Arts Day on The Hill 2014

Parliament Hill

On Octo­ber 21 (just one day before the trag­ic shoot­ings in Ottawa), I rep­re­sent­ed CNMN at the Cana­di­an Arts Coali­tion’s annu­al Day on the Hill.  This event brings hun­dreds of artists and admin­is­tra­tors to Ottawa to meet with elect­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tives to talk about arts pol­i­cy, and to under­score the impor­tance of the arts to Canada’s devel­op­ment. This was the sev­enth Day on the Hill Event, an event which has been men­tioned by the mem­bers of Par­lia­ment as one of the key rea­sons that Cana­da Coun­cil fund­ing has NOT been cut. We show up, we make the case, and they actu­al­ly listen.

The goal this year was to start mov­ing away from the “don’t cut us men­tal­i­ty” to the “we real­ly need new invest­ments in the arts” approach. This is done in rela­tion to the upcom­ing fed­er­al elec­tions (2015) and the Cana­da 150 cel­e­bra­tions (2017).

I was sched­uled to meet three mem­bers of par­lia­ment. Due to some last-minute com­pli­ca­tions, only one of the meet­ings hap­pened. I met with NDP mem­ber Tyrone Ben­skin, mem­ber for Jeanne-le-Ber in Mon­tréal (who is actu­al­ly my own MP!). Mr. Ben­skin was, in fact, a pro­fes­sion­al actor and artis­tic direc­tor before becom­ing an MP, so our argu­ments fell on fer­tile ground. Mr. Ben­skin also chairs the non-par­ti­san Arts Cau­cus on Par­lia­ment Hill, and he is impor­tant to get­ting the mes­sage out to oth­er members.

At the end of the day, we all gath­ered for a meet-and-greet cock­tail, with many MPs (Eliz­a­beth May, Marc Gar­neau, Mr. Ben­skin, the Deputy Speak­er of the House of Com­mons, etc). Cur­rent Her­itage Min­is­ter Glover was not avail­able, but ex-Her­itage Min­is­ter (and cur­rent Indus­try Min­is­ter) James Moore was on hand and did give a nice, very friend­ly thanks to all for our work.

Though our work was very clear­ly over­shad­owed by the regret­table events of the next day, this event has become an impor­tant moment for arts pol­i­cy in Cana­da, and it is impor­tant that CNMN be part of the event.

Tim Brady – QC representative


Direct link: Arts Day on the Hill 2014
Return to full Bul­letin — Decem­ber 2014