In case you’ve been under a rock for the last two weeks (or you live outside of Canada), you can’t have missed the fact that we have a Federal Election coming up on May 2.
During our last Federal election, the Arts took quite a front seat as an election issue. Advocacy events like The Wrecking Ball helped to propel it there. I was recently listening to Q on CBC Radio, and was inspired by Jian Gomeshi’s essay which started: Who will speak for support for arts and culture in Canada?
I heard a rumour that Toronto has scheduled a Wrecking Ball, but a few phone calls today failed to find one scheduled for Vancouver so far.
However, there are still things going on, and there are ways for us to make our collective voices heard.
Ruby Slippers Theatre has created a Five Minute Challenge. They are giving us a political/advocacy challenge each week, but the task only takes five minutes.
The Canadian Arts Coalition is the best source of information out there. In addition, they have created an Arts Vote Toolkit. It has a series of helpful links, like questions to ask you candidate if they come to your door, and my favorite, a badge for your website or blog (see the sidebar at right). You can also like them on Facebook.
At a Jessies Board meeting the other night, one of the board members brought in a huge bag of these I Vote Arts and Culture buttons. We all walked out with handfuls, and I have distributed many, and had requests for more (my son went off to school wearing 4 yesterday. Too bad 7-yr-olds can’t vote). You can grab yours at The Alliance for Arts and Culture (938 Howe St) and at The Canadian Actors Equity office: (Suite 510, 736 Granville Street).
Finally, if you’re tweeting, be sure to use the hashtag #ArtsVoteCan.
Let’s make the Arts the incredibly important election issue that it is.