Canadian Public Arts Funders (CPAF) celebrate growth in support for public arts funding

    OTTAWA, Nov. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Arts councils from across Canada
celebrated the growth in support for public arts funding at the Annual General
Meeting of the Canadian Public Arts Funders (CPAF).
    The Executive Directors and Chairs of CPAF-Canada's network of federal,
provincial and territorial arts councils and agencies-noted that 8 of the 14
CPAF members saw increases to their budgets over the past year, representing
an additional $54 million dollars for fiscal year 2007-08.
    "These new funds confirm that governments perceive the value of public
funding for the arts in our country," said Martha Durdin, Chair of the Ontario
Arts Council and CPAF Steering Committee member. "The arts are powerful not
only because they enrich us personally, but because they also contribute to
the identity, vitality and economic growth of Canadian communities."
    During the CPAF meeting, the Government of Nova Scotia announced in its
Speech from the Throne that it will double its spending on culture. Over a
three year period, culture will receive over eight million dollars in
additional funds.
    At the CPAF Annual General Meeting, the main topic of discussion was how
to support the next generation of artistic leaders and arts organizations in a
significantly larger workforce. From 1981 to 2001, Canada's core culture
workforce grew three times faster than the total workforce, according to a
recently released Statistics Canada Study, Culture Employment in a
North American Context: 1981 to 2001.
    "We have heard young artists and arts professionals talk about what is
important to them," said Yvan Gauthier, Président-directeur general of the
Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Chair of the CPAF Steering
Committee. "Now, the CPAF members have an opportunity to collectively explore
how we can work together to best meet the unique needs of the next generation
of artists."
    This collaborative approach to facing shared challenges in arts funding
is at the heart of the CPAF network. During the first half of 2007, the Canada
Council for the Arts partnered with its CPAF colleagues to undertake a
ground-breaking series of nine dialogues with close to 200 artists and arts
administrators aged 18-30. Each generated wide-ranging discussions on new
areas of practice, training and career development needs, the impact of the
arts on communities, and the role of arts funding in supporting young artists
and administrators.
    The consultations with the next generation have already fed into the
Canada Council's 2008-2011 Strategic Plan (released Oct 2nd), as well as other
provincial and territorial planning exercises currently underway.
    At their Annual General Meeting, the CPAF members were also joined by
representatives of the Australia Council for the Arts and the Washington-based
National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, in order to exchange information
about different approaches to supporting the next generation of artists in
Canada, Australia, and the United States.
    Over the course of the next year, the CPAF member organizations will
continue to foster and encourage public support for the arts throughout
Canada, and work together to ensure that all Canadians have access to diverse
arts experiences.
    The next CPAF Annual Meeting will take place November 12-14, 2008 in
Moncton, New Brunswick, and will be dedicated to exploring support for arts

    Increases to CPAF Members' Budgets for 2007-08:

    Member                                                2007-08 Increase
    Alberta Foundation for the Arts                           $4.5 million
    Canada Council for the Arts                                $30 million
    Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec                   $8 million
    Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council                        $500,000
    Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage       $555,000
    Ontario Arts Council                                        $5 million
    Saskatchewan Arts Board                                  $5.25 million
    Tourism and Culture,  Government of Yukon                     $567,000

For further information:

For further information: English-language: Douglas Riske, Executive
Director, Manitoba Arts Council and Past Chair, Steering Committee, Canadian
Public Arts Funders, (204) 945-2239,;
French-language: Yvan Gauthier, Président-directeur general of the Conseil des
arts et des lettres du Québec and the Chair of the CPAF Steering Committee,
(514) 864-4333,

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