NEWS: Federal Budget Holds The Line on Arts Funding


The federal government’s new budget holds the line on their commitment to arts funding, according to an analysis released by the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT).
Minister of Finance, James M. Flaherty delivered a budget March 3 that offered few surprises for the arts sector. Budget 2010: Leading the Way on Jobs and Growth held steady with the current level of investment in this vibrant economic sector, but did not add any new programs.
PACT had anticipated that the government would not be making any additional cuts to the arts and culture sector, which is still recovering from the global economic downturn. Innovative arts practices create and sustain jobs that are the foundation of the creative economy.
“We are pleased that the government recognized the vitality of the arts and culture sector” said PACT’s Executive Director, Lucy White. “Prime Minister Harper knows that this is an area where we are going to see job growth in the future, as long as government support remains stable.”
Yesterday’s Speech from the Throne referenced the government’s capital investment in our cultural and heritage institutions, and today’s budget announcement confirmed the renewal of critical programs at the Department and Canadian Heritage that Minister of Canadian Heritage James Moore announced in June. The budget also articulated the government’s on-going support for the Canada Council for the Arts, which recently underwent the Strategic Review process that all government departments must participate in. The reinvestment of funds at the Canada Council will likely go towards domestic touring and access programs, as well as the development of new markets abroad, which will connect Canada’s artists to new audiences and opportunities.
White emphasized the importance of the Canada Council for the Arts for all Canadians. “The Canada Council is our keystone arts funder” said White. “Without the Canada Council there would be far fewer opportunities for Canadians to experience and participate in their own culture.”
About PACT
The Professional Association of Canadian Theatres is a member-driven organization that serves as the collective voice of professional Canadian theatres.  For the betterment of Canadian theatre, PACT provides leadership, national representation and a variety of programs and practical assistance to member companies, enabling members to do their own creative work.
PACT is a founding member of the Performing Arts Alliance and works in tandem with other representative bodies in the cultural and not-for-profit sector including the Canadian Arts Coalition, the Canadian Arts Summit and others.


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