Arts Platformsby Rebecca Anne Clark
/ October 13, 2008
As the election approaches,
artists and arts lovers alike are concerned about the future of arts
funding in Canada. We want our leaders in Ottawa to understand the importance
of the arts to the Canadian economy and well-being of the country. Below,
we have outlined each party’s
arts and culture policies and what they are promising to the country’s
artists and art lovers.
Though some Conservative press
releases note that they “greatly value and support Quebec’s unique
arts and culture,” arts and culture don’t make it onto their list
of priorities. The Conservatives’ key policy issues are “sovereignty,
leadership, the environment, health care, lower taxes, child care, crime
If elected, the Conservatives
› -Pledge $25 million to TV 5, with
$15 million to go to TV5MONDE, to increase Canadian content on the international
-Ensure the CRTC is bilingual: the Chairperson to alternate between
anglophone and francophone candidates and French-language or Québécois
broadcasting hearings will be overseen by panels of francophones and
The Liberals recognize the
economic benefits of the arts, as well as their contribution to innovation,
heritage, quality of life, diversity, and the making of “liveable
If elected, the Liberals promise
› -“Double the budget of the Canada
Council for the Arts to $360 million annually, reversing the cuts recently
announced by the Conservative government to arts and culture.”
-Invest $25 million in a “Canadian Digital Media Strategy” to
create jobs in the industry, $26 million in international arts promotion
and $16 million in the Museum Assistance Program. They hope to increase
the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit to 30%.
-Support income-averaging for professional artists – making income
tax easier on artists.
The NDP understands that funding
is necessary to keep fostering new talent. They recognize that “arts
and culture are the bedrock of our identity,” that the arts industry
“sustains thousands of well-paying jobs”, and that the arts are
vital to heritage and progress. They opposed bill C-10 (which would
deny tax credits to films deemed “not in the public interest”) as
well as the digital copyright bill and Harper’s arts cuts.
If elected, the ND promise
› -Provide $125 million in arts
-Call for more funding for Canada’s public broadcasting.
THE BLOC QUÉBÉCOIS
The Bloc recognizes that culture
is one of the “three fundamental pillars” that Québécois identity
relies on. However, they lament the fact that all cultural funding is
directed at promoting “Canadian” culture, without giving Quebec
its own unique voice.
If elected, the Bloc promises
› -Ensure Quebec is responsible
for the management of its own telecommunications and radio broadcasts,
by way of a non-governmental organization, in order to better control
-Push for greater recognition and support of Québécois cinema as
an entity independent of Canadian cinema. They want to see $50 million
for the arts, including $20 million earmarked for Québécois cinema.
-The Bloc is in favour of income averaging for artists and the abolition
of the GST on books.
THE GREEN PARTY
The Green Party recognizes
the economic benefits of arts funding, including boosts to tourism and
small businesses, the generation of “clean” industries, and improvements
to the morale of the citizens, who would then feel an improved sense
of community, pride in identity, and enjoy a general sense of well-being.
If elected, the Green Party promises
› -Increase funding for “The Canada
Council for the Arts, Telefilm Canada, orchestras, theatres and publishers”
parallel to funding increases for other sectors such as health care
-Ensure that the heads of the CRTC, Telefilm Canada, the Canada Council
for the Arts, and the CBC will not be appointed by political parties.
-Support income averaging, income tax relief, and access to Employment
Insurance and the Canada Pension Plan for professional artists.