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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Update on arts funding

>> by Naomi Brand
In its 2012 budget, the Toronto City Council restored arts grants and community grants to 2011 levels. The grants had been at risk of being cut in the months leading up to the budget, but the reversal is due in part to hundreds of citizens who contacted their councillors and signed the Friends of the Arts petition. However, a new study released by Hill Strategies reports that Toronto has fallen far behind other major Canadian cities in its municipal investment in the arts. The study compared funding to the arts in Canada's five largest cities and found the following per capita figures: Montreal $55, Vancouver $47, Calgary $42, Ottawa $28 and Toronto $19. In BC, the government announced a three-year freeze to arts and culture funding in its latest budget despite overall increases in other sectors. "Overall, a disappointing budget for the arts, cultural and heritage sectors" says Alliance for Arts and Culture executive director Rob Gloor. After so much work by so many in the arts community in recent years to raise public and political awareness of the importance of a healthy cultural sector, we had hoped for better." Vancouver's Josh Beamish cites his frustration with the lack of sustainable arts funding in BC as one of the main reasons that he will be leaving Vancouver to set up his company in New York City. The twenty-four-year-old director of Move: the company, has had remarkable success despite only minimal funding from the BC Arts Council. In a January 31st article about his planned relocation, Beamish told the Vancouver Sun, “If our arts funding is going to keep getting cut, what’s the value of artists staying in this community?” One of the most recent effects of arts funding woes in BC, was the closing of the nearly fifty-year-old Vancouver Playhouse.
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dance Communities Across Canada Celebrate Multiple Awards of Excellence

Hélène Langevin's L’atelier/The Studio / Photo: Hélène Langevin

>> by Jaimée Horn
Montréal company Bouge de là received the Prix RIDEAU Touring Award for its work L’atelier/The Studio, during the Bourse RIDEAU gala on February 16th. The award distinguishes an arts company for successful audience development and promotional activities throughout the tour of one of its shows. L’atelier/The Studio combines dance with visual art, and has been acclaimed by more than 105 audiences across Québec and Toronto ... Crystal Pite internationally renowned BC choreographer and artistic director of Kidd Pivot Frankfurt RM, was presented with the inaugural Lola Award on March 1st. The $10,000 grant that will fund Pite’s next research period, was created in memory of beloved choreographer Lola MacLaughlin, supporting the work of mid-career and established choreographers with hopes of contributing to the growth of a Vancouver aesthetic abroad ... Principal dancers Guillaume Côté and Jillian Vanstone of The National Ballet of Canada are being recognized for contributions to dance and culture. Côté, born in Lac-Saint-Jean, Québec, received the Medal of the National Assembly of Québec on February 28th. Vanstone, from Nanaimo, BC, will receive the Excellence in Culture Award from the City of Nanaimo on March 28th.
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