On Funding for the Arts in Canada

Maybe you’ve heard about Sun TV’s bobblehead Krista Erickson attacking dancer Margie Gillis in the pursuit of “grrreat TV”. If you haven’t, you can watch it here. Enjoy that.

And when you’re done with that, please take a look at Louis Laberge-Côté’s response, and find out what the arts are really doing for Canada and for Canadians — not just for artists.

In 2007, The Conference Board estimated that the economic footprint of Canada’s culture sector was $84.6 billion, or 7.4 per cent of Canada’s total real GDP, including direct, indirect, and induced contributions. Culture sector employment exceeded 1.1 million jobs in 2007…

[T]he Conference Board estimates that in 2007, the expenses related to culture on all levels of government together (federal, provincial and local) reached $7.9 billion.  This $7.9 billion generated $84.6 globally, something we all benefit from, and not only the “cultural elites” as Miss Erickson likes to believe…

I will conclude all this by quoting Laurent Simon who said, “The world that is coming scares the traditionalists, since its models are less controllable than the analysis of an economy centered around the classical schemes of production and return”.  It is very saddening to see that this fear now results in aggressive, partisan and close-minded “journalism” on Canadian television.

Devastating and, let’s hope, final.

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