Friday, August 15, 2008

Newfoundland and Labrador slams Ottawa’s arts cuts : Telegram Article

Newfoundland and Labrador slams Ottawa’s arts cuts
The Telegram

The provincial government says it is asking the federal government to review recent cuts to arts programs.The federal government announced last week that Trade Routes and PromArt, cultural diplomacy programs, designed to help Canadian artists showcase their work abroad, will be discontinued. Funding for Trade Routes, a Canadian Heritage program, will be significantly reduced in 2009 before being halted entirely in 2010. PromArt, a Foreign Affairs program, will be discontinued next year.

“Cutting these programs means yet another hurdle for our artists,” said Clyde Jackman, the provincial minister of culture. “Culture is central to our social and economic lives. Funding cutbacks such as these not only hurt our artists directly, but also hurt efforts being made to bring our cultural product to the international marketplace.”

Trade Routes, a $9 million program, helps arts organizations export their products. PromArt, a $4.7 million program, supplies travel grants to artists hoping to travel abroad. Many local artists and art organizations have benefitted from both programs, including musician Jim Payne, actor Andy Jones, the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival and Rattling Books.

The provincial Association of Cultural Industries and the Music Industry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador have also criticized the government’s decision.Shelley Nordstrom, the East Coast Music Association’s international program manager, says a $13.7-million cut in funding to the arts and culture sector is devastating and unacceptable.

Read this Telegram article and the comments it attracted here.