Home » News: Toronto Arts Community Sets up Department of Culture

News: Toronto Arts Community Sets up Department of Culture


The OLD Canadian twenty dollar bill. Image: members.shaw.ca

Did you know that if you look at the NEW Canadian twenty dollar bill – you’ll need a magnifying glass – you will read the following quote by French-Canadian author Gabrielle Roy (1908 – 1983):

Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?

Nous connaitrions-nous seulement un peu nous-memes, sans les arts?

At last night’s jam-packed town hall meeting, organized in response to the Stephen Harper’s Conservative government’s recent slashing of $62.06 million in Arts and Culture programs, there were several passionate speeches by Claire Hopkinson of the Toronto Arts Council, Susan Swan of the Writer’s Union and Lisa Fitzgibbons of the Documentary Organization of Canada, rising to a crescendo with a polished, fervent speech by writer and activist Naomi Klein.



Then curator and former director of YYZ artist-run centre Gregory Elgstrand got up to explain that in the past week, a group from the arts community had got together to set up what they are calling the Department of Culture.

According to the release: “If an election is called, we will establish swing teams to unseat Conservatives in every city across the country. If there is no election, the same teams will be organized to criticize, challenge and creatively pressure the government to change their policies.”

The Department of Culture wants all Canadians interested in creating change as members.

Anyone interested in organizing, doing research, writing, making graphics, videos, blitzing ridings, attending all-candidates meetings, marching in the streets or contributing funds should get in touch them through their website HERE.

One Response to “News: Toronto Arts Community Sets up Department of Culture”

  1. Andrea says:

    From Wikipedia:

    Dada or Dadaism is a cultural movement that began in neutral Zürich, Switzerland, during World War I and peaked from 1916 to 1920.

    The movement primarily involved visual arts, literature (poetry, art manifestoes, art theory), theatre, and graphic design, and concentrated its anti war politic through a rejection of the prevailing standards in art through anti-art cultural works.

    Dada activities included public gatherings, demonstrations, and publication of art/literary journals. Passionate coverage of art, politics, and culture filled their publications.

    The movement influenced later styles, Avant-garde and Downtown music movements, and groups including Surrealism, Nouveau Réalisme, Pop Art, Fluxus and Punk.

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