Thursday, March 16, 2006

SAA Bulletin

March 2006

« Back

In this issue …
    2006 Arts Congress: Speaking Out
    Taxation Ruling: RWB v. Canada, 2004
    Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE)
    CCA Chalmers and National Policy Conferences
    Stats Canada: Profile of Selected Culture Industries in Ontario


2006 Arts Congress: Speaking Out
May 5th and 6th
The Refinery
609 Dufferin Ave., Saskatoon

Speaking Out – arts advocacy at the local level is the theme of the 2006 Arts Congress. Everyone interested in the arts is encouraged to attend, whether you are an artist, administrator, board member or patron. The Congress program includes a Primer on Arts Advocacy, a half-day session where we learn about the nuts and bolts of arts advocacy from successful advocates; the ever-popular Artist Stories; a panel presentation examining the considerations of decision-makers; and the launch of Celebrating Saskatchewan Artists, SAA's first ever published book written by Steven Ross Smith.

We are especially pleased to announce that the highly acclaimed actor R H Thomson will be the Congress keynote speaker. Thomson will speak about recalibrating the arts in the 21st century. Registration forms will be mailed out soon and also posted on the SAA website. Bursaries are available for professional artists to attend the Congress.

Taxation Ruling: RWB v. Canada, 2004
On March 2, 2006, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB), in its case against the Minister of National Revenue, stating that the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Dancers were contractual workers. RWB was appealing a decision of the Tax Court of Canada that three people, when engaged by the RWB as dancers during the period from January 1 to July 29, 2001, were employees of the RWB and not independent contractors. The ruling means that the RWB does not have any legal obligation, in relation to the dancers, to pay contributions under the Canada Pension Plan and premiums under the Employment Insurance Act. Likewise, as independent contractors, the dancers may claim tax relief for expenses reasonably incurred to earn their income. The ruling can be found at http://decisions.fca-caf.gc.ca.

Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE)
Some may be interested in the references to culture and creativity in the CCCE paper, From Bronze to Gold: A Blueprint for Canadian Leadership in a Transforming World, recently delivered to Members of Parliament to start a national debate about Canada’s economic future. CCCE proposes 10 steps to lead toward a creative economy, one of which gives a nod to the direct impact of cultural infrastructure on quality of life. CCCE also proposes "five creative leaps" for action over the longer term, including abolishment of taxes on creativity. The paper is at http://www.ceocouncil.ca/publications/

CCA Chalmers and National Policy Conferences
Delegates from across Canada recently met at the Canadian Conference of the Arts (CCA) Chalmers and National Policy Conferences to help formulate CCA's agenda for the new federal government. Following the conferences, the CCA Board of Governors met to develop an action plan, and has directed the secretariat to begin to plan for the next federal election, which many think will occur in the next 18 to 24 months.

The CCA Board also identified the forthcoming federal budget as the first and most important target. CCA will be seeking meetings with the Minister of Finance, Minister of National Revenue, President of the Treasury Board, Minister of Canadian Heritage, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the official opposition critics for each of these portfolios. The agenda for these meetings is to:
  • ask government to honour the commitments outlined in the November 23, 2005 announcement; this includes the progressive increase to the budget of the Canada Council for the Arts by $150 million over the next three fiscal years, as well as increases to the cultural funding programs in Foreign Affairs, the National Art Centre and national training institutions;
  • seek some movement on tax policy issues, including expanding the proposed tax credit for extracurricular physical activities to include arts activities, and a more equitable treatment of self-employed artists and arts professionals;
  • encourage the new government to proceed immediately with a new federal museums policy, which must provide a minimum of $75 million a year in new funds over three years to make it an effective tool.


Check out the conference resources, including a conference blog at http://www.ccarts.ca/en/events/.

Stats Canada: Profile of Selected Culture Industries in Ontario
Statistics Canada report, Profile of Selected Culture Industries in Ontario, produced for the Ontario Media Development Corporation, examines three culture industries in Ontario (publishing, sound recording, and film, video and audio-visual), analyzes recent trends in the supply of and demand for culture goods and services, and examines labour force trends and characteristics, and government spending on each selected industry. Go to http://www.statcan.ca to download a free copy.