Thursday, March 20, 2008

News Release: Provincial Budget Leaves Arts Sector Wondering

March 20, 2008

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Members of the Saskatchewan arts community are expressing concerns about the Provincial Budget.

The budget raises some issues for the arts sector. Cutting the promised funding to address the priorities of the Music Industry Review and the Minister's Advisory Committee on Status of the Artist is a concern. As well, what has been offered to relieve the long-term pressures facing the arts community?

The budget indicates a significant change in how the arts are to be funded. Government has assumed responsibility for spending $4.2 million to support arts and cultural organizations, but how this will be done is unknown. The arts community has a well-respected and transparent process to adjudicate funding. Changes to the process without community consultation raise questions.

Says SAA President Kim Houghtaling, "The acknowledgement of the arts as being key to our quality of life is welcome news, but where are the funds provided to address the inflationary pressures faced by the sector? We are left wondering what kind of support we will have to build on and where it will be coming from."

Today’s budget is worrisome news and disappointing for many in the arts sector, particularly while the province is enjoying economic prosperity and overall government spending to this budget has increased significantly.

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For additional information:
Saskatchewan Arts Alliance
#205A 2314-11th Ave., Regina, SK. S4P 0K1
t. 306 780-9820 cell: 533-1527
www.artsalliance.sk.ca

Saskatchewan Arts Alliance, a non-partisan coalition of arts organizations provides a collective voice for the arts in Saskatchewan. SAA promotes the lively existence and continued growth of the arts and cultural industries in Saskatchewan. Established in 1984, the SAA advocates on issues such as public funding of the arts, freedom of expression, and artists’ working conditions.