NDP promises to boost B.C. Arts Council budget to $29 million

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      The New Democrats have pledged to add $5 million to the budget of the B.C. Arts Council, a provincial agency that provides grant funding to cultural groups.

      B.C. NDP arts critic Spencer Chandra Herbert said the proposal would see the council’s annual budget increased to $29 million over the next three years from $24 million.

      “I think it demonstrates our support for the creative economy and is consistent with what I’ve been saying as critic for years now which is that the arts create jobs, they’re good for community cohesion, and we need to support them more in the province of B.C.,” Chandra Herbert told the Straight.

      “Certainly the arts community’s been clear about this and the advocacy and attention we’ve heard from the community has helped us to get to this position.”

      Chandra Herbert said the additional funding is accounted for in the fiscal plan the NDP has released to support its campaign platform proposals.

      That plan calls for running a provincial deficit and income-tax increases for corporations and high earners, among other measures.

      Asked about the rationale behind the $5-million increase, Chandra Herbert said: “Going through the books there is only so much money that you can find and we thought that would make a noticeable difference.”

      If elected, he said, an NDP government would let the “arms-length” B.C. Arts Council and arts community determine how to allocate the additional funds.

      “They know better where the funds will have the best impact than a politician, I’d argue,” he said.



      Hey, it's somebody else's money...

      Apr 19, 2013 at 12:51pm

      NDP also promises to plunge the province into financial ruin.

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      New Dept Party..

      Apr 19, 2013 at 7:31pm

      Hey Adrien Dix,..... the NDP has been throwing around a lot of Fantasy,..please elect me cash this week & they have yet to see the books & yet to see what shape the Province is really in ....... All this cash being promised is going to have to come from somewhere & that somewhere is usually the tax paying public.

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      Apr 19, 2013 at 8:01pm

      The BC NDP has a better finical record than the BC Liberals. Check the budget records and not the BC Liberal biased press.

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      Apr 19, 2013 at 8:50pm


      Hey it's somebody else's money--you're right, it IS somebody else's money. And if you think conservatives can balance a budget, I have a town in Texas I'd like to sell you.

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      Apr 21, 2013 at 2:49pm

      I agree with the NDP on their local agriculture support. Grow in BC for the BC market and elsewhere. With the Arts council budget, I think that importance should be put on reducing the debt and deficit beforehand. I encourage the NDP to support environment concerns (especially the anti Gateway pipeline) and to promote tourism and fish enhancement. To also restrict the shipping away of our raw resources for processing. Process them here.

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      Apr 21, 2013 at 10:11pm

      While it's conceivable that there might be a benefit to arts spending (I've seen studies suggesting there's a correlation), it's not obvious and it could turn out to be a waste. Long term, government subsidised art just teaches people to expect art to be free, which damages the arts as well.

      It's a bit disappointing that arts spending gets tied in with social responsibility. Just because you care about reducing poverty, doesn't mean you want money spent on random art projects.

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      Th 90s

      Apr 22, 2013 at 8:38am

      Doesnt anyone remember the 90s? The NDP ruined this province. The best possible leader they could muster is a proven lier.

      Im nat saying the Liberals are better, but the pro NDP supporters crazy. We need to be equally critical of both parties to hope for change.

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      May 2, 2013 at 6:00pm

      Arts funding in BC is pathetically low. My understanding is it's the lowest in the country yet we have an abundance of creative people who persevere in an inhospitible governmental climate where lucrative public art contracts are awarded to foriegn talent, and our BC Ferries gift shops, which once were a showcase for locally produced art and craft, are now filled with bric-a-brac from third world sweat shops. I say it's only fitting BC's arts community finally get a few more crumbs of funding. Arts matter and atists count!

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