that you understand the important economic and social value of the arts, culture and heritage in communities around the province.

The much-needed increase to the BC Arts Council will make a difference to the sustainability of arts and culture organizations in BC. With a combined workforce of over 98,000 cultural workers in BC and a cultural GDP of $7.2 billion, the cultural sector represents 4% of BC’s economy. The creative sector in BC is Canada’s third largest, and growing faster than in any other province or territory in Canada. It’s important that the amount of support this sector receives from the provincial government reflects the critical role arts and culture play in BC’s economy.

I am writing to you today to ask that you fulfil the government’s promise to double the budget of the BC Arts Council over the next two years — from $24M to $48M — in order to implement the BC Arts Council’s new strategic plan. 

New Foundations, the new strategic plan of the BC Arts Council, is focused on equity, diversity and access to build a sustainable, innovative economy, a goal that is strongly aligned with the priorities of the BC government. The key objectives of the plan include:

  1. Improving sustainability and creative development;

  2. Enhancing engagement with Indigenous arts and culture, an important tool for reconciliation;

  3. Expanding support for regional arts and community arts; and

  4. Increasing support for equity, diversity and access, so that the realities of BC’s cultural communities are fully represented.

Premier Horgan’s cultural plan in his Ministerial letter promised a $48 million arts budget, because this is the amount needed to meet the above goals.

Thank you for the great start you’ve made in elevating BC’s cultural sector. You still have three more budgets to keep your promise and double the BC Arts Council budget.

Creativity and innovation are key to a growing, sustainable future, and the arts should be at heart of your strategy for success. The arts must be crucial to your plan to revitalize British Columbia.

Thank you for your consideration and support. 

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