For Ann Arbor, in Solidarity

From: Bernard Roddy (email suppressed)
Date: Sat Feb 10 2007 - 11:06:21 PST

As part of its recommendations in its pre-budget report The House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance in Canada writes that it believes:
  "the arts and cultural sector contributes to our productivity, to our national prosperity, and to our competitiveness in a number of way. The sector itself contributes to our Gross Domestic Product, and a vibrant arts and cultural sector fosters a sense of community and enhances our social and economic well-being as a nation. Moreover, we feel that a country that supports its arts and cultural sector may be viewed as a desirable location in which to undertake business investment and to which to emigrate."
  The Committee recommends that spending on the Canada Council for the Arts "should reach $300 million over two years."
  The Committee reports:
  "The Independent Media Arts Alliance noted that many arts groups and organizations locate in less expensive neighborhoods in Canadian cities, seeking affordable space in vacated, formerly industrial buildings. Often, however, these neighborhoods are revitalized and the arts groups - frequently the cause of the revitalization - are unable to afford the increases in their rent. Therefore, it was suggested that the federal government increase capital support for arts groups seeking to purchase their spaces and institute a program for guaranteeing mortgages for arts and cultural organizations. . . "
  Lukas Blakk at the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre sent out an email for Centre members that included an attached form letter to revise and send along to Canadian representatives, encouraging them to accept the proposed budget increases to the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Canadian Television Fund, and Telefilm Canada.
  Anyone who follows the comparable debate in the U.S. (such as the decision to cut public funding for the Ann Arbor Film Festival or the various efforts to cut funding to cable access television stations) will likely notice a disparity in common sense.

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