Union Budget on Culture |  Rain…temporary relief measures

The new federal budget supports several sectors and festivals in the cultural sector, but on a temporary basis, including the Union of Artists (UDA), Regroupement des events Majors Internationales (REMI), Festivals and Major Events Canada (FAME) and the Council Quebec Théâtre (CQT).

Some of the measures were announced a few months ago, such as Telefilm giving Canada 100 million over two years from 2024-2025. Significant support allows Canadian industry to fund 40 to 60 products annually.

“This support for Telefilm Canada is sure to give oxygen to an industry going through a particularly difficult period due to the strong presence of the streaming giants,” Tania Kontoianni, president of UDA, told us. But if it doesn't happen again, it will be bad news in two years.

Another move announced ahead of the Juno Awards: a $32 million payment to the Canada Music Fund over two years from 2024-2025. An activity that will particularly please members of the professional association of event presenters RIDEAU.

Photo by Patrick Doyle, Reuters

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland tabled her budget in Parliament on Tuesday

The government has announced an additional 31 million in aid over two years (15.5 million per year) to “fuel the vibrancy of festivals and performing arts”.

This amount is added to the 32.5 million annual fixed aid shared by more than 600 festivals, but also broadcasters and programmers (48 million in total annually). Instead REMI demanded 61.5 million as an annuity.

This is a grant made to the Canada Arts Grants Fund (FCPA) that has been awaited by the festival community. Tohu is noted for supporting Festival Montreal Complement Cirque (MCC), Festival Transamericas (FTA) Dance and Theater and Vancouver Fringe Festival (VFF).

Two important events receive significant additional support. The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) alone will receive $23 million over three years starting in 2024-25, while the Shaw Festival Theater in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario will receive $15 million in 2024-2025. This fund will make it possible to support his campaign All. Together. Now.

“We must fight back”

In a press release issued Tuesday evening, REMI and FAME said they were “somewhat relieved” by the announcement, but regretted that the amount had not yet been integrated into the FCPA budget.

“By acting in this way, the federal government condemns the Department of Culture to a permanent delegation to renew the sums annually,” writes Martin Roy, who heads both institutions and expects $14 million a year.

“We understand this decision as much as the Canadian Heritage Minister [Pascale St-Onge] He acknowledged in a letter that the uncertainty is related to the renewal of temporary funding […] This adds to the enormous financial pressures the sector is experiencing due to rising costs associated with inflation and labor shortages,” adds Martin Roy.

Same story with RIDEAU, which welcomes the new funding allocated to the Canada Arts Endowment Fund, but regrets that the amount is not integrated into the government's budget base. “Once again, we only have two years,” says RIDEAU's general director, Julie-Anne Richard. After that, we have to fight again…”

Of note, two of the country's major institutions are receiving a boost from Ottawa: CBC/Radio-Canada will receive a budget of $42 million in 2024-2025 to fund its current affairs and entertainment programs, while Ottawa's Center for the National Arts (CNA) will receive $45 million over three years starting in 2025-2026. will receive

But the elephant in the room — and the big elephant that's not in the budget — is funding from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA), which supports almost every aspect of the arts, from performing arts to visual arts to audiovisual projects. In a letter to the arts community last February, its general director announced that the CAC's budget would be cut by nearly $21 million over the next three years.

“We're happy for the FTA and all the festivals,” says Michelle Parent, co-president of CQT, “but with the cuts already announced to the Canada Council for the Arts, we don't have the feeling that we were asked. Even in Quebec we're still in a situation of collapse with all the arts councils. »

Photo courtesy of UDA

Tania Gondoyani, president of the Quebec Artists Association

It takes permanent solutions. For now, we apply bandages to wounds that start deep. So, because of this money leakage, we have to continue to discuss with the government to put fresh money into our industry.

Tania Kontoyani, president of the Quebec Artists Association

Other measures seen in Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland's budget include Public Affairs Channel (CPAC), Aboriginal People's Television Network (APTN), Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) , Ici Télévision and cable channels TV5 will receive 15 million over two years from 2024-2025. The local press receives 58.8 million in aid over the three years from 2024-2025. and the Canadian book industry, 10 million over three years.

Last element: The Trudeau government wants to ensure that ticket prices for concerts and sporting events are fair and accessible.

Even though Quebec's Ministry of Culture and Communications has already forced MP Karian Bourassa to address the resale of tickets at astronomical prices, the federal government announces that it will “cooperate with the provinces to adopt best practices for ticket sales.” .

The Center reiterates the importance of the Competition Bureau and its importance Competition Act To ensure transparency of transactions, protection of consumers against unexpected or excessive charges, refunds in case of cancellations or penalties of resellers.

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