After British Columbia’s cabinet shuffle in October, BC’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Arts is no longer. It has been replaced by the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development headed by rookie minister Stephanie Cadieux. The change makes British Columbia the only Canadian province or territory without a culture ministry. The new name has made many BC artists concerned about the future of arts funding. Additionally, the BC Association for Charitable Gaming (BCACG) is mounting a campaign in response to the Provincial Gaming cuts that have taken place over the past year. In 1999, the province, the Union of BC Municipalities and the BCACG signed an agreement for a permanent revenue sharing formula for the three parties that allocated 33.3% of net gambling revenues to BC charities. While gambling revenues have grown significantly in the past ten years, in 2010 charitable organizations received only 10.43% of proceeds. The BCACG is urging the province to honour their 1999 agreement. Jim Smith, past president of the Canadian Dance Assembly and producer of Eponymous says of the challenging situation in BC, “None of these developments leaves the arts community feeling any confidence in the future.” In related news, BC Premier Gordon Campbell announced his resignation on November 3rd.
To support these efforts, there are petitions available to sign at: