Provincial and territorial members of Canadian Public Arts Funders urge the federal government to reinstate international cultural promotion programs

Montreal, September 5, 2008 – The chairs of Canada’s provincial and territorial arts funders are urging the federal government to reconsider its decision to cancel programs that support the international promotion of Canadian arts and culture.

The chairs are concerned about the recent cancellation of PromArt, a $4.7 million program of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT), and Trade Routes, a $7 million program of the Department of Canadian Heritage (PCH), because these programs provided unique opportunities for Canadian artists and arts organizations to promote and export their work abroad, tour internationally, and to build successful international careers.

“The international presence of Canada’s artists and arts organizations contributes significantly to the reputation of Canada as a highly-creative, unique, linguistically and culturally-diverse country,” said Martha Durdin, Chair of the Ontario Arts Council and Canadian Public Arts Funders (CPAF) Steering Committee member. “Federal support for international cultural promotion is critical in developing and maintaining that excellent reputation.”

Recognizing the benefits of international visibility and the positive impact of federal programs, provincial and territorial arts funders have expanded investments to help artists and arts organizations from their own regions gain visibility on the global stage.

In 2007-08, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec allocated approximately $4.3 million dollars in international financial support for projects by artists and arts organizations, and the British Columbia Arts Council allocated over $100,000 to assist artists and arts organizations develop markets nationally and internationally.

The Ontario Arts Council recently launched a $500,000 National and International Touring and Residencies Pilot Program and the Yukon Department of Tourism and Culture has established a new $100,000 Touring Artist Fund that will enable artists to develop networks for touring and presenting their work internationally.

Yvan Gauthier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and Chair of the CPAF Steering Committee, noted that the cancellation of PromArt and Trade Routes, combined with cancellations and cuts to a dozen other arts programs at the Department of Canadian Heritage, runs counter to the recent increases in public funding for the arts at all levels of government.

“These federal decisions diminish the impact of new funds for the arts in many regions,” said Gauthier. “We need to continue to work together at all levels to continue to support a vital arts community, not only here in Canada, but in the world.”

CPAF is a network that unites and serves the provincial, territorial, and federal arts councils and equivalent public arts funders in Canada. Active since 2005, there is a CPAF member organization in each province and territory in Canada. The combined budget of the provincial and territorial CPAF members exceeds $200 million dollars.


Media contacts:

Yvan Gauthier
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Conseil des arts et des lettres du
Québec and Chair of the Canadian Public Arts Funders (CPAF) Steering Committee
(514) 864-4333

Ken Sagal
Chair, Saskatchewan Arts Board
(306) 787-1099

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Date Modified: 2011-03-02