Monday, May 23, 2011

Conservative Government and Art

Since the newest election results, many artists across the country have voiced their concern over their fears that the arts will be cut in government funding once again. I have read over and over again the accusations that the conservative government doesn't appreciate culture, or that this the road to a lesser democracy comparing Harper to being a philistine. Apparently the $45 million cut a few years ago impacts the average artist making a mere $23,000 annually.

Here's my deduction. Harper is continually attempting to bring Canada out of a deep deficit initialized by it's former left wing parties. The cuts to the arts are in my understanding, to organizations that didn't generate much revenue for the country. Canada is still the only country in the world to have, by law, an artists minimum fee, paid to the artist by museums and public galleries just for showing their work. If the majority of Canadian's believed that Harper did not appreciate culture, then perhaps the recent election results would be different. I consider Canada to be a fair and extremely, culturally tolerant society. With that in mind, all cultures residing here voted toward a conservative government, showing their support for a culturally minded individual who happened to have had to make a choice in government funding cutbacks. This was a financial decision - not a cultural one.

As for the average artists income - are they blaming the government for that - really? Seriously, if those artists think their not making enough money perhaps it's time to pull up their pants, and re-evaluate their work and business practices.

And that's my opinion. Who knew I could be so politically opinionated?


m.a.tateishi said...

It's probably not a popular opinion, but as a fellow artist, I do think that there are things more important for a federal budget than supporting the arts. Like health care and education.
Too often there's a disconnect between artists and the public and a feeling of entitlement or superiority on our part is not going to help that.

Crystal Rassi said...

Thanks for your comment tateishi. It not always easy not to share popular opinions, I know. As you may have noticed, I too am an artist, and I too feel the same as you. And we should feel proud and privileged to be able to live in Canada and express our differences of opinions.

I think when we do express our opinions, we need to look under the surface of the issue but many people do not do that and assume that things like budget cuts in the arts happen because the government "doesn't like art" or "is a break down in democracy"....I find these opinions to be trite and not well supported.

Anyway - glad someone agrees.