Tag Archive | "Canada Council for the Arts"

Federal Budget 2014 and Canadian Orchestras

Federal Budget 2014 and Canadian Orchestras

February 11 was budget day in Canada, and arts and culture groups across Canada—along with the broader charitable sector—have reason to be pleased with the content of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s budget. “The specific references to arts and culture, and the positioning of our sector as a key contributor to the quality of life in Canadian communities, would be positive in any federal budget,” said Katherine Carleton, Orchestras Canada’s executive director. “Combined with the early announcement of the renewal of key funding envelopes at the Department of Canadian Heritage, I’d call Budget 2014 very good news for Canadian orchestras.”

Here’s a quick run-down of the arts and charity-specific measures announced in the budget.

The budget included the announcement—a year early– of the renewal of the Canada Funds at the Department of Canadian Heritage, due to expire in March 2015. Notably, this measure was one of three recommendations made by Orchestras Canada in our pre-budget brief this year. The $105 million investment, effective 2015-16, includes:
• $25 million for the Canada Council for the Arts (supplementary funding that had been in place at Council since 2001, but was due to expire in 2015).
• $30.1 million for the Canada Cultural Investment Fund (a suite of programs that includes the Endowment Incentives program)
• $30 million for the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.
• $18 million for the Canada Arts Presentation Fund.
• $1.8 million for the Fathers of Confederation Buildings Trust.

As the budget said, “this investment will ensure that Canadians continue to enjoy access to a great diversity of Canadian arts and culture.”

While this is neither new nor increased funding, today’s announcement ensures that important programs at the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council can continue and evolve.

The budget also included a number of initiatives designed to assist charities in their work, including
• Investments in technology at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to allow charities to apply for registration and file their annual information returns electronically
• Establishment by the CRA of an enhanced web presence on charitable giving trends and characteristics in Canada
• Amendments to the Criminal Code to allow charities to conduct various aspects of lotteries through the use of a computer, using modern e-commerce methods for the purchasing, processing and issuing of lottery tickets and issuing of receipts to donors
• Increased flexibility for trustees of individuals’ estates to apply charitable donation credits against the income tax liabilities of the individual or the estate.

Orchestras Canada has written to Minister Flaherty, Minister Glover, and the three MPs with whom we met in November to discuss our recommendations, to thank them for their support: Minister Joe Oliver, Parliament Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage Rick Dykstra, and Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett.

We urge you to join us in letting your MP know how you feel about these measures, and we’ve prepared templates that you can customize with information about your own orchestra, and the impact these measures will have. You can find them on the OC website here.

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Prestigious Award for Tafelmusik

Prestigious Award for Tafelmusik

Last week, at the annual CAPACOA conference, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra was presented with the 2012/13 season Canadian Arts Presenting Association (CAPACOA) Award for Touring Artist of the Year. The CAPACOA awards recognize excellence in the field of live performance touring and presenting in Canada, and the Touring Artist of the Year award recognizes performers whose professionalism and cooperative spirit enhance their relationship with presenters.

Speaking about the award, Tafelmusik Managing Director Tricia Baldwin said, “we are very grateful to CAPACOA and award sponsor Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall for this great honour. Our musicians love to tour and are very excited to be on the national and international stage with such innovative programmes such as Alison Mackay’s The Galileo Project and House of Dreams. We are thankful for the support from Canadian presenters, the Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council – all of whom make Canadian touring possible. Receiving this award of distinction has made us all really proud.”

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What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading?

We’ve got two recommendations for you this week:

The Association of British Orchestras presented its annual conference in London from January 29-31, and the keynote speaker was musical polymath Paul Morley, who delivered a bracing challenge to orchestras to fully occupy their rightful place as “keyholders to a more human future”. It was a tour de force, and you can read the text of his speech here.

The Canada Council for the Arts held its Annual Public Meeting in Ottawa on January 28, and – while there were many highlights – we’d warmly enjoin you to read some valedictory thoughts on public engagement by outgoing Council vice-chair, Simon Brault. You can find them here.

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Competitions and Awards

Competitions and Awards

Congratulations to Martin MacDonald, this year’s recipient of the Ontario Arts Council’s Heinz Unger Award. The $8000 award is presented biennially to an emerging professional Canadian conductor and recognizes talent and promise, musicianship, and commitment to Canadian repertoire and Canadian musicians. A Cape Breton native, Martin is currently Associate Conductor of Symphony Nova Scotia, and has guest conducted for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Windsor Symphony Orchestra.

And congratulations to composer Nicole Lizée, who was recently awarded the Jules Leger Prize for New Chamber Music by the Canada Council for the Arts for her work, White Label Experiment. The work was inspired by American composer John Cage, and commissioned by Soundstreams. You can hear the work here!

The December 15 deadline is fast approaching for the 2014 edition of the Montreal International Musical Competition, this year dedicated to the piano. For more information about the competition, and to learn more about application requirements, please visit concoursmontreal.ca.

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People

People

The Canada Council for the Arts has announced the appointment of Roger Gaudet as the new Director, Arts Disciplines Division at the Council, effective October 15, 2013. He succeeds Anne Valois, who is leaving Council after 27 years—the last three in this role. He, too, is a Council veteran, with over 16 years of experience working in the Theatre section, most recently as Head. Mr. Gaudet will work closely with colleagues at Council on operating funding program changes, among other responsibilities.

The Canada Council for the Arts has reappointed Board Chair Joseph L. Rotman for another five year term. Speaking about the reappointment, Council Director and CEO Robert Sirman said, “Mr. Rotman’s deep understanding of best practices in business and management are enormous assets to the Council. His dedication to ensuring that Canadians have access to a vital and diverse arts sector is invaluable. The big changes to which the Council aspires take time, and Mr. Rotman’s reappointment will help ground the important work already underway on program renewal and public engagement. I am delighted we will be able to continue to count on his wisdom and support.”

Hearty congratulations to the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra’s resident conductor, Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, who was recently awarded the Jean-Marie Beaudet prize by the Canada Council for the Arts. Worth $1,000, the Jean-Marie Beaudet Award is given annually to a young Canadian conductor as recommended by the Grant to Professional Musicians Peer Assessment Committee for the March 1st deadline. Eligible candidates are selected by the Music Section from among the resident or staff conductors with Canadian orchestras. To learn more about Mr. Bartholomew-Poyser, please visit bartholomewpoyser.com.

The Canada Council Michael Measures Prize has been awarded to 19-year-old violinist Blake Pouliot, a Toronto native who’s currently studying at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. Launched in September 2010 through a partnership with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYOC), the prize will provide Mr. Pouliot with $15,000 to help continue to build his musical career, already off to a promising start. To learn more about Mr. Pouliot, please visit canadacouncil.ca.

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People

People

Congratulations to Lorraine Vaillancourt, founder and music director of the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, who has recently been awarded the Prix du Recteur by the Université de Montréal and an honorary doctorate by the Université Laval.

The Canada Council for the Arts recently announced the winner of the 2013 Virginia Parker Prize: soprano Layla Claire. The prize is awarded annually to a Canadian classical musician under the age of 32 who demonstrates outstanding talent and musicianship. Speaking about the award, Ms Claire said, “I am constantly asked when working abroad what could possibly be in the water in Canada because of the high level of Canadian singers. I dare to believe that I have the ability and the work ethic to achieve an international career at the highest level and represent Canada like other artists have done before me.”

Congratulations to Isaac Chalk, recently appointed as Principal Viola of Les Violons du Roy. He begins his new post with the orchestra in September 2013.

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It Takes a Village (and sometimes, a megacity)

It Takes a Village (and sometimes, a megacity)

From May 28 to 30, Orchestras Canada hosted our national meetings in Toronto. During two-and-a-half days of presentations, discussions, workshops, concerts, and collegial exchange, orchestra CEOs, staff, and music directors from across the country, funders, and other key individuals in the industry gathered for an exploration of creativity, innovation and change. From the opening reception at the Canadian Music Centre to the final presentation and workshop by Richard Evans of EmcArts, OC and our delegates benefited from the generosity of many, many people and organizations. Here’s a quick list of the people we’d like to acknowledge:

Our sponsors and donors, including Great West Life/London Life/Canada Life; Wednesday reception co-hosts Roy Thomson Hall, Grano Restaurant, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; coffee break sponsors Cowan Insurance, Dean Artists, Long and McQuade, and Honens; and delegate kit donors, The Sultans of String, Caline Artists, and Young Associates;

Our host orchestras: the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, both of whom performed with such passion and skill for us, and whose staff were an integral part of the event;

Our presenters: artist and arts educator Robert Kelly; Tafelmusik music director Jeanne Lamon; Loie Fallis, Jennifer Green, and Josh Clavir from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Samantha Zimmerman from Young Associates; Tricia Baldwin, Alex Skoczylas and Réjean Tremblay from Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra; Alan S. Brown from WolfBrown, along with Howard Herring and Craig Hall from the New World Symphony; Aimé Dontigny and Daniel Swift from the Canada Council for the Arts; Richard Evans from EmcArts.

