Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More from the Barricades

This request is being circulated by Canadian Arts Coalition,:

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is in the midst of shaping an economic stimulus package and budget, which he will deliver January 27. Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore is also reaching out to consult with arts and culture stakeholders across the country to understand the needs of our sector. Please stand up and let the politicians know that the Canadian arts sector is a thriving industry and investment in the Canadian arts sector must be sustained. Call on our government and political leaders to ensure that the arts are part of the economic stimulus package Canadians are looking for.

What do I say:

In August, the Canadian Arts Coalition issued The Arts Advantage, a pre-budget brief that calls for sustained investment in the Canadian arts sector. In that brief the Coalition called on the Government of Canada to:

1. Build on its support for artists and arts organizations through the Canada Council for the Arts.

2. Facilitate the efforts of Canadian arts and cultural organizations to train the next generation of artists, and expand their audiences and the markets for their work, through the programs of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

3. Reinvest in programs of support for international cultural diplomacy and market development.


These general priorities are as important as ever. (We also urge you to review the December 18 submission of the Canadian Conference of the Arts, which includes these priorities.)

All this said, we know each segment of the arts sector has specific needs and you know best what yours are. We urge you to use the contacts you have with the federal government—through your funders, supporters, and formal and informal associations—to tell the federal Finance Minister and the Minister of Canadian Heritage of your specific needs.

What you can do: -- Please do at least one of these things.

· Go to: www.fin.gc.ca/scripts/prebudget-prebudgetaire/1-eng.asp to participate in the Minister of Finance's online budget consultations. (Deadline, 9 January 2009).

· Write to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, copying Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, urging him to include investment in the arts sector in Canada's budget and economic stimulus package.

· Write to your Premier and provincial minister responsible for arts, encouraging them to ensure that the arts are included in the economic recovery package to be discussed at a first ministers' meeting in mid-January.

· Talk and/or email your local MP and MPP/MLA.

Tell us what you're doing.

Brought together to bring a unified voice for the Canadian arts sector, please keep the Canadian Arts Coalition informed your actions and successes. Please let us know who you've contacted, what you've told them and what kind of response you've received. You can email us at info@canadianartscoalition.ca.

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