The BC Alliance for Arts + Culture is taking a leadership role to develop and organize an inclusive and equitable arts advocacy strategy in advance of the 2017 provincial election and is requesting public participation.
The purpose of the strategy will be to ask the provincial government to follow the lead of the federal government and double the budget of the BC Arts Council over the next three years. Members of the arts, culture and heritage sector as well as supporters from other sectors are invited to attend a public meeting to discuss this provincial strategy.
Tuesday, December 6, 3—5 p.m.
at the Scotiabank Dance Centre
677 Davie Street, Vancouver
Data collected through Statistics Canada’s Culture Satellite Account (CSA) provides a gauge of the economic state of arts, culture, heritage, and sport in Canada and within each province. The statistics demonstrate that, in 2014:
•Culture accounted for 3% of Canada’s total GDP and 3.5% of jobs.
•BC’s culture GDP and jobs mirror the national statistics, and are the third-highest in the country. There were over 80,000 culture-related jobs in BC in 2014.
•BC’s culture GDP ($6.7 billion) is larger than the value added of agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting ($4.4 billion), utilities ($4.7 billion), and accommodation and food services ($6.3 billion).
The Alliance recently commissioned a study, conducted by Hill Strategies Research Ltd., on the situation of arts and culture in British Columbia. Findings revealed that, despite recent increases and the significant impact of our province’s cultural sector on national GDP, the majority of BC arts organizations are still underfunded at a provincial level compared with peers in other provinces.
The Alliance is encouraged by recent substantial increases in funding in to BC’s creative industries (music, book and magazine publishing, and motion pictures) to fuel our province’s economy, and are requesting similar increases of stable, multi-year funding to arts and culture organizations through the BC Arts Council.
As part of its advocacy work in the lead-up to the 2017 provincial election, the Alliance is requesting an immediate 34% increase to the BC Arts Council of $8.1 million in order to bring provincial arts funding on par with other provinces in Canada.
The meeting discussion will be guided by the following questions:
•Why does BC’s arts and cultural sector need increased investment from the provincial government?
•What are the priority areas for increased funding? How could increased funds best be used or allocated?
•How would an increase to the BC Arts Council change the situation of artists and arts organizations in our province?
•How would increased investment in arts and culture bring changes in terms of healthier communities, job creation, and an elevated global presence for BC’s cultural sector?
“At the Alliance, we believe that we need to engage as many British Columbians as possible in our efforts to build awareness about the value of arts, culture and heritage in our communities,” said Alliance executive director Brenda Leadlay. “When people understand the impact of the arts on their day-to-day lives, they will become our strongest allies.
“We are inviting all arts, culture and heritage organizations to take part in developing a strategy in collaboration with the Advocacy Committee of the Alliance. In these times of political unrest, your participation is critical in order to ensure that we are speaking with one voice and reaching as many people as possible, including politicians and stakeholders.”
The meeting will be facilitated by Alliance executive director Brenda Leadlay and board member Joel Klein, who also serves on the board of the Canadian Arts Coalition.
Reserve a spot to join this important conversation at https://alliance-call-to-action-2017-provincial-election.eventbrite.ca. RSVP early as capacity is limited.
About the BC Alliance for Arts + Culture
The BC Alliance for Arts + Culture is the province’s leading arts information aggregator and a resource to the arts, culture and heritage community. Since 1986, the Alliance has advocated for the cultural sector by monitoring public policy, synthesizing issues for members, supporting and developing research, providing a range of services, and representing the interests of artists and cultural workers. The Alliance is a non-profit organization representing over 400 members from across the artistic disciplines in British Columbia.