November 10, 2011 – Tuesday, October 25th, was the Day on the Hill, a day when artists and cultural workers from all disciplines of the arts meet with MPs at Parliament Hill. This event was organized by the Canadian Arts Coalition which is the largest consortium of arts, culture and heritage supporters in Canada. The Coalition is a collaborative non-partisan group representing artists, arts organizations, volunteers and audience members from across Canada. The Coalition believes that a strong and vibrant arts sector is crucial to our country, and that investments made by the government in the arts help strengthen our communities and enhance Canada’s reputation on the world stage.
This year, all of ARCA’s Board members actively participated to meet and debate ideas with MPs to advocate for the arts, and discuss the vitality, diversity, and dynamism of our countrywide Artist-Run Centres’ network.
In order to present the major role arts investment plays in the economic and social health of Canada, ARCA’s members along with a hundred participants shared the Coalition’s three principal recommendations:
- That the Government of Canada maintains funding levels to the arts through the Canada Council for the Arts at the 2011-2012 level: $181 million in fiscal year 2012-2013.
- That the Government of Canada seek the means to further integrate arts and culture in its foreign policy initiatives, and in particular in its Global Commerce Strategy, by making an initial investment of $10 million in certain targeted initiatives in 2012-2013.
- That the Government of Canada continue to foster access to the arts by Canadians, while ensuring sustainability, innovation and the availability of high quality professional arts training, by maintaining funding levels to key arts, culture and heritage programs delivered by the Department of Canadian Heritage.
ARCA members had the possibility to meet with Senators, Members of Parliament (MP), and Associate Deputy Ministers. 120 meetings were scheduled during the event, and by the estimate of the Coalition, we made October 25th “the best attended Arts Day yet.”
ARCA’s representatives met with 31 key persons who, in their respective positions, are influential and instrumental in implementing meaningful changes for the arts in Canada. ARCA invites all Artist-Run Centres to connect with their respective MPs, particularly with those mentioned on the attached list. Next year, ARCA plans to participate again to this particular day, and advocates for the arts on behalf of all artists and cultural workers from our network, who are also welcome to join the movement!