The nine participants in our inaugural Next Generation Leaders program, whose energy, insights, and perspectives brought so much to the gathering: Marie-Hélène Nault Leblanc (Saskatoon Symphony); Sarah Boonstra (Windsor Symphony); Andrew Mellanby (Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony); Blanche Israel (University of Toronto Scarborough); Geoffrey Shoesmith; Faye Bontje (Halifax Music Coop); Stephanie Miletic and Tim Crouch (Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra); Tanya Derksen (Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra). We also thank everyone involved in our first-ever mentoring program – both those who’d formally agreed to meet with one of the Next Generation Leaders (Thérèse Boutin, Orchestre symphonique de Québec; Vicki Young, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra; Jeff Alexander, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Tricia Baldwin, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Christopher Deacon, National Arts Centre Orchestra; Ann Lewis-Luppino, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra; Roberta Smith, Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Leanne Davis, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra; and Genevieve Twomey, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony) – and those who took the time to engage in discussion with these inspiring young people;

Orchestras Canada’s board of directors, who committed important resources from OC’s Strategic Fund to underwrite travel bursaries for the Next Generation Leaders, and smaller budget orchestra staff;

The team behind the scenes, who made it all work: Sarah Bobak, Anastasia Tchernikova, and Debra Chandler at Orchestras Canada; our amazing volunteers, Natalie Bogdon, Will Callaghan, Jennifer Caines, Aysel Taghi-Zada, and Nonna Aroutiounian; and the team at Hart House, University of Toronto, who proved to be such capable and resourceful hosts.

Most of the sessions at the meetings were recorded, and our summer student, Anastasia Tchernikova, will spend the next few weeks editing them for dissemination on Orchestras Canada’s YouTube channel. Watch for more updates!

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What are you reading?

What are you reading?

The Canada Council for the Arts has recently published an update on its comprehensive review of Operating Support programs – and it’s vital reading for anyone involved with organizations currently receiving (or hoping for) operating funding from the Canada Council. Indeed, Orchestras Canada’s advocacy committee is studying the document in detail, and we’ll be posting some responses shortly. In the meantime, please read it – and let us know what you think! You can share your thoughts with OC’s executive director, Katherine Carleton, via email at Katherine [at] oc [dot] ca.

You can download the update here.

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The Advocacy File

The Advocacy File

Federal budget 2013

Between the Government of Canada’s detailed spending estimates (released in early March), an appearance by Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (on March 20, recorded for posterity, here), and the federal budget itself (released on March 21), we’ve been able to assemble a picture of federal spending and policies as they affect the arts and culture sector. Here’s a quick round-up of what we think we know:

The parliamentary allocation to the Canada Council for the Arts remains stable at $181 million. While the needs of the sector remain acute, this constitutes good news in the current environment, and should be celebrated. Thank your MP!

Funding for a major suite of programs at the Department of Canadian Heritage (including Endowment Incentives, Strategic Initiatives, Cultural Spaces, and others) remains stable. In addition, the ceiling for endowment matching over the life of the Endowment Incentives program has been raised from $10 million to $15 million: excellent news for the larger organizations (including our own OSM) that have been participating in the program.

Funding is starting to flow for “The Road to 2017”, a program of support for initiatives intended to celebration Canada’s Sesquicentennial.

The introduction of an enhanced tax credit for first time donors to Canadian charities will be welcome news to registered charities hoping to encourage a culture of philanthropy for a new generation.

As well, Canadian not for profits will be eligible to participate in the Hiring Credit for Small Business, designed to involve employers as providers of essential job and skills training.

The Canadian Arts Coalition is commissioning a detailed analysis of the federal budget and spending estimates, and it will be available in June. We look forward to sharing this analysis with you, then.

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Call for Nominations

Call for Nominations

The Canada Council for the Arts is calling for nominations for the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts 2013, due April 30. The award recognizes annually the highest level of artistic excellence and distinguished career achievement by a Canadian professional artist in dance, theatre or music – and this year’s $30,000 prize will be awarded in the field of music. For more information, please visit canadacouncil.ca.

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