On Oct 20 and 21, the Canada Council for the Arts hosted National Arts Service Organisations from across the country at a meeting in Ottawa. Canada Council Director, Robert Sirman spoke about their ongoing review of programs and funding issues. He recommended reading the Backgrounder document on the Council website:
which provides a good view of where Council thinks things are going. The program review should be seen in the context of the demand on Council funds, they serve over 1000 arts organisations, which takes 2/3 of their budget.
Regarding the term, Public engagement – Sirman stated “We are here to support artists…. Because the public needs arts.” And that the second half of that sentence had been implicit in past, but now needs to be explicit.
Regarding increased funding for the Canada Council, Sirman stated that “The current federal government is committed to a balanced budget for 2015 elections.” Thereby he felt it would be unlikely to think we can ask for more money at this time. However, he felt that there would be openings, in the lead up to the 2015 election, and also for the 150th anniversary of Canada in 2017.