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



    MONTREAL, Sept. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - 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.




For further information:

For further information: 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,
yvan.gauthier@calq.gouv.qc.ca; Ken Sagal, Chair, Saskatchewan Arts Board,
(306) 787-1099, sagalk@accesscomm.ca


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