The Canadian Arts Coalition (CAC) is surprised by Budget 2018’s oversight of artists. This budget focuses on women, Indigenous, and marginalized members of the Canadian society, which is commendable. Yet, if the goal was to highlight precarious workers, the federal government missed the opportunity to recognize the role that 650,000 cultural workers play in the Canadian economy. Based on the Statistical Profile of Artists and Cultural Workers in Canada, the average income of artists is 32% lower than other workers. The Coalition is encouraged by new funding to confront gender-based violence and harassment, but would have hoped to see it addressed in the arts and culture sector specifically.
The Canadian Arts Coalition is reassured to see support for Canada’s official languages, for Reconciliation, and for strengthening multiculturalism – these are values that we share. Notably, Budget 2018 considered intellectual property rights for Indigenous Peoples, but missed the opportunity to recognize the Artist’s Resale Right, which would significantly benefit Indigenous artists.
“Although Budget 2018 is marked by the absence of the Canadian Arts Coalition’s recommendations,” says Kate Cornell, Co-Chair of the Canadian Arts Coalition and Executive Director of the Canadian Dance Assembly. “We will continue to work with the federal government on issues such as anti-harassment, international market access, and access to the performing arts in Canadian communities.”
The Coalition acknowledges the government’s ongoing work on trade and cultural diplomacy referenced in Budget 2018, especially the upcoming Cultural Trade Mission to China. It’s evident that the government is making transformative enhancements to export programs to help Canadian businesses, including arts organizations. The Canadian Arts Coalition is deeply committed to discussions on opening new markets for creators and creative entrepreneurs. We were pleased to attend the recent China Canada Creative Industries luncheon and hope to hear more from the government of Canada on its efforts to open up new trade opportunities for the Canadian creators in Asia. The government’s negotiating of safeguards for culture in the CPTPP is a significant achievement, as noted in Budget 2018.
Lastly, the Canadian Arts Coalition was pleased to see ongoing support for the Canada Media Fund as part of the government’s Creative Canada strategy. Digital culture is a pivotal file moving forward. The Canadian Arts Coalition looks forward to continuing to work with Department of Canadian Heritage and Department of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development on reviewing the Copyright Act, the modernization of the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act, and the establishment of the Artist’s Resale Right in Canada.
About the CAC
The Canadian Arts Coalition is a collaborative non-partisan movement spearheaded by a group of national arts service and membership organizations. We are united in the belief that the future of our citizens, their towns and cities, and the nation itself depends on a rich, vibrant and diverse arts and heritage community. Since its inception, the CAC has successfully advocated for increased support for the arts through the Canada Council for the Arts and the Department of Canadian Heritage.