Penniless for the Arts

An addendum to my previous post on Arts funding in Canada. Lest you think I’m just a raving “artsy” lunatic upset that government “handouts” are being scaled back due to “budget” constraints… look at this August 2008 report from the Conference Board of Canada. The Conference Board is an economic and corporate research organization. They are not a government organization. They are not a lobby group of any sort. They are objective and non-partisan. This is what they have to say:

The Conference Board estimates that the economic footprint of Canada’s culture sector was $84.6 billion in 2007, or 7.4 per cent of Canada’s total real GDP, including direct, indirect, and induced contributions. Culture sector employment exceeded 1.1 million jobs in 2007.

I’m not a numbers guy (remember I failed math), but this is pretty compelling. Arts and culture industries play a vital role in attracting people, business, and investment, and in distinguishing Canada as a dynamic and exciting place to live and work. Apparently these just aren’t issues the Conservative party seem to be concerned about.

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