In November, artists from Vancouver and across Canada continued with protests against the BC government’s decision to cut 90% of cultural funding, making it the only jurisdiction in Canada not to invest in culture. Artists dressed in grey formed squares outside a Billy Bragg concert and at a Wrecking Ball event. The Wrecking Ball is a creative and satirical evening of political theatre that began in Toronto but went national during the 2008 federal election, helping to change public opinion about the Harper government’s planned culture cuts. In related news, participation in BC’s budget consultation last month led the Finance Committee to recommend that the government, “Make funding of the arts a high priority in the 2010/11 budget by returning to overall actual funding levels of 2008/09.”
Unfortunately, despite the Budget Committee’s recommendation, we’re still hearing very stubborn talk from the Arts Minister, the Gaming minister (the two ministries that fund arts), and utter silence from the Premier and Finance Minister, but they just keep reiterating “no money, no money” despite every other province staying away from cuts like these. It’s very hard not to start point to both misguided governance and the Olympics. There’s still time for them to turn this around, but we’re already seeing loss of intrastructure, people are losing their jobs already, and artists have already started to leave. This is just bad economic management!
~ Stop BC Arts Cuts