Ongoing Arguments For Arts Funding in Canada

Katrina Dunn on the cover of The Province NewspaperOn this page we discuss the changing ecology of Arts funding in Canada, as it affects Touchstone, the larger Arts community, and Arts consumers.  

Touchstone continues to work, along with the rest of the Arts community, for stable and healthy Arts funding in Canada. Touchstone’s Artistic Director Katrina Dunn has talked publicly about the impact of unstable Arts funding on BC culture (case in point - cover of The Province).

Arts are essential to Canada and to Canadians. Strong arts communities bring economic prosperity, tourism and healthy communities. The cultural sector has about 600,000 workers, which is about double the level of employment in the forestry sector in Canada (300,000) and more than double the level of employment in Canadian banks (257,000). Source: A Statistical Profile of Artists in Canada : Based on the 2006 Census, Hill Strategies Research, 2009. Arts organizations more than ever need to think sustainably, collectively and responsibly, and we are doing that. But we need our audiences and supporters to join in voicing the importance of the Arts in Canada.

The Stretch Tax Credit
Imagine Canada has been urging the charitable sector to get active in supporting the campaign to promote the Stretch Tax Credit. The Stretch is a uniquely Canadian giving incentive developed by the charitable sector to help Canadians increase their giving over time. It’s about encouraging people to think more strategically about their giving, to build giving into their financial planning, and to make giving a lifelong habit. The result is more Canadians investing in the causes that are important to them.  You can find out more at

Cate’s Argument
Last year Cate Blanchett spoke out forcefully against significant cuts to the Arts in Australia. While it is great to have the celebrity endorsement for the cause, she has also been incredibly articulate on this subject. Her 2010 address to the Australia Performing Arts Market is a great example:

“The arts operate at the core of human identity and existence. They operate at the cutting edge of a science that is now trying to unravel the puzzle of consciousness and identity. ''Our experience, for all that we are the subject of it, is a mystery to us'': Emerson's wonderful hymn to the mystery of experience is not a piece of whimsy. It touches on the enduring source of cultural power in human life. How did we come to know, to understand, to grow? When did the pieces fall into place? Not on some graph. The graph is proof and proof comes afterwards. Proof is important to science because scientists start with speculation and conjecture to arrive at reality. Our job is to change reality, to challenge it, not prove it and explain it.”

Read a longer excerpt here: