British Columbia's leading data collector and resource for the arts is calling on the public to help get a message to the provincial government, ahead of the upcoming 2017 election.
The Alliance for Arts and Culture is seeking participation from members and supporters of the arts, culture, and heritage sectors in its strategy to request that the provincial government double the budget of the BC Arts Council over the next three years.
A study recently commissioned by the alliance showed that many arts organizations in B.C. are underfunded when compared to similar groups in other provinces, despite recent increases to funding.
It’s asking for an immediate 34 percent increase, which would raise the budget to $8.1 million and put in on par with other provinces.
Information obtained through Statistics Canada shows that the arts, culture, and heritage sectors play an important role in the country, with culture accounting for three percent of Canada’s total GDP and almost four percent of total jobs in 2014.
On a provincial level, B.C.’s culture GDP and jobs mirror those at the federal level.
Those statistics also showed that the province’s culture GDP of $6.7 billion is larger than that of the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting sectors combined.
A public meeting hosted by the alliance will take place on Tuesday (December 6), where topics will include why the province needs increased arts funding, what the areas of priority are, how the potential increase would affect artists and organizations, and how the funding might lead to job creation, healthier communities, and a greater global presence for B.C.’s arts and culture sectors.
Executive director Brenda Leadlay and board member Joel Klein will facilitate the meeting, which will be held at the Scotiabank Dance Centre (677 Davie Street) on Tuesday between 3 and 5 p.m.