Home » News: B.C. Government Slashes Arts Funding

News: B.C. Government Slashes Arts Funding

There appears to be some confusion over recent cuts announced to arts and culture in British Columbia.

Image: Wikimedia.org

Here’s how Plank Magazine breaks it down:

For the upcoming fiscal year, the provincial government in BC is reducing its spending on arts and culture by 40% from $19.5 million to $11.9 million.

Plus, the income from the new $150 million BC150 Cultural Fund endowment was reduced by 40% from approximately $8 million per year which it was supposed to generate. Due to the economic downturn, this year the Fund will bring in $3.3 million this year (and likely about the same in the next few years to come).

Not to mention that the government is not putting up any money for capital expenditures for arts and culture – compared with the $90 million spent on capital projects last year.


the government would like us to remember that despite the serious drop in funding, there is a one-time $15 million cash injection of $15 million to be spent prior to the end of the current fiscal year (March 31, 2009). $7 million will go through the BC Arts Council and $8 million remains unallocated. That gives about 6 weeks for $15 million to be spent – which is more than the entire spending on arts and culture projected in the 2009-10 budget.

VoCA wonders how the Vancouver 2010 Olympics plays into this?

Read more from the Georgia Straight, HERE.

2 Responses to “News: B.C. Government Slashes Arts Funding”

  1. Gabby says:

    This is really interesting, Andrea, and something I hadn’t heard about yet. I suspect, though I’m not positive, that the funding for arts and culture tied to the 2010 Games is separate from the provincial funding. I remember as early as 2006 hearing about grants that would be given out to support cultural events during the Olympics, so I think that might be a separate fund entirely.

    There’s a list of arts and cultural events tied to the “Cultural Olympiad” here: http://www.vancouver2010.com/en/culture-and-education/cultural-festival-and-events/event-listings/-/34048/o9mtml/index.html

  2. Andrea says:

    From the Department of Culture, an artists group established in reaction to Harper’s cuts to the arts:


    The provincial Liberal government in B.C. just released a pre-election budget that cuts arts funding by 50%, reducing it instantly to 1980s levels. 25 years of regression in a single budget!

    Hmm, arbitrary cuts to arts in the lead up to an election. Artists begin to mobilize with creative modes of protest that take advantage of the internet. Is this happening again already? Looks like it.


    Tourism, Culture and the Arts Minister Bill Bennett:

    Finance Minister Colin Hansen

    Premier Gordon Campbell
    Via email – premier@gov.bc.ca.

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