Arts community hobbled by last-minute, $20-million cut in funding

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Artistic Director displays government form letter terminating funding
Artistic Director displays government form letter terminating funding

BY DENISE RYAN, VANCOUVER SUN
AUGUST 30, 2009 6:40 PM

VANCOUVER — Dozens of arts organizations received word late Friday that the provincial government is slashing their gaming grants, including groups that had been guaranteed three-year funding.

“It’s a disaster,” said Bryan Pike, executive director of Word on the Street, which may have to cut literacy programs.

The $20-million in cuts will hobble the arts community, said Spencer Herbert, NDP critic for tourism, arts and culture.

photos © Kevin Teichroeb
photos © Kevin Teichroeb

Arts community members were in shock and tears at Herbert’s Denman street constituency office yesterday as they scrambled to come up with a plan.

Some even suggested a class-action lawsuit against the B.C. Liberal government, said Herbert.

Read the entire article here.

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2 thoughts on “Arts community hobbled by last-minute, $20-million cut in funding

    trish said:
    September 2, 2009 at 7:14 PM

    Sounds like the government brought the funding back! Great news! The power of the artistic community is always an inspiration…

      inklake said:
      September 2, 2009 at 7:26 PM

      It’s good news for sure, but there are some nasty things happening. This one isn’t over yet. Instead of cuts at a 50% level, the arts sector is now facing cuts at a 25% level, which is still phenomenally high. And that’s only for this year. No one knows yet what the funding levels will be like next year and beyond.

      The government is playing a shell-game with the funding. The BC Arts Council was set up as an arms-length body to administer funds to the arts community. The funding that is being meted out now has all been transferred to the “gaming” funds accounts of all the arts organizations. That means that it’s the “gaming” fund sector and not the BC Arts Council that is making decisions about arts funding. That is very bad news. And all of this is happening in an Olympic year when culture and sports are supposed to be valued equally. I doubt the IOC would support the rationale that’s behind these arts cuts.

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