Arts Day on Parliament Hill 2012

Arts Day on Parliament Hill, Oct. 23, 2012: Louise Campbell (left), MP Denis Blanchette (centre), Tam-Ca Vo Van (right), representative for the Association des groupes en arts visuels francophones. “The three of us shared an interesting and stimulating conversation,” says Campbell. “I came away with a much better understanding and faith in Canada's democratic system - those MPs are real, live people, ready to talk about the arts and do what they can.”

Arts Day on Parliament Hill 2012

Arts supporters from coast to coast to coast – including the CNMN – gathered in Ottawa on Tuesday 23 October 2012 to meet with their Members of Parliament to discuss the key role that federal arts investment plays in the economic and social health of Canada. Building on four years of positive momentum, Arts Day 2012 saw 130 arts supporters meet with over 110 Members of Parliament, Ministers, Senators and senior officials from all parties.

Participants thanked the government for preserving investment in the Canada Council for the Arts in Budget 2012 and presented two key policy priorities for the upcoming year, as outlined in the coalition’s brief to the standing committee on finance:

  1. (1) That the government renew investments in the Canada Funds that it announced in 2009 (Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, Canada Arts Presentation Fund, Canada Strategic Investment Fund and Canada Arts Training Fund). Of the $120 million or so that the government invests in these programs annually, nearly $80 million (or 2/3 of the total) is coming up for renewal and it is critical that this level of funding be renewed.
  2. (2) That the Government of Canada maintain funding levels to the arts through the Canada Council for the Arts at $181 million in fiscal year 2013-2014.

Members of Parliament across all parties signalled their support for the Canadian Arts Coalition’s recommendations. The CNMN is part of the Canadian Arts Coalition, a collaborative non-partisan movement spearheaded by a group of national arts service, who organizes the event.

“We are delighted that Canadian New Music Network representative Louise Campbell was able to make the trip to Ottawa in order to explain the importance of federal investment in the arts from the initial moment of creation until it is shared with an audience,” said coalition co-chair Katherine Carleton. “At just over $5 per capita, the federal government’s investment supports an industry that is bigger than forestry or banking, providing jobs to well over half a million Canadians.”

Campbell, too was encouraged by the event, especially with the results the day brought, stating: “The Government of Canada implemented a clear change in policy as a result of our Day on the Hill efforts, acting to maintain the Canada Council’s budget over 3 years, when almost every GOC organization received significant cuts. Take-home message: engaging in conversation works!”

Further Resources

For more information about the Canadian Arts Coalition, please visit canadianartscoalition.com.

A Short Film from that day, where MPs share their perspective on the arts in the community, and their own personal arts experiences: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxywHTtU9Pg

Arts Day Rallies All-Party Support for Key Policy Priorities – by Shannon Litzenberger – http://www.shannonlitzenberger.com/arts-policy/archives/872

The coalition’s most recent details about Day on the Hill 2013 (from 20 Dec 2012): http://www.canadianartscoalition.com/2012/12/20/canadian-arts-coalition-plan-for-2013-2014/

From Katherine Carleton, Executive Director of Orchestras Canada:

Direct article link: Arts Day on Parliament Hill 2012
15th edition CNMN Bulletin – Winter 2013