Friday, February 04, 2005

National Consultations with Visual Artists - updated


I just got this nice little email from the Canada Council for the Arts saying that they had figured something out. For those of you with memories worse than mine, The Canada Council announced way back when that they needed to change the way in which they gave away cash to visual artists for a number of reasons.

I was all in favor of the proposed changes, and I wrote about them here, here and here, and in other places as well.

I got the distinct impression that I was in the minority.

Well, they have published what they call the Secretary Reports from Consultations, and while I haven't had a chance but to scan them, they look pretty darn cool.

One thing that jumped out at me was the following. These are the attendance figure from their various consultations with artists across the country:

Vancouver - 25
Edmonton - 3
Calgary - 20
Saskatoon - N/A
Regina - N/A
Winnipeg - 20
Toronto - 15
Ottawa - 22
Montreal - 115
Quebec City - 70
Halifax - 30
Moncton - 20
St John’s - 25

Once again, I point out for your enjoyment, Quebec is different, very different. Go read the reports for yourself, ok?

Late Addition: I just finished reading all 13 reports. And the absolute bestest one was from Moncton
A group of 20 mostly mid-career and established artists seemed unconvinced by the consultation process and raised many concerns about changes to the program. A number of younger artists (met after the formal session) expressed agreement in principle with the proposed changes.
Or to spell it out for the dense folk, the people already recieving cold hard cash from the council don't want changes, 'cuz it might make it more difficult for them to make their score. The people who haven't been able to access the cash like the proposed changes, 'cuz it means that they might be able to ride that governement gravy train.

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