Orchestras Canada members will no doubt be aware of the recent controversies surrounding the termination of government support for the Summerworks Theatre Festival, Margie Gillis’ interview on SunTV, and Minister Flaherty’s remarks to the media about arts grants.
OC is watching these events very closely. We are monitoring media reports while networking with our members, colleagues and government relations professionals to ensure that we have the best information and can develop the best advocacy strategies in response.
What is clear, at this point, is that many organizations are reluctant to speak out publicly or that they are willing to speak but uncertain as to what to say.
We are following the lead of our colleagues at the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres in disseminating these Key Messages to assist you in talking to your staff, board, audiences, and through traditional and social media.
· Canadian orchestras value our on-going relationships with and support from all levels of government.
· Canadian orchestras are appreciative of public investment from arms-length and direct funders and take the stewardship of public funds very seriously.
· Canadian orchestras are cognizant of the need for fiscal restraint and remain accountable to Canadians to ensure public funds return value and benefit to all Canadians.
· Public investment in the arts leverages economic and social benefits for Canadians.
· Consistency and stability of public investment underpins arts organizations’ ability to partner with corporate and private donors.
· Public investment in the arts enables orchestras of all sizes to offer relevant, stimulating, and accessibly-priced arts programs for a wide audience of Canadians.
Our thanks to PACT for sharing these key messages!
Everyone at OC’s national meetings in Vancouver heard Russell Kelley of the Canada Council for the Arts talk about the potential impact of federal deficit reduction efforts on Canada Council funding for 2012-13 and beyond – and, in particular, his recommendation that Council-funded orchestras consider budget scenarios for that year that include a 10% reduction in Council support. The Council – and the organizations it funds – dodged a bullet in 2010, and it’s highly unlikely that Council will avoid the spending reductions contemplated in the current Strategic Review Process.
- Working to refresh the advocacy toolkit on our website, with meeting tips and scripts, key messages, and leave-behinds that you can use in meetings with MPs and other decision-makers this summer. This work will be complete by July 15;
- Framing our own brief to the federal Standing Committee on Finance, as part of the pre-budget consultation process;
- Working in close consultation with the Canadian Arts Coalition to organize an Arts Day on Parliament Hill for Tuesday, 25 October, during which representatives from the arts community from across Canada will meet with MPs from all parties. Members of the OC board will be taking part, and if you’d like to join them, please let Katherine know.
If you have questions, ideas, or information to add, please contact Katherine Carleton at 416-366-8834 x226 or by email: Katherine@oc.ca