BC Arts Groups Endorse National Common Arts Platform For Federal Election

More than 70 national, provincial and municipal cultural organizations from across Canada have signed a common electoral platform in the context of the 2011 federal election, in which they ask federal parties to make commitments concerning Canadian arts, culture and heritage.

This common platform (click here to view), the first ever achieved by the sector, was established through a series of consultations and discussions led by the Canadian Conference of the Arts (CCA) over the past three months.

Nearly 50 British Columbia arts, culture, and heritage organizations have endorsed the common platform. Click here for the list of those groups.

“The Alliance for Arts and Culture is proud to have added its name to this impressive list of signatories”, said executive director Amir Ali Alibhai.

“Culture plays an important part in the Canadian economy and in Canadian society in general. It’s unfortunate that based on what we have seen so far, culture does not appear to be an object of concern for most of the national party leaders. It is our hope that this call for commitment will find an echo on the campaign trail.”

The common electoral platform covers four broad themes: investments in the production of Canadian cultural content in the context of a national economic strategy; investments in developing domestic and foreign markets; making arts and culture an integral component of Canadian foreign policy; and implementing the National Museum Policy that was conceived in 2005.

More specifically, here are the priorities identified by the signatories:

1. Encourage the production of Canadian cultural content in the context of a national economic strategy by:

  • Increasing the budget of the Canada Council for the Arts to at least $300 million by 2015;
  • Modernizing the Copyright Act to ensure fair compensation for creators and other rights holders and to facilitate access of cultural works by Canadians without undermining existing rights;
  • Commiting to increased and long-term funding for the CBC, the National Film Board, Telefilm Canada and various funds such as the Canada Media Fund, the Music Fund, the Book and the Periodical Funds, etc.
  • Making internet and wireless services providers contribute financially to the production of Canadian cultural programs;
  • Adopting tax measures to address the realities of self-employed artists and creators;
  • Adopting tax incentives to encourage arts philanthropy and private investments in arts and cultural industries.

2. Dedicate $40 million to increase access to Canadian artists and their works by Canadians and the international community.

3. Reintroduce arts and culture as a component of Canadian foreign policy.

4. Implement the National Museum Policy agreed to by all parties in 2005 with an injection of $50 million per year.

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