"The BC government is making a long-term commitment to keep our province dead last in per-capita arts funding" said Alliance for Arts and Culture executive director Rob Gloor in response to today's budget announcement.
"BC trails every other province in per capita funding of the arts," said Mr. Gloor, "and the current budget, which projects a multi-year freeze in arts funding, is a promise to remain last in Canada."
Budget details reveal frozen funding for arts and culture over the next three years, in spite of overall budget increases.
"With inflation, a frozen budget for the arts is equivalent to a multi-year decrease," continued Mr. Gloor. "This results in a gradual decline in the capacity of the arts and culture sector to serve the community."
One new tax credit appears to provide relief for families in the form of a $500 credit for enrollment in children's arts programs. However, Mr. Gloor points out, the actual maximum benefit is just five percent of that figure -- a mere $25 per child per year -- and does nothing to facilitate participation among lower income families.
"Overall, a disappointing budget for the arts, cultural and heritage sectors" concluded Mr. Gloor. After so much work by so many in the arts community in recent years to raise public and political awareness of the importance of a healthy cultural sector, we had hoped for better."