B.C.'s stand-alone arts and culture division disappears

NDP MLA Spencer Herbert has told the Straight that the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts has eliminated its stand-alone arts and culture division. Herbert, who is the Opposition critic for this ministry, said by phone that ministerial assistant Frank Costa informed him shortly before Christmas that arts and culture now falls within the tourism-development category.

“I think it kind of signals in a sense what the government thinks of arts and culture—that it’s used as a tourism-development tool,” Herbert said. “It’s just one of the line items under tourism development.”

Tourism, Culture and the Arts Minister Kevin Krueger was unavailable for comment. As of January 12, the ministry Web site still had a separate Web page for the arts and culture division.

Herbert said that as a result of the reorganization of the ministry, there are now five broad categories: tourism development, tourism partnerships, consumer marketing, strategy and policy, and management services. “One of the things that’s important to me is that art challenges us and questions our society,” Herbert noted. “Sometimes it’s disturbing, and sometimes it’s difficult. And that’s not something one would traditionally think of as tourism development.”



rednecks come to Victoria

Jan 14, 2010 at 10:18pm

Incredible. The intentional dismantling of the Arts INDUSTRY is in full swing. time to move to a province that values the Arts, like ALBERTA (yikes).

Thank you to Spencer Herbert for continuing to battle and continuing to draw attention to the Liberals' vicious attack on an INDUSTRY that employs thousands in this province.

17 6Rating: +11


Jan 15, 2010 at 11:33am

Outrageous. This just shows how little the BC Liberals understand about Arts and Culture and the importance it has in our society.


Jan 15, 2010 at 12:29pm

Good. If you want to paint, sculpt, photograph, etc. pay for it yourself. Do it for the love of your art. Expecting a free ride at taxpayers expense to do what you love is selfish and arrogant.


Jan 15, 2010 at 2:04pm

BC, has been behind the times for a very long time in arts support... i don't know the history, but perhaps a house cleaning is not such a bad thing...

The question is what will happen now

Cultural Olympiad?

Jan 16, 2010 at 9:14am

I keep wondering why our government hates artists so much. I mean the cultural olympiad is almost all being imported for other places, what are we showing the world? We have enough art and artists here to start our own city. To top it all they pull the rug from under us for funding. You can sweep us under the carpet but you can't get rid of us. I agree that artist should support themselves at some point but like a LOT of big business there are always incentives and start up money available, why shouldn't artists have access to that money like everyone else?


Jan 16, 2010 at 1:40pm

Another one bites the dust....... typical Canadian viewpoint!!! When arts are not treated as a fundamental base of society; creativity, ingenuity, and inspiration eventually cease to exist. Some of the greatest countries in world that treat art as a necessity, rather than an "accessory", have inspired some of the greatest, creative minds in the past and of our times!!!

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe.” - Albert Einstein
kreative kaur
- Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." - Einstein


Jan 16, 2010 at 4:49pm

Someone calling himself 'GreggRon' is enough to give philistinism a bad name. He wrote, "Expecting a free ride at taxpayers [sic] expense to do what you love is selfish and arrogant."

Think about that one. Good teachers 'do what they love'. So do good doctors, good nurses, good farmers, good dentists -- and on and on. Should they work for free as well? It's clear that 'GreggRon' hates his job, and therefore feels entitled to be paid for it. Pain and suffering, you know. But, according to him, people who love their work should do it for nothing. Live on air. Eat grass. You know.

For rational people, for anyone with a sense of history, of identity, of what it means to be a Canadian -- his views are grotesque. Does our nation consist of nothing but Mountie hats, trees, mountains, and beavers? Of course not.

Our nation is defined by our artists, and will be for centuries to come. Glenn Gould, Jon Vickers, Leonard Cohen, Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Maureen Forrester, Nellie Furtado, Christopher Plummer, Claude Vivier, the Group of Seven, Pauline Johnson, William Hutt... and on and on. They are who we are, and are becoming. The arts have that power. We invest in the arts and we invest in ourselves.

People like GreggRon have adopted a deeply unpatriotic point of view.

Consider: millions of people speak English. Millions more speak French, or Punjabi, or Cantonese.

It is through the arts that we learn to speak Canadian.


Jan 17, 2010 at 1:09am

Last I checked the Arts and Culture division was still there, it just moved. No difference.


Jan 18, 2010 at 12:36pm

Living in Europe now, I have run into a few former Vancouverites. Without fail they all say they left the city because it had become so boring. Lack of arts = intellectual brain drain. Vancouver is looking more and more like a dumb blonde - pretty to look at but she quickly starts to show her shallowness after you live with her for a while. Enjoy those mountains, Vancouver. Seems that's all you care about.

An Insider

Jan 19, 2010 at 8:48am

This article is really way off base. The Arts and Culture Division has not been dismantled or removed. Where's your fact checking!?!