Category Archives: Advocacy tools
February 9, 2011 Hill Strategies: 49% increase in consumer spending on live performances between 2001 and 2008
February 9, 2011
- 3.5 times higher average spending on admission to museums and other heritage-related activities.
- Nearly three times higher average spending on art, antiques and decorative ware.
- Over 2.5 times higher average spending on books.
- Nearly 2.5 times higher average spending on movie theatre admissions.
- Over two times higher average spending on photographic goods and services.
- Over two times higher average spending on magazines and periodicals.
- Two times higher spending on newspapers.
- Customizing performing arts marketing messages for museum and art gallery visitors.
- Ensuring that performance information is available at museums, galleries, festivals, historic sites, and other cultural sites.
- Ensuring that brochures and other materials are available in libraries and at reading series.
- Presenting performances in museums, galleries or other cultural venues.
- Collaborating with other types of arts organizations, possibly through co-location, co-productions and shared creations.
- Hotels and other travel accommodations (nearly triple) and inter-city transportation (more than double).
- Financial services (over twice as much) and contributions to retirement savings and pension funds (nearly twice as much).
- Garden supplies (more than double).
- Restaurants (85% higher average spending on restaurant food and more than double the average spending on restaurant alcohol).
- Bicycles (more than double).
- Clothing (88% higher).
- Furniture (86% higher).
- Computer equipment and supplies (81% higher).
- Pet expenses (72% higher).
January 7, 2011 IT’S TIME TO GET POLITICAL: Let The Next Generation of Political Leaders Know What We Want
As three of British Columbia’s four main political parties begin their search for new leaders, it is time for the arts community to make clear what it expects from the next generation of political leadership.
The Liberals, the NDP and the Conservatives will be choosing new leaders in the coming months, and only the Green Party will be entering the next election campaign under familiar management. The recent past has been especially challenging for the arts community, and it is important that we make clear to all political parties that the status quo is not acceptable and that as a sector we have clear and reasonable expectations for the future.
Your Alliance has drafted an Open Letter to circulate to all leaders and leadership hopefuls. In it we outline four basic positions that the arts community wants to see included in any viable candidate’s arts policy platform, and ultimately in the election platform that their party runs on in the next election.
Our plan is to circulate this Open Letter early next week. Once we have had an opportunity to receive the leadership contenders’ responses to our four points we will “go public” with this letter in the form of a media release. This will include the responses we receive to the Open Letter and our thoughts on those responses.
We will then continue to persistently bring campaign conversations about arts funding and cultural policy development back to those four points, until we are satisfied that we know exactly where each candidate stands. And we will move into the upcoming provincial election knowing who we believe really supports our sector and who we feel is dealing in the platitudes and bromides we have become too familiar with. We will share that information widely and we will encourage our community to become active in supporting the candidate in their party of choice who is most clearly committed to those four policy points.
Before we take the next steps in this initiative we wanted to share this Open Letter draft with our community and get your feedback and suggestions. Email our director of communications at email@example.com with your thoughts on this Open Letter and the strategy we have developed for “getting political”.
The future of culture in our community depends on your wholehearted involvement.
Please sign both petitions – especially the first, if you live, work or have family in Vancouver:
- Petition to BC gov’t and Vancouver City Council to stand up for charities and non-profits
- Petition to restore gaming funding to charities and non-profits across the province
Please read BCACG’s
Open Letter to Minister Rich Coleman
For more detailed background information:
BCACG Brief on BC Gaming Legislation
At the Alliance for Arts and Culture’s Board Meeting on November 16 a resolution was passed to support the BC Association for Charitable Gaming’s Petition to the City of Vancouver to protect the charitable and non-profit sector in the City of Vancouver.
The request to expand the Edgewater Casino will come to City Council in the context of massively expanding gaming activity and increasing revenues to the province, at the expense of its commitments to charities and non-profits, including arts and cultural groups.
The resolution reads as follows:
Gambling in Canada was legalized for the purpose of benefiting sports, arts, and community charitable and non-profit purposes;
Benefits to charities and non-profits have been used as a justification for the expansion of gaming in British Columbia;
Support by charities and non-profits was critical to the success of the original grant of gambling license to Edgewater Casino, and the applicant at that time entered into undertakings to benefit the charitable sector in order to acquire its gambling license;
Edgewater Casino has not fulfilled its obligations under that original license;
The Province of British Columbia has failed to adhere to the spirit and the letter of its own Memorandum of Agreement with the BC Association for Charitable Gaming, committing it to allocating 33 percent of gaming revenues to charities and non-profits;
The provincial government has denied eligibility to arts organizations for gaming grants, which will have a direct loss to the Vancouver arts sector in excess of $4.5 million annually by 2012;
And Whereas this loss will directly cost jobs and severely and adversely affect Vancouver’s cultural life;
The Alliance for Arts and Culture endorses and fully supports the Petition of the BC Association for Charitable Gaming, asking the City of Vancouver to refuse any expansion of gambling until the Province of British Columbia honours its commitment to allocate 33 percent of net gaming revenues to charities and non-profits, or renegotiates that agreement in good faith;
I would like to encourage our members to pass similar resolutions at their own Boards and join the growing number of civil society organizations in the city in supporting this initiative.
