Thursday, March 20, 2014
2014 - 2015 Provincial Budget - Steady Growth
March 20, 2014
Yesterday, the Honourable Ken Krawetz, Minister of Finance, delivered the 2014 – 2015 Provincial Budget – Steady Growth. The province’s priorities for growth focus on three areas: caring for people, investing in people,. and infrastructure.
Although the arts and culture were not explicitly mentioned in the Minister’s budget address, they do have a role in the province’s priorities which includes supporting exporters, producers and entrepreneurs. The arts are an important export that lacks the volatility of non-renewable resources. Investing in artists means investing in people who have significant potential for generating further growth both directly and indirectly.
In a news release issued by the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport, Hon. Kevin Doherty said, “With the growth Saskatchewan is experiencing we are able to make investments in arts, culture and heritage… These are smart investments that support the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth.”
The Saskatchewan Arts Board received an additional $203,000 – a 3% increase. Unlike last year’s budget, there will be no contribution agreement directing the spending of the increase. This is good news.
The Support for Provincial Arts and Cultural Organizations line item includes the Culture on the Go program which will continue to receive $800,000, although details on how the money will be distributed are not known.
Creative Saskatchewan received a substantial increase of about 18% or $1.199 million bringing its total allocation to $7.7 million. As well, artsVest™ Saskatchewan will receive $250,000 – this is the second year of a 2 year extension for this program. The Main Street program received $550,000.
Overall, spending in Culture decreased about $2.8 million from 13/14 to the 14/15 year with the largest decrease being the line items Film Employment Tax Credit and SaskFilm, although the amount SaskFilm received last year is the same as the increase to Creative Saskatchewan, which means some of the money stayed within culture.
Following are excerpts from the Parks, Culture, and Sport Estimates. Links to the budget documents can be found at http://www.finance.gov.sk.ca/budget2014-15.
2014-15 Arts Related Estimates with Comparison to 2013-14 Estimates (in thousands of dollars) 2014-15 Arts Related Estimates