Friday, January 26, 2007

The Canada Council is extremely late


I don't know what the temperature is where you are. But here in Montreal, it is pretty much the middle of winter. On this page about the John Hobday Awards in Arts Management The Canada Council for the Arts clearly says 'Information on the award criteria and how to apply will be posted on