SAA Priorities

1. Lessen the Precarity of Artists and Cultural Workers

The pandemic has disproportionately impacted artists and cultural workers. Already facing precarity before the pandemic with a below average income, the loss of employment and total actual hours worked was particularly severe in the arts, entertainment and recreations sector.

For immediate relief:

  • Extend income support programs (CRB, CEWS, CERS) for up to three months beyond the full lifting of government-mandated restriction on gatherings or establish a new program to provide them with additional income.
  • Reform Employment Insurance in a way that ensures the Canadian social safety net provides more equitable protection for artists and cultural workers.

As a long-term measure:

  • impliment a guaranteed basic income for Canadian citizens.

2. Invest in Sector Specific Relief Programs

Recovery programs need to address lost employment, income and sponsorship dollars; accumulated deficits; audience reluctance to return to live events; and for artists, loss of technical proficiencies through disuse needs to be overcome. Recovery of losses needs to reverse the harm done by the pandemic.

The Relief Program should:

  • Have a rapid response element
  • Be available to all organizations including those that may not currently receive Canada Council or Canadian Heritage funding
  • Include operational and COVID-related costs as eligible expenses
  • Support longer-term resiliency planning and implementation
  • Support capital retrofitting projects to make live performance venues safe.

3. Commit to investing in the cultural sector and ensure the diversity of cultural expressions

  • Increase funding to the National Film Board / Canada Media Fund / Telefilm Canada / Canada Book Fund / Canada Music Fund / Canada Council for the Arts.
  • Establish targeted support for cultural infrastructure that is at risk of deterioration or closure for economic reasons
  • Provide compensation for loss of charitable income if philanthropic giving to culture decreases significantly
  • Invest in a program that supports artists and cultural leaders identifying as Indigenous, Black, racialized and members of equity-seeking groups. The investment should seek to increase inclusivity, accessibility, racial equity and cultural diversity.

4. Revision of the Broadcasting Act to:

  • Ensure that online broadcasting services operating in Canada contribute to the creation, production and dissemination of Canadian stories
  • Better protect and support creators
  • Regulate digital media and/or web giants

5.   Revision of the Copyright Act to:

  • Better protect copyright and Canadian creators, and increase revenues for rights holders.
  • Clarify the concept of fair dealing, including for educational purposes, as part of the revision of the Copyright Act to ensure fair compensation to Canadian creators and publishers by the education sector
  • Remedy the poor remuneration of music artists for streaming their music on YouTube and other platforms such as Spotify
  • Include an Artist’s Resale Right.