Cultural diplomacy funding cuts are latest attack on the arts

    TORONTO, Aug. 11 /CNW/ - Canadian Actors' Equity Association condemns the
Tory Government's recent termination of key cultural diplomacy funding
programs. "Given the censorship elements of Bill C-10, followed by almost zero
recognition of the Canadian arts and culture sector in the 2008-09 federal
budget, it is hard to interpret these cuts as anything but the latest move in
an ideological attack on the arts." states Arden R. Ryshpan, Executive
    Quotes attributed to Kory Teneycke, the Prime Minister's press secretary,
in today's Globe and Mail (" ... the (funding) choices made were inappropriate
... inappropriate because they were ideological in some cases, with highly
ideological individuals exposing their agendas or (money going to) wealthy
celebrities or fringe arts groups that in many cases would be at best,
unrepresentative, and at worst, offensive"), confirm a deliberate attempt on
the part of the government to curtail and constrain artistic endeavours which
don't match political dogma.
    Ryshpan continues "No matter how the Tories try to justify it, failing to
continue funding a much needed $4.7 million dollars for PromArt and another
$9 million for Trade Routes, in an already under-supported sector is unlikely
to effect a significant change to Canada's balance sheet. However such cuts
will ensure that homegrown opera, dance and theatre are denied a place on the
world stage."
    Surprisingly these cuts come on the heels of The Conference Board of
Canada's August 2008 report estimating the economic contribution of Canada's
culture sector has increased to 7.4% of Canada's total real GDP. The report
also finds that the creative economy's importance as an engine for economic
growth is growing.

    Canadian Actors' Equity Association is the voice of professional artists
working in live performance in English Canada. It is a national artists'
association representing more than 5,500 performers, directors,
choreographers, fight directors and stage managers working in theatre, opera
and dance from coast to coast.

For further information:

For further information: Lynn McQueen, Communications Director, (416)
867-9165 ext. 243 or (416) 476-7037 (m),; Canadian Actors'
Equity Association, 44 Victoria Street, 12th floor, Toronto, ON, M5C 3C4,

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