Monday, October 26, 2009

A Message from the President

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Dear SAA Members,

Introducing Your New Sask Arts Alliance Board
First let me say how honoured I am to be the newly elected President of the SAA. I look forward, along with my fellow board members, to work on your behalf.

SAA's new board, which was elected at the Community Forum and AGM held in Saskatoon on Sept. 26th, has new faces around the table. A warm welcome goes to Tera Maguire and Karen Reynaud. You are welcome to get in touch with any of us through the year with questions, comments or concerns – and we hope you will.

Question From Forum About Funding
At the Community Forum portion of the meeting, you asked us to find out what happened to the $1.361 million allocated to Support for Provincial Arts and Cultural Organizations that was not spent in the 2008 – 09 fiscal year. Our Past President, Kim Houghtaling and Executive Director, Marnie Gladwell met with Hon. Dustin Duncan, Minister of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport. We were told that the programs were not developed in time for the money to be spent and so the money has been returned to the General Revenue Fund. (See below for more information on the budget).

The underspending, coupled with the impact the financial crisis is having on our revenue streams is very disheartening. Clearly there is more work to be done so that decision-makers understand the value of the arts and the situation of arts organizations.

At its September meeting, the Board agreed to dedicate funds to strengthen our advocacy work. I urge you, our members of the SAA, to participate in our efforts. In the past we have issued calls to action which are effective advocacy tools and we plan to continue these. Please respond to the calls – the more people heard from, the stronger our voice. We promise you, we will not ask for your time unless it is important and we believe it will help our larger strategic objectives.

Soon, Marnie will be sending out our first “Call to Action” with some information and suggestions as to how we can remind our elected officials of our value to their constituents. Time is of the essence. The provincial budget process is in its final stages where decisions are made about general revenue fund allocations.

Regards and thank you for your support,

Cynthia Dyck
SAA President


TPCS 08-09 Expenditures
According to the 08-09 actual expenditures of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport, the budgetary item Support for Provincial Arts and Cultural Organizations, which was combined with the Cultural Industries Development item, was underspent by $1.361 million.

Support for Provincial Arts and Cultural Organizations was added to the 08/09 budget in order for the Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport to have a bigger role in determining how funding is allocated. The line has been combined with the Cultural Industries Development line for a total of $4.5 million

Of that amount, transfers of $2.325 million went to the Saskatchewan Arts Board for support of programs including the creative industries and the Culture on the Go program. Other transfers included money to fund recipients of the Building Pride program (Regina Symphony Orchestra, Saskatchewan Music Festival Association).

For more information see the Ministry's 08-09 Annual Report.