Orchestras Canada’s advocacy committee met late last week, and here’s a report about our discussion:
1. Expanded membership – OC’s advocacy committee now comprises:
Jeff Alexander, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
Ann Lewis-Luppino, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra
Shannon Whidden, Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra
Matthew Jones, Timmins Symphony Orchestra (and Orchestras Canada board of directors)
Therese Boutin, Orchestre symphonique de Quebec
Angela Birdsell, New Brunswick Youth Orchestra/Sistema NB (and Orchestras Canada board of directors)
Katherine Carleton and Micheline McKay, Orchestras Canada
2. OC’s pre-budget submission to the federal Standing Committee on Finance
The group discussed potential content for the annual submission to the Standing Committee on Finance as part of the pre-budget consultation process, and agreed on three core recommendations:
A. Increase the Canada Council for the Arts’ Parliamentary appropriation by $35 million in 2015 with a long term goal of reaching $300 million.
B. Increase Canada’s presence on the world stage for 2017 by establishing a $25 million pilot program over three years at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development for Canada’s 150th birthday.
C. Implement the Charitable Donation Stretch Tax Credit, an initiative that would benefit charities of all sizes, and would build on the Super Tax Credit introduced by the Government last year.
The submission will be prepared and submitted to the Standing Committee by the deadline of August 6, and will be posted on the OC website shortly thereafter.
3. Canada Council Operating Funding Results – and Follow-Up
Katherine advised the committee that OC has already contacted Canada Council-funded orchestras to ask if they’d be willing to share grant results for 2014-15. The committee encouraged Katherine to work with Council staff to host an informational teleconference on August 5, during which Council staff would be asked to provide a general overview of the budget allocation for orchestras, and to share perspectives from the peer committee on the overall state of Canadian orchestras.
The French language call with Council staff is scheduled for Tuesday, August 5 at 1 p.m. Eastern, and is open to representatives from Council-funded orchestras. To register, please click here.
The English language call with Council staff is scheduled for Tuesday, August 5 at 3 p.m. Eastern, and is open to representatives from Council-funded orchestras. To register, please click here.
4. The Impact of Changes to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program
The Temporary Foreign Workers Program has been a topic of interest a number of Canadian orchestras, and there have been concerns that the new regulations will add to the complexity and expense of engaging non-Canadians for tenured and tenure-track positions. Again, OC has asked professional orchestras to keep us informed of any emerging issues on this front. By developing a complete picture of the impact of changes to the legislation, we hope to build a comprehensive case, on our own and in partnership with other performing arts colleagues.
It was also pointed out that information-sharing among the orchestras affected would be useful, as the full impact of the program changes may not be felt in all locations at the same time. The committee agreed to work on this.
If you have any questions or comments about any of this, please contact Katherine Carleton at Orchestras Canada, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.