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Monday, November 7, 2016

Analysis of the Federal Budget – Culture and Arts: a New Approach

News Release

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Analysis of the Federal Budget – Culture and Arts: a New Approach

The Canadian Conference of the Arts, the Canadian Arts Coalition and the Saskatchewan Arts Alliance are pleased to release the analysis of the 2016 Federal Budget which examines federal funding for the arts and culture sector for the 2016 – 2017 fiscal year. The analysis concludes, in broad terms, that the government’s approach to the arts and culture sector to date is a very positive one, supported with substantial reinvestments and new investments in the sector. 

The analysis 1) examines ‘the big picture’ of overall funding levels to key federal cultural institutions; 2) delves into the Department of Canadian Heritage, examining its organizational structure, expenditures and staffing levels; 3) and takes a closer look at expenditures in key programs across the arts, heritage and cultural industries.

Five Main Findings Emerge

First, the government has signaled a new approach to governance at the federal level. Budget 2016 followed through on many of the objectives of the mandate letter sent to the Minister of Canadian Heritage that identified a range of priorities, including reviewing plans for Canada 150, restoring and increasing funding to the CBC/Radio-Canada, Telefilm Canada and the National Film Board, doubling investment in the Canada Council for the Arts, restoring the Promart and Trade Routes programs, and making major new investments in cultural infrastructure.

Second, for the first time in years, the government’s support for the arts and cultural sector is grounded in both economic and socio-cultural rationales.

Third, the government places substantial priority on the arts and culture, committing an additional $1.9 billion in funding to the sector over the next five years, and sees the cultural industries as engines of economic growth both at home and abroad – presumably this is the beginnings of following through on the commitment to reinstate the Promart and Trade Routes programs.

Fourth, the government places substantial priority on investing in infrastructure. Budget 2016 announced a plan for $120 billion worth of infrastructure spending over ten years.

Fifth, the government is investing substantial resources into celebrations for the 150th Anniversary of Confederation in 2017. The arts are not always explicitly mentioned in the government’s plans, so it will be important for the sector to underscore the important contribution that the arts can play in the celebrations. It will also be important for groups to apply for funding where they’re able to take full advantage of these funds.

“The government's recognition of the importance of the arts and culture sector is very encouraging. The reinvestment has brought some programs back to the levels where they were prior to recent cuts. That and the increase in the Canada Council's budget is very welcome news,” said Kathleen Sharpe, president of the Canadian Conference of the Arts.

Budget 2016 – Culture and Arts: a New Approach 

For more information, contact:

Kathleen Sharpe

Canadian Conference of the Arts
416-969-7421

Pour de plus amples informations, communiquez avec :

Frédéric Julien

Canadian Arts Coalition
613-562-3515