Canadian Public Arts Funders affirm the essential role of the arts in
Canada's social and economic vitality

VANCOUVER, Dec. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Representatives from arts councils from across Canada met in Vancouver, BC November 25-27, 2009 on the occasion of the Canadian Public Arts Funders (CPAF) Annual General Meeting.

The Executive Directors and Chairs of CPAF-Canada's network of federal, provincial and territorial arts councils and equivalent public arts funders-discussed strategies to "Build Support for the Arts" and reinforce the vital role that arts and culture plays in Canadians' quality of life.

During their discussions, the CPAF members were joined by two experts in cultural participation: Alan Brown, a leading researcher and management consultant in the nonprofit arts industry, and John McInerney, the Vice-President of Marketing and Communications at the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.

"Arts organizations and artists are in the business of transforming individuals and communities through arts experiences," said Alan Brown. "The true impact of the arts experience is what happens to the individual audience members when the lights go down and the artist takes the stage-and the cumulative benefits to individuals, families and communities of having those experiences available night after night, year after year."

Yvan Gauthier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and Chair of the CPAF Steering Committee echoed that thought: "Arts and cultural activities help bring a community to life: they define its unique characteristics and are an integral part of the social and economic fabric," said Yvan Gauthier. "Investment in the arts from all levels of government is essential to the well-being of our communities and our country."

CPAF members expressed serious concern that BC, the province in which this year's Annual General Meeting took place, is facing an unprecedented period of uncertainty in public funding for the arts. No other province or territory in Canada has reduced support for the arts sector during the economic downturn.

"In these tough economic times, we need to continue to work together at all levels to ensure the health of our cultural sector," said Gauthier.

CPAF aims to foster and support the arts in Canada through cooperation and collaboration of the federal, provincial and territorial arts councils and equivalent public arts funders by increasing networking and partnership opportunities, sharing information and best practices, and commissioning research. Active since 2005, there is a CPAF member organization in each province and territory in Canada. The combined budget of the 14 CPAF members exceeds $430 million dollars.

The next CPAF Annual Meeting will take place November 17-19, 2010 in St. John's, NL.

    The 14 CPAF member organizations are:

        Alberta Foundation for the Arts

        British Columbia Arts Council

        Canada Council for the Arts

        Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec

        Cultural Services Branch, Department of Tourism and Culture,
        Government of Yukon (Yukon Arts Advisory Council)

        Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth, Nunavut

        Government of the Northwest Territories Department of Education,
        Culture and Employment (Northwest Territories Arts Council)

        Manitoba Arts Council

        Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council

        New Brunswick Arts Board

        Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, Culture
        Division (Nova Scotia Arts and Cultural Partnership Council)

        Ontario Arts Council

        Prince Edward Island Council of the Arts

        Saskatchewan Arts Board


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For further information: For further information: Media contacts: Carl Allen, Public Relations Director, Conseil des arts et des letters du Québec, (514) 864-2930,

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