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Creativity Counts

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Monthly Archives: November 2009

© Wayne

Vancouver artists and arts supporters took a metaphorical Wrecking Ball to the BC government’s devastating cuts to arts funding at the Vogue Theatre the night of November 23 in an evening of satirical protest, and the Alliance for Arts and Culture took the opportunity to introduce a province-wide campaign, Creativity Counts: Restore Arts Funding Now, as its contribution to the groundswell of arts community protests against the devastating cuts in provincial arts funding this past fall.

This site is a toolkit for community and individual protest.

To begin letting Gordon Campbell and his government know that you expect arts funding to be restored immediately to 2008/2009 levels:

1) Follow the “Make Your Voice Heard” link to your right and send an email protest to the premier, finance and arts and culture ministers and your own MLA;

2) Review the four components under “The Advocacy Toolkit” and adapt them for your own personal or organization protest;

3) Volunteer to distribute “Creativity Counts: Restore Arts Funding Now” buttons, postcards and bookmarks at local arts venues and collect donations to the Alliance Advocacy Fund. Email Alliance director of communications Kevin Dale McKeown at to express your interest, and he will get back to you.

4) Contact Kevin to inquire about receiving templates of those buttons, postcards and bookmarks that you can adapt for your own community use;

5) Consider featuring the Creativity Counts logo (design courtesy of our friends at Hamazki Wong Marketing Group) as a hotlink button on your own website and social media pages. Email Kevin and he will provide you with the button’s html code and some accompanying text.

6) Donate to the Alliance’s Advocacy Fund. Buttons and postcards and bookmarks all cost money. Your support will keep this campaign going. There is a PayPal account for this purpose, or you can send a cheque payable to the Alliance for Arts and Culture to 100 – 938 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1N9 (note “Advocacy” in the memo line).

What do we hope to achieve with your help?

We have only a few more weeks in which to influence discussions and decisions around the budget that will be brought down in early March. A relentless drumbeat of protest, letters, emails and community-based activism will ensure that the decision makers in Victoria hear our message loud and clear right up to the last moment.

Creativity Counts.

Restore Arts Funding Now.


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Vogue Theatre
918 Granville Street
Mon. Nov. 23, 2009

By donation

Canada’s leading Theatre Artists take on the BC government from Coast to Coast

Vancouver’s theatre community joins actors, directors and designers from across the country in creative and satirical protest to the BC government’s mind-boggling and short-sighted plan to slash 90% of cultural funding, which will make it the only jurisdiction in Canada not to invest in culture.

In 2008, during the federal election, Wrecking Ball events across Canada helped turn the tide of public opinion against the Harper governments planned culture cuts, and prevented a Harper majority.

This time, events across Canada throughout the month of November will highlight the devastating arts cuts announced by the BC government in their September budget update. Vancouver’s Wrecking Ball features some of Canada’s most nationally and internationally recognized actors and directors, including multiple award-winning actor/playwrights Daniel MacIvor and Linda Griffiths, Leacock-winning writer Mark Leiren Young, and Alcan Award winner Carmen Aguirre.

Original member of the Nylons and BC Walk of Fame member Denis Simpson will host.

Margaret Atwood asks, “What is it that power-hungry politicians want from BC artists? Control over the story through the annihilation of the former story-tellers? Is this the agenda behind the decapitation of arts funding in British Columbia, while mega-millions are poured into the Olympics? The BC arts community will retaliate, of course. Over the past 50 years they’ve put BC on the map.”

“It won’t just be a protest,” adds Wrecking Ball Spokesperson Adrienne Wong. “It’ll be a night to laugh and celebrate what we know – that British Columbians care about culture.

“And it’s not just arts and culture,” Wong adds. “Cuts to Gaming investments in many sectors indicate to us that this government is looking for ways to subsidize its corporate welfare, low-tax environment on the backs of civil society organizations that provide essential services to British Columbians. It seems that they don’t think much of places culture and sport and places where people come together for reasons other than profit. They call it a frill. We call it democracy.”

Click here for further details.

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People come to BC not just because of the pretty mountains. They come here because they expect a place where society is both different and better. Haven’t you noticed that when you say ‘Vancouver’ to people, their eyes light up? For foolish short-term reasons we’re killing that light, and all the money in the world can’t buy it back once it’s gone. We become a parking lot with mountains and it doesn’t have to happen.

British Columbians and Canadians speak out
against the BC arts cuts here

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Dear Friends of the Arts,

You may have already received this email but it is imperative that we get this message out to as many supporters as possible. Please forward to family and friends.

As you know, the arts across British Columbia have suffered extreme funding cuts from the BC government. While difficult to gauge exactly, the best reading of the situation tells us that potentially the arts will suffer an 85% – 90% cut over two years. This is the result of extreme cuts to the British Columbia Arts Council as well as gaming fund cuts.

We must send a message to the government that these cuts are massive, destructive, out of proportion and unacceptable. The government must hear from YOU: consumers of culture, donors, and concerned citizens.

Please follow the link to send a clear message – easily! Your message WILL BE SENT AUTOMATICALLY to Premier Gordon Campbell, Kevin Krueger, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, Rich Coleman, Minister of Housing and Social Development, Colin Hansen, Minister of Finance, and your MLA.

Speak Out About BC Arts Cuts | Alliance For Arts and Culture

We must have a groundswell of opposition to these drastic cuts in arts and culture funding; please do your part to preserve BC’s strong cultural and arts environment.

Many thanks.

James W. Wright
General Director, Vancouver Opera

theleftcoast blog

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Dear Friend of the Arts,

As you may know, the arts and cultural community in BC is under siege. Organizations large and small are affected.

Here at the Arts Club Theatre Company we feel very strongly that a healthy community has at its core a diverse and engaged arts sector. Presently, that very core is severely threatened. As we have come to understand, the arts will potentially suffer a 90% cut over two years through massive reductions to the BC Arts Council and gaming funds, at a time when no other province has contemplated such a threatening action to the arts sector.

It is critical that we send a message to the provincial government that these cuts are massive, destructive, out of proportion, and unacceptable. It is important that the government hears from you: consumers of culture, donors, and concerned citizens. Please follow the link to easily send a clear message!


Your message will be sent automatically to Premier Gordon Campbell; Kevin Krueger, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts; Rich Coleman, Minister of Housing and Social Development; Colin Hansen, Minister of Finance; and your MLA.

We must have a groundswell of opposition to these drastic cuts in arts and culture funding; please do your part to preserve BC’s strong cultural and arts environment. Thank you.


Bill Millerd
Artistic Managing Director

Howard R Jang
Executive Director

Arts Club Theatre Blog

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Thanks to a big community of flickr photographers and several BC artists (listed below) who contributed their time, images and music to this video.

Please share it widely and spread the word.

Featured photography: Russ Beinder, Jeremy Crowle, Jurek Durczak, Derek von Essen, Dan Fairchild, Electric Company Theatre, Jonathon Evans, Gale Franey, John Goldsmith, Ivan Grabovac, hundrednorth, Ahmad & Graça Kavousian, Peter Kim, Mark Klotz, Kris Krug, Joao Marcelino, Jenn Perutka, Philip, Tony Puerzer, Philippe Sokazo, Susannah Steers, Peter Suk Sin Chan, Vancouver Opera.

Time Lapse sequence (moving): David Suggitt; Time Lapse sequence (still): Tim Matheson; Video clips of rally: Paul Bennett; Audio clips: Keith Higgins.

Producer: Kevin Teichroeb
Editor: Jenn Strom
Composer: Christian Prohom.

If you would like to speak out, follow this link to an easy webform where you can write in support of BC arts.

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