On Tuesday, the Conservative government brought down it’s 2009 budget. Meant to boost our failing economy (we are now officially in a recession), they are going into debt themselves by pouring money into infrastructure, tax cuts, and boosting Employment Insurance and retraining.
In all, $438 million is earmarked for Culture. The good news is, they didn’t cut the culture budget, but the bad news is, there is no new money that is going directly to artists in the form of arms-length organizations like the Canada Council (who had its funding slashed heavily in the last budget).
Here are the numbers:
- $100 million over two years for art, comedy and music festivals and events that promote tourism.
- $60 million over the next two years to support infrastructure-related costs (ie: repairs) for cultural buildings, such as theatres, libraries and museums.
- $20 million over the next two years to the National Arts Training Contribution Program.
- $30 million over the next two years to support Canadian magazines and community newspapers.(which have been hit hard by the internet revolution)
- $28.6 million over the next two years to the Canada New Media Fund, which is administered by Telefilm.
- $200 to the Canadian Television Fund over the next two years.
- $25 million one-time endowment to the to assist in establishing The Canada Prizes for the Arts and Creativity . The Canada Prizes is a not-for-profit organization founded by Tony Gagliano and David Pecaut, who are also the founders of Toronto’s Luminato Festival. The Canada Prizes will be awarded annually to the most talented emerging artists in music, dance, theatre and the visual arts from around the world, and may be showcased at the Festival. (thanks to Daniel Davidzon, from the Luminato, who cleared up my previous mis-report that the Luminato Festival had recieved the endowment)
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Please note: there are lots of rumors about revisions to the budget, but information on Culture, specifically can be hard to find. If you have heard of more accurate numbers that reflect the revisions, please post them in comments below.