David Diamond, Artistic Director of Headlines Theatre in Vancouver, was interviewed by the CBC today on Jane Danzo’s resignation from the BC Arts Council in particular and the BC arts cuts in general. David is excellent; Rick Cluff doesn’t seem to quite grasp the seriousness of the issue of political interference in the arts or the idea that independent arts are central to democracy and civil society. When Cluff asks David if he’s “reading into” the government’s actions, is he just serious or just playing devil’s advocate? As David says, this interference is so overt that there’s no “reading into” anything. The interview, on the Early Edition with host Rick Cluff, can be downloaded below.
Who are we?This blog is an extension of the website Stop BC Arts Cuts. We are a loose affiliation of arts supporters, artists, curators and arts workers in British Columbia who are fighting to overturn the abrupt, severe, unwarranted, and socially and economically unwise cuts to BC public arts funding. Even before these cuts, BC's arts funding was already well below that of all other provinces of Canada: the national average for provincial arts funding is $26 per capita; BC is now at approximately $6.50 per capita, even after the recent $7m restoration of funds. Ultimately the cuts still stand at approx 50%, amounting to a giant blow for the BC sector and one that will make us uncompetitive. Many organizations are already closing their doors. Meanwhile, every other industrial sector in BC receives substantial subsidies - why make an example of art? Arts funding is not only a crucial component of a homegrown culture industry in a relatively remote region with a small population (and relatively small corporate activity). It's also a lucrative investment that has been proven to fatten, rather than impoverish, the BC tax base (see here), by bringing large returns on every dollar given. Let's not find ourselves with a BC culture consisting of nothing but American TV. Check back regularly to read news about this issue, and to keep informed about our efforts to campaign for the return of these funds, which are: a) promised BC Gaming monies, and b) regular tax base funding for the BC Arts Council. Thank you for reading. To contact us, click here.
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- Dutch political theatre around arts cuts – ad in the New York Times