Friday, March 20, 2009

SAA Bulletin

March 18, 2009

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2009 – 2010 Provincial Budget

Honourable Rod Gantefoer, Minister of Finance, delivered the 2009 – 2010 provincial budget today.

Although there was no mention of arts or culture in the budget address, the Budget Summary noted that Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport would "continue the progress being made on the province’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Sector Development Plan, to improve economic growth, increase quality of life and build pride in Saskatchewan".

This year a new program, the Active Families Benefit, will be implemented where parents of children aged 6 to 14 years who participate in cultural, recreational and sport activities could receive a benefit of up to $150 per child per taxation year. Government estimates costs to this program will be $18 million.

The Ministry of TPCS showed slight increases in several line items including the Saskatchewan Arts Board which received an additional $244,000. The Community Initiatives Fund saw a $1.1 million increase, and the Building Communities infrastructure program was decreased by almost $21 million.

Support for Arts and Cultural Organizations, which was added last year in order for the Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport to have a bigger role in determining how funding is allocated, was combined with the Cultural Industries Development line for a total of $4.5 million. Of that amount, $1.5 million will go to the Saskatchewan Arts Board for support of the creative industries and $800,000 for the Culture on the Go program. Other expenditures are not known to us at this time, although the Building Pride program may be funded through this line item as well.

Following are excerpts from the Tourism, Parks, Culture, and Sport Estimates. Links to budget documents can be found at http://www.finance.gov.sk.ca/budget2009-10/

Arts Related Estimates with Comparison to 2008-09 Estimates (in thousands of dollars)

Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport Estimates 2009-102008-09 Culture Culture Operations Support1,037937 Saskatchewan Arts Board6,3386,094 Support for Provincial Arts and Cultural Organizations4,5004,200Cultural Industries Development--300SaskFILM1,0831,041 Film Employment Tax Credit8,2008,200Conexus Arts Centre446429Active Families Benefit18,000 -- Heritage Heritage Operations Support1,2601,210 Royal Saskatchewan Museum2,1182,028 Western Development Museum3,9993,845 Wanuskewin Heritage Park602579 Saskatchewan Science Centre578556 Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation289278 Saskatchewan Archives Board4,1673,988 Community Initiatives Fund10,4519,339 Other Saskatchewan Communications Network6,2675,997 Building Communities Fund16,49337,391