Canadian Conference of the Arts-federal budget cuts
The following update was taken from the CCA
President’s Blog – All together now!
months of silence, we finally know where we stand: the federal government has
confirmed officially it will put an end to 46 years of funding to the Canadian
Conference of the Arts by March 31, 2013. The good news is: we can count on
some transition funding. We trust that Minister Moore’s decision to grant final
funding to the CCA is an acknowledgment of the pertinence of our business plan
and of our serious intent to transform the organisation. I won’t deny however
that we are disappointed with the final decision, as our plan called for
transitional support over two years in order to allow the changes to take place
in a more orderly fashion. The challenge ahead of us will put enormous pressure
on board and staff to accelerate the implementation of the new business model
and to generate new forms of earned revenue in a very short period of time. And
this will not be possible without your commitment to do it with us.
the moment we heard after the May 2011 election of the government’s intention,
we have embraced the idea that the CCA had to become independent and different
in order to better deliver its unique mandate. We at the CCA, staff and board,
all remain firm in our resolve to do everything possible to start the
implementation of the five-year business plan developed with your input over
the past year.
are we so resolved to move forward? Because we believe that all of us in the
Canadian cultural sector are at a crossroad in our history. Deep
transformations in our environment challenge our adaptability. The combined
effects of technology, the economy, changing demographics, policy changes and
the emergence of new players affect the support mechanisms we have put in place
over the past 60 years. Not to mention that arts and culture are still widely
considered a luxury in our country, their support too often threatened with
budget cuts by all levels of government.
not be under any illusion about Minister Flaherty’s budget. While it protects
the Canada Council (whose budget has not grown in the past six years and which
must still absorb inflation), and while it contains positive measures for the
heritage sector, the deep cuts to the CBC, Telefilm, the National Film Board
and the changes in funding priorities we will discover over the coming months
will have a major impact on our artists, our creators and our organizations.
sector is rich in creativity and diversity, but it is fragmented. In this
context, we are convinced that we collectively need a focal point, a national
forum where we can identify issues of common interest and plan strategies to
pursue them, through research, programs, advocacy and communications. More than
ever, we see the need for all of us to work in a coordinated fashion for the
greater good of all.
the past year, the board and the staff of the CCA have worked hard to develop a
detailed five-year business plan which over time would more than replace the
funding received from Canadian Heritage. Since last November, our National
Director has met with over 500 stakeholders during his tour of seventeen cities
to St.-John’s. This tour and the on-line consultation we have held have
confirmed our conviction: a majority of us see the necessity and the advantages
of working all together in a focused way. We now have a plan, it is ambitious
and challenging, but we believe it can be realized.
will pull out all the stops to see how we can implement our2012-17 Business Plan.
We fully realize that in difficult times, the reflex is to concentrate
exclusively on one’s own survival, but we want to know if you share our belief
that by working together, we can all be stronger in the pursuit of a healthy
and vibrant cultural sector. I thank all of you who have already made concrete
your support by renewing your membership. We now need to know if this
conviction is shared by those who have not yet renewed and those who have
indicated they were considering joining. In the coming weeks, we will be
proposing different ways in which you can express your support.
be completely frank, if you support the idea of anational voice for arts and
culturein this country, now is
the time to prove it. While the CCA board and staff are completely committed to
the transformation of this historical organization, we cannot do it without
your support – indeed, without it there is no reason to exist. While we are
convinced we can generate enough earned revenue through memberships and other
means, without any new funds the organization will not be able to stay in
business for a full fiscal year. We have identified specific initiatives and
targets that we are busy confirming over the next two months. With your renewed
memberships and an aggressive beginning to the business plan, we will see the
year out and be well positioned for next year. We hope you believe, as we do,
that this is the time to act, to seize this opportunity regardless of the
situation that has precipitated it.
look forward to working with all of you to strengthen your voice!