La Scena Musicale

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

New Federal Budget Silent on the Arts

The Canadian federal budget announced yesterday was silent on the arts except for $9.4 million for 4 Ottawa museums. According to an article in the Globe and Mail,
Over the next two years, the government says it will spend $9.4-million - $2.7-million in this fiscal year, $6.7-million in 2009-2010 - to address what it calls "operating and infrastructure pressures" on the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Canada Science and Technology Museum, and the Canadian Museum of Civilization (which includes the Canadian War Museum.)
No mention was made of a restoration of the $4.6-million Museums Assistance Program that the Conservatives killed in 2006, or of a continuation of the $60-million-per-year Tomorrow Starts Today scheme that expires in 2009-2010.
For Alain Pineau, national director of the Canadian Conference of the Arts, the country's largest arts lobby, the budget held "no surprises," including the lack of the word "arts" anywhere in the budget text. (The words "culture" and "cultural" each appear twice.)
The CCA incidently came out with their analysis of the budget,
While the arts and culture sector may wonder what became of the federal museums policy, of investments in the expanded cultural facilities in Toronto and Montreal or of other new initiatives, the good news is that at least, federal spending on the arts and culture was not reduced against the contingency of an economic slow-down.

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