B.C. is only province to cut arts funding, according to Canadian
I am so tired of cultural industries being called on to justify their existence. This is not something other industries ever have to do. One look at the comments on this story in the Georgia Straight cuts right to the place of debate that we return to over and over again: the idea that artists shouldn't be paid or that art is somehow "extra". My view of this is very simple:
- Art is an industry, like other industries.
- People who work in art and culture are not only artists but related in a broad variety of ways like curating, producing, promoting, fabrication, criticism, teaching, mentorship, administration, etc.
- These are skills and jobs that are necessary to a functional and desirable culture.
- There is no reason that these jobs should be unpaid: it would in fact be grossly unfair to expect people to do them without being paid.
- Some people do these things as hobbies. Most of the industry however consists of people doing it professionally.
- The distinction between doing these jobs professionally and as a hobby is no different than other things people do as hobbies versus professionally. (Some people repair airplanes for a hobby. Should airplane mechanics be unpaid?)
What is so complicated?
New research by the Canadian Conference of the Arts reveals that in the current economic climate, only the province of B.C. has made cuts to arts and culture budgets.
The CCA examined what the various provinces are doing to help arts organizations and arts sector workers deal with the economic downturn. It found that all other provinces had at least maintained cultural funding. ome provinces, notably Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, increased funding to the sector.