Tories cut Trade Routes cultural grant program

Just days after news broke that the federal government is axing the $4.7-million PromArt program, which provides cultural travel grants through the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, comes word that yet another cultural grant program is getting the hook.

Trade Routes, a $9-million grant program administered by the Department of Heritage, is to be terminated next year. The program helps cultural groups export and sell products abroad, and has previously supported Hot Docs and the Canadian Independent Record Production Association.

In a statement sent to media outlets today, CIRPA asserted that the cuts to PromArt and Trade Routes “cannot come at a worse time”. Unpaid and illegal downloading of music is crippling the Canadian music industry, CIRPA said, noting that “since 1999, income from the sale of recorded music has been halved. Canadian illegal downloading leads the world. As a result, Canadian musicians are leaving the business, and their incomes are at, on average, poverty levels, according to a recent study by Dr. Douglas Hyatt of the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto.”

With cuts to these grant programs, who does that leave to carry Canada’s cultural message forward? Ah, yes. Vanoc. And we all know how well that’s worked out in the past.