Christopher Butterfield at the Art Matters Rally in Victoria

“Art is a nation’s most precious heritage, for it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and others the inner vision which guides us as a people. And where there is no vision, the people perish.”  – Lyndon Johnson

Christopher Butterfield, composer and Professor of Composition at the University of Victoria, speaking on the legislature steps at the Arts Matter rally in Victoria today:

“I never thought in my life that I’d quote Lyndon Johnson, but he made a rather extraordinary statement. Now remember this is an American president saying this, and I’ve never heard any politician in this country, at a federal or provincial or any other level, use these words. This is what he said: “Art is a nation’s most precious heritage, for it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and others the inner vision which guides us as a people. And where there is no vision, the people perish.” I would like Mr. Campbell, or his minister of culture, to get up in the legislature and quote those words of Lyndon Johnson. I would like them to guarantee the arts in this province, not just a future but a future long beyond the time everybody is dead and gone. I’d like us to grow.”

Thanks to Christopher Ruffell for the video (click below), which also features a speech by Dianne Searle which makes the excellent point that these cuts are not about economics, since it’s proven arts funding is a lucrative investment for the government. Christopher Butterfield’s speech begins at 4:05.

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2 responses to “Christopher Butterfield at the Art Matters Rally in Victoria

  1. Bravo Christopher Butterfield! President Lyndon Johnson spoke these words with commitment, passion and he meant what he said!
    Come on Mr. Premier and Mr. Minister of Culture, stand up! Be men of “courage” and find a way to restore the funding to the BC Arts Council so it can function with healthy long-term support of BC artists before these thousands of British Columbians are devastated economically and put out of work. The Arts infrastructure in BC makes a significant contribution to the BC “coffers”.
    Do the right thing, STOP THE CUTS TO THE ARTS IN BC NOW, build partnerships, and save the culture of BC and all its residents.

  2. Pingback: Sign this Petition in Support of the Arts – in ink, the old-fashioned way « Stop the BC Arts Cuts

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