Monday, January 24, 2011

John Horgan to restore Arts Funding!


VICTORIA—NDP leadership candidate and Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan outlined his position on arts funding in British Columbia. “Under the B.C. Liberals, arts funding has become a budgetary afterthought. As a result, the arts community has suffered and citizens have been denied opportunities to experience arts and culture programs, festivals and performances,” said Horgan.

Horgan said that under his leadership, an NDP government would:
• Restore BC Arts Council funding to $19.5 million (2008/09 levels),
• Maintain the $7 million Arts Legacy Fund over the 2011/12 and 2012/13 fiscal year,
• Establish an all-party committee of the legislature charged with engaging the arts community on funding and policy development,
• Make a long-term commitment to bring our province’s arts funding up to the national average, and work toward establishing stable, multi-year funding for arts groups

“We are fortunate to have a vibrant and innovative arts community, but it cannot continue to sustain cuts to funding and ever changing rules of engagement with the provincial government. We need to take a far more practical approach to arts funding in this province,” said Horgan. “Stable funding and on-going dialogue is the way ahead and I am committed to that course.”

Horgan recently met with a representative from the Victoria Pro-Art Alliance, an advocacy group made up of Victoria’s professional arts organizations and is committed to meeting with other arts organizations throughout the province.

Horgan was a member of the Legislature’s Standing Committee on Finance from 2006-2009.  This committee tours the province annually, hearing recommendations from individuals and organizations in advance of the provincial budget.  This committee has made strong recommendations to the Minister of Finance to maintain arts funding. To date the BC Liberals have ignored those recommendations.

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