Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres calls for arm's-length B.C. Arts Council

Here is the full text of the public letter from the Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres:

In recent months, the B.C. Arts Council has been subjected to an unprecedented amount of political interference, something former Arts Council chair Jane Danzo called attention to in her letter of resignation, made public yesterday evening.

This political interference, taking the form of a direct assault on the arms-length nature of the council, should be of concern to all British Columbians. The B.C. government has disproportionately cut funding that used to support cultural activity and services in our communities (overall, by 50% to 70%), and now seeks to replace that money with politically-directed money from a Legacy Program. Not only will no money will be saved by this action, the democratic nature of cultural expression will be significantly impaired.

It is widely suspected in our community that this interference is an attempt by government to convert the arts and culture in B.C. into a tool to be mobilized for partisan political ends, rather than an essential outgrowth of, and benefit to, our communities. Furthermore, it is believed by some that this attempt to manage culture directly by political fiat originates in the office of the Premier.

It is incumbent upon the Premier and the government caucus to refute this theory, not by mere denial, but by demonstrating a strong commitment to arts funding at arms-length from political operatives, and by reversing the disastrous, reckless and wasteful decisions identified in Ms. Danzo's letter.

Keith Higgins
President, Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres




Aug 21, 2010 at 2:49pm

Let's see, you want an arm's length council so you don't have to answer to anyone about how you spend government funding? So no one has to be responsible? Yet you will fault the government for doing the exact same thing. Sorry, this idea doesn't fly. Have a bake sale.


Aug 23, 2010 at 3:08pm

Apparently I don't understand anything and I think I made my earlier post based on the fact that I am completely ignorant of the world around me. I apologize, particularly for the bake sale comment. Really, I don't know how to bake. Most things are beyond me. Sorry.

why not

Sep 8, 2010 at 8:21am

your comments are correct, except the bake sale part, this system needs serious overhaul, they pretend to be peer review but the list of adjudicators and winners is small, you cant fault then trying to hold on to positions of power, but nothing democratic here, I'm not suggesting the liberals were on the right track but we need serious examination of this process