On behalf of the BC Association for Charitable Gaming, which represents any of us who have ever received a Gaming Grant, I ask for the following:
I ask for all member organizations of the Alliance in the City of Vancouver to:
1. Put an equivalent motion forward to their boards, and notify us;
2. Write to Vancouver Council advising of the motion from this link: Blog | BC Association for Charitable Gaming ;
3. Disseminate the motion and the Open Letter to Coleman (LINK?) to memberships, asking for letters of support;
4. Ask members, audiences, and such groups as are thought to be appropriate, to please sign the online petition here: Petition to Vancouver City Council to Support Charities and Non-Profits – Signatures
The online petition is very important. Its success is having an impact.
I believe that supporting this initiative by the BCACG may be our best chance at achieving a resolution to this ongoing issue for civil society in BC, including arts and cultural organizations.
Amir Ali Alibhai
Alliance for Arts and Culture
Acclaimed American theatre director Peter Sellars on the argument for financing culture. This is an excerpt from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston lecture, “Cultural Leadership in Difficult Times (Fighting off a Depression) or the Economics of Transcendence” presented on February 4, 2009. Part of The Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Celebrity Lecture series.
British Columbia’s major arts organizations have joined forces in a mission to convince the BC government to show greater support for arts and culture.
The Assembly of BC Arts Councils, the BC Touring Council, the Vancouver-based Alliance for Arts and Culture, and the ProArt Alliance of Greater Victoria, through the “Creativity Counts” arts advocacy initiative, are recruiting “Community Arts Champions” in each of the province’s ridings to personally take the case for public investment to their local MLAs.
Collectively these organizations and their members represent thousands of artists and community arts groups.
Over the coming weeks, delegations representing community and professional arts organizations and their audiences, small business partners, volunteers, donors, and other supporters will convey to MLAs the benefits to society that a thriving cultural sector brings, and the vital role played by a long tradition of public support, ensuring accessibility for all British Columbians.
“Our goal with the Creativity Counts campaign and this Community Arts Champions initiative is to demonstrate the depth and reach of the arts sector in every community in BC,“ said Alliance for Arts and Culture executive director Amir Ali Alibhai in announcing the launch of the campaign.
“Our Community Arts Champions will seek to develop meaningful relationships with all MLAs from both political parties, and to demonstrate that public investment in the arts is crucial to the health of our communities everywhere in British Columbia,” Alibhai explained.
“Our creative sector, with the help of private and public investment, an independent jury process, as well as donor and volunteer commitment, has generated a cultural legacy that endures as a source of pride for all British Columbians. Now this legacy is seriously at risk,” noted Nelson-based BC Touring Council’s executive director Joanna Maratta in supporting the announcement.
“According to Statistics Canada, BC spends by far the least per capita on public investment for operating grants for arts organizations, compared to other provinces. After the recent cuts BC’s per capita investment in the arts is $6.54, while most recently available figure for the national average is $26.73.
“In most other jurisdictions, the tough economy has meant greater, not less, investment in community-based arts and culture spending. BC is one of the only jurisdictions where we are seeing severe cuts, and it just doesn’t make sense,” added Ms. Maratta.
Cuts to the arts have gone much deeper than cuts to other government services. Even though the province’s MLA’s on the Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services unanimously recommended restoring arts funding to 2008-09 levels in the lead-up to last March’s budget, this year:
• The BC Arts Council was initially cut 53 percent from 2008/09, though part of those funds were restored recently, for which the community is very grateful;
• BC Gaming Commission funds for the arts were cut 58 percent from 2008/09;
• A $10 million annual supplementary fund has been created, of which 30 percent went to “spirit festivals,” while traditional festivals are seeing their grants severely slashed, and the rest of the supplemental fund was spent on restoring much of the initial cuts to the Arts Council;
• Total government investment in culture, (including the newly announced $10 million annual supplementary fund) was reduced by 32.4 per cent from the 2008/09 budget.
“When we meet with our MLA’s, we will talk with them about the 3.5 million British Columbians who go, or take their children or grandchildren to a museum, a public gallery, children’s festival, a music festival or theatre production, or those who enjoy the great BC writers and BC books and publications, or whose children dream of a future as a performer,’ said ProArt Alliance advocacy coordinator Peter Sandmark from Victoria.
“If present trends continue, many of these opportunities will vanish, because these organizations will shut down or reduce programming to a minimum, only to be rebuilt when a government has the foresight to re-invest in this vital sector of our society, Mr. Sandmark concluded.”
Anyone interested in participating in the Creativity Counts Community Arts Champions initiative should contact the Alliance for Arts and Culture’s director of communications at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creativity Counts is an Alliance for Arts and Culture advocacy campaign with three goals:
• The soonest possible restoration of arts investment from all provincial government sources to the 2008/2009 levels;
• The ultimate increasing of stable, arms-length investment in the arts to at least the national average; and
• The development, by the cultural community, of a position paper to be presented to all political parties and stakeholders as a starting point for the creation of a comprehensive and sustainable arts funding policy for British Columbia.
You can use this form from greysquare.ca to submit a letter to Premier Campbell, Minister Rich Coleman, Minister Kevin Krueger, to your MLA, and to opposition MLAs Shane Simpson (critic for Ministry of Housing and Social Development, which includes gaming) and Spencer Herbert (critic for the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts) regarding the B.C. Liberals’ mismanagement of the Gaming Direct Access program. You can either use the letter as it is written here, or edit it to your liking before submitting.