Canadian Arts Coalition - Advocacy Campaign
The Canadian Conference of the Arts has joined together with a number
of high profile arts service organizations and arts advocacy groups from across
Canada to form a national coalition called the Canadian Arts Coalition. This
Coalition has been established with a singular focus - to lobby the federal
government for an increase in funding for the arts through the Canada Council
for the Arts in the 2006 budget.
The CCA is a founding member of the Canadian Arts Coalition
and urges you to join in the important advocacy work that the group is undertaking.
Our Advocacy Goal
The specific goal of the Canadian Arts Coalition is to secure increased
funding of the arts through the Canada Council for the Arts by $5 per capita,
which would effectively double the current annual contribution by adding approximately
$150 million to the Council's annual budget.
The Canadian Arts Coalition will implement a lobbying and public affairs
plan designed to build support for an infusion of new funding to the Canada
Council. This will include meetings with Cabinet Ministers, MPs, public servants
and key influencers and communication strategies to build public support.
Our first opportunity
All of the political parties will hold summer caucus meetings to refocus
MPs and discuss strategy for when the House resumes sitting in September. Our
goal is to make the case for increased funding to the arts to individual MPs
while they are back in their ridings this summer, so that by the time they meet
together with the rest of the caucus, the issue will be top of mind and we will
have laid the groundwork for it to be included on the agenda this Fall.
How your organization can assist
As a member of the Canadian Conference of the Arts, we hope you will
play a key role in helping to communicate the Coalition's message to federal
Members of Parliament. Specifically, you can help by educating and building
a rapport with the local MP and his/her staff in your riding.
Attached is a copy of generic letter that can be edited and sent by
your organization along with an Arts in Canada Backgrounder which outlines the
need for increased funding for the arts sector. We would urge you to send these
out to your local MP as soon as possible, in order to get on
the radar for the upcoming caucus meetings.
You can find your MP's email address at http://canada.gc.ca/directories/direct_e.html.
The most effective distribution method would be to embed the generic letter
into an email and attach the Arts in Canada Backgrounder so that it can be sent
electronically. Hard copies of each can then be faxed or mailed to the constituency
Over the next few weeks, we hope that you will consider more ways
of increasing profile and visibility for all arts and cultural activities as
our advocacy work gains momentum. All ideas and suggestions are welcome and
can be sent to Julie Cayouette, Executive Assistant, Canadian Conference of
the Arts, email@example.com,
(613) 238-3561, ext. 20.
We will be in regular contact to share progress updates. Thank you
in advance for your assistance and we look forward to working together to move
this important work forward.
Background on the Canadian Arts Coalition
In May 2005, a number of arts service organizations, arts advocacy
groups and individuals met to discuss the state of federal arts funding in Canada.
The group concluded that federal funding for the arts through the Canada Council
for the Arts should be significantly increased. Participants agreed to form
a single-issue, national coalition to lobby for this goal. The Coalition is
member directed, with day-to-day activities being overseen by a Steering Committee
made up of 8 volunteers.
Canadian Arts Coalition - Steering Committee Members
- Bastien Gilbert, Directeur,
Regroupement des centres d'artistes autogérés du Québec
- Sarah Iley, Vice-President, Programming,
The Banff Centre for The Canadian Arts Summit
- Mark Jamison, Chief Executive Officer,
- Carl Johnson, Président, Société
des musées québécois
- Micheline McKay, Executive Director, Opera.ca
- Heather Redfern, Executive Director, Alliance
for Arts and Culture
- Andrew David Terris, Interim National
Director, Canadian Conference of the Arts
- Lucy White, Executive Director, Professional
Association of Canadian Theatres
Making the case for increased funding to the arts
Currently, government investment in the Canada Council for the Arts
supports 2,100 arts organizations and a similar number of individual professional
artists like writers, musicians, dancers, actors, painters and sculptors.
At issue is that each year, 12,000 eligible arts organizations and
artists must be turned down for support, resulting in the loss of enormous creative
potential for Canada.
Since 1998, Canada Council has seen a 50% increase in the number of
applications from arts organizations and a 30% increase from individual artists.
We believe it is critical that public funding keep pace with both the growth
in the number of artists in Canada and their drive for excellence.
Canada's not-for-profit arts organizations and artists are the backbone
of the $39 billion cultural sector in Canada. This sector is bigger than the
agriculture, forestry, mining and oil and gas sectors combined. However, current
federal contributions add less than 10% to the revenues of a typical Canadian
arts organization. Earned revenue and private donations (corporate and individual)
generally account for at least 75% of an arts organization's budget, greatly
outstripping public investment. In fact, Canada's contribution to the arts lags
far behind most of its European counterparts both in terms of per capita spending
and spending as a percentage of GDP.
Arts in Canada Backgrounder
Letter to Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament Feedback Form