In response to concerns raised by the sector, Orchestras Canada’s board chair Trudy Schroeder, along with the chairs of four other national arts service organizations signed a collective letter requesting relief on the postage rate increase for performing arts charities and nonprofits.
“Performing arts organizations bring together artists and audience, thereby contributing to the quality of life of Canadians and to the vitality of their communities. Yet, before a performance can be presented, a number of activities requiring postal services must take place. … The Performing Arts Alliance supports Imagine Canada’s recommendation that Canada Post Corporation engage with charities and NPOs to establish a pricing structure that is tailored to the mailing realities facing the larger nonprofit sector and that would encourage its stakeholders to remain robust users of Canada Post.”
The letter was signed by the chairs of CAPACOA, the Canadian Dance Assembly, Opera.ca, Orchestras Canada, and the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres, who speak on behalf of more than 1,000 performing arts organizations and artists. It was addressed to the Minister responsible for Canada Post, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, to the President and Chief Executive Officer of Canada Post, Deepak Chopra, and to opposition parties’ critics. The letter acknowledges the marketplace realities with which Canada Post is grappling, and asks for meeting to find a a mutually-beneficial solution.
Background on changes announced by Canada Post
On December 11, 2013 Canada Post unveiled a Five-point Action Plan which, along with increases in first-class postal rates, will result in the elimination of door-to-door mail delivery, the expansion of franchise postal outlets, and changes to its operations and labour force. On December 21, 2013 Canada Post published draft regulations to implement new postage rates, giving organizations 30 days to respond with their concerns. Imagine Canada sent a letter to Deepak Chopra, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Canada Post, and a submission to the Minister of Transport, recommending that Canada Post work with charities to establish a permanent pricing structure that reflects the mailing realities facing charities.
On March 19, Canada Post announced a suite of relief measures in response to widespread concern over recently announced postage rate hikes, which took effect on March 31. The measures, including two temporary postage discounts and two permanent changes to minimum volume thresholds, will be beneficial for smaller charities and nonprofits. However, to date, Canada Post has not responded to recommendations for a discounted rate for charities and nonprofits.