Metro Vancouver board calls on Premier Gordon Campbell to rescind arts cuts

The arts represent a lot of things for different people.

When Brenda Broughton successfully moved that the Metro Vancouver board approve a resolution in opposition to the provincial cuts to arts funding, the mayor of the Village of Lions Bay spoke about the connection between arts and crime.

At the board meeting today (October 30), Broughton told her fellow regional district directors that the arts have been proven to be an effective tool for steering people, particularly youth, away from anti-social behaviour.

Broughton also pointed out that children who are exposed to arts have shown “less inclination” to engage in “scurrilous activity” as adults.

Vancouver councillor Heather Deal also spoke in favour of the recommendations from the regional culture committee, which will see the Metro Vancouver board write a letter of protest to Premier Gordon Campbell, calling on the province to rescind the arts cuts.

The board will distribute that letter to cities, regional districts, and other organizations in the province.

Like Broughton, Deal talked about the social value of the arts, saying the arts help people getting through tough times.

Deal also noted that the Union of B.C. Municipalities approved at its convention in September a motion that seeks to restore not only provincial but also federal funding for the arts.

District of North Vancouver mayor Richard Walton chairs the regional culture committee, and he stated at the board meeting that the effects of the provincial cuts are starting to be felt across the region. He described these as “very tragic”.

The board unanimously approved the regional culture committee’s recommendations.