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  1. Spencer Herbert said,


    As you know the Government of BC delivered their budget last week which resulted in devastating funding cuts for arts and culture in this Province. I am working to hold the government to account on this incredibly pressing issue and wanted to pass onto you a letter (attached) that calls the government out, and demands they support arts and culture in BC.

    Please feel free to post this letter on your website, comment on this issue, send to your networks – whatever you can do to raise awareness about these cuts & ensure that the government restores much needed support to the arts.

    If you would like to speak with me directly about this issue please don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Many thanks,

    Spencer Herbert, MLA
    Vancouver Burrard
    Official Opposition Critic for Arts and Culture
    Parliament Buildings
    Victoria, B.C. V8V 1X4
    Tel: 250-387-3655


    Open Letter Regarding Funding Cuts to Arts and Culture in BC

    Last week the Campbell Liberal government delivered their budget, and in doing so launched an all out attack on BC’s arts and culture sector with a 50% cut to funding for the arts that will leave BC weaker economically, culturally, and socially.

    Here are the facts about the BC government’s cuts to arts and culture:

    The 2009/10 budget has been cut by $13.6 million.

    The 2010/11 budget has been cut by $11 million.

    The impact of these cuts will be truly devastating to not only the arts and culture sector but to all British Columbians.

    The cultural sector in BC employs over 118,000 people, accounting for about 5% of the labour force and injecting more than $2.3 billion dollars annually into our economy. A recent BC government study showed that for every dollar invested in the arts the BC government gets a dollar and thirty six cents in return in taxes. The government’s cuts will likely lose the province more money than it’s saving. That means less money to be invested in health care, and education, and the devastation of our creative economy.

    Communities throughout BC have recognized the economic value that art and culture plays in their economies and have made it a focus of their economic development strategies. Smaller communities will be impacted harder by these cuts as they do not have the larger artistic centres or funding that is found in major cities.

    The creative sector has been leading the way in job creation. When our province lost 68,000 jobs in January shouldn’t we be supporting a sector which is creating jobs and one of the few bright lights in a tough time?

    During the Great Depression President Roosevelt helped bring the USA out of depression with a massive works program that created thousands of jobs but also brought us art which inspired and helped people through the tough times.

    Now, President Obama is also supporting the arts as a way of getting his nation out of recession.

    So what does our Premier do? He cuts support to the arts and culture sector by 50% destroying years and years of growth, and thousands of jobs. These cuts will leave our communities weaker both culturally, and economically. In a time when we should be supporting our creative economy Premier Campbell is taking an axe to it.

    Spencer Herbert, MLA
    Vancouver Burrard
    Official Opposition Critic for Arts and Culture

  2. metrocascade said,

    Thanks for the comment, Spencer. The arts are really suffering now – see also the recent article in USA Today, Fine arts are in survival mode as funds dry up. I can’t make myself read all the comments on this newspaper article, but it appears the majority are AGAINST arts funding. Most people see them as a frill and don’t understand how they have a significant economic ripple effect…
    – Yule Heibel

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