Thursday, April 6, 2006

Provincial Budget -- No Good News for the Arts Sector

SAA Bulletin - April 2006

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Hon. Andrew Thompson presented the 2005-06 Provincial Budget today. In a pre-budget briefing, Hon. Glenn Hagel, Minister of Culture, Youth and Recreation (CYR) spoke about government's key priorities of Building a Future for Our Young People Here and Healthy and Self-Reliant Families. Hagel also released CYR's updated Performance Plan which continues last year's strategic focus with key actions and performance measures further developed. Of interest is the acknowledgement that "sport, culture, physical activity and recreation are increasingly significant contributors to the growth of the Saskatchewan economy" (Goal 1, Objective 3).

In general, there is little change in the Culture, Youth and Recreation budget from last year's levels. There is no new funding for Heritage or Culture, including the Saskatchewan Arts Board, SaskFilm, or Cultural Industries Development; and the $8.53 million that was provided for the centennial in 2005 was removed. When taking into consideration increases to the cost of living, belts will need to be tightened even more.

Significant increases did go to:
  • Cultural Operations Support, which receives an additional $700,000 to assist in hosting the Juno Awards and Canadian Country Music Awards in Saskatchewan
  • SCN, which receives an additional $603,000 for regional content and capital needs.


Below are extracts taken from the Estimates. The complete budget can be found at www.gov.sk.ca/finance/budget/default.htm.

Arts Related Estimates With Comparison to 2005-06 Estimates (in thousands of dollars)
Culture, Youth and Recreation Estimates 2005-05 2006-07 Central Management and Services 6,8517,268 Culture Culture Operations Support711 1,502 Centennial 2005 Office 8,529 ---- Saskatchewan Arts Board 5,284 5,284 SaskFILM 900 900 Film Employment Tax Credit 8,900 8,900 Cultural Industries Development 300 300 Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts 425 425
Heritage Heritage Operations Support 1,319 1,222 Royal Saskatchewan Museum 1,733 1,842 Western Development Museum 2,820 2,615 Wanuskewin Heritage Park 500 500 Saskatchewan Science Centre 550 550 Saskatchewan Archives Board 3,372 3,372
Policy and Youth Youth Services 335 337 Youth Employment 2,419 2,419 Lottery and Community Initiatives Stewardship 346 353 Premier’s Voluntary Sector Initiative 175 177 Community Initiatives Fund 5,800 5,774
Other Saskatchewan Communications Network 5,137 5,898