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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 communications@allianceforarts.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.

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Recharge, Enter The Dialogue & Share!

The Alliance for Arts and Culture, with the support of 2010 Legacies Now and the City of Surrey, is pleased to present Arts Summit 2010, Thursday, June 24 and Friday, June 25 at Surrey’s Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre.

This beautiful new facility is 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver by Skytrain, one block from the Gateway Skytrainstation, at 13458 – 107A Street.

Register Now!

Check-in begins at 8 a.m. both days, with the first event at 9 a.m. Thursday’s reception ends at 6:30 p.m. and Friday’s events conclude at 5 p.m.

For the full Arts Summit 2010 schedule follow this link

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Despite the fact that funding was not restored to the BCAC and that further cuts have, in fact, been introduced by the provincial government, I believe that we have gained a great deal from our recent experience. We have made convincing and sound economic and social arguments for public investment in arts and culture, so that the Standing Committee on Finance made a unanimous recommendation to restore funding.

We have become a united sector and developed strong relationships with our audiences, communities,and other social service and business sectors. We have participated in a major world event that owed a lot of its success to our talented artists and arts and cultural organizations. The Arts and Culture expressed our unique identity to the world. Most importantly, we learned that British Columbians care deeply about art and culture.

Thanks for your support in our recent efforts and we invite you to continue to be engaged as we seek to raise awareness of the critical role of arts and culture in the life and future growth of this province and in our communities.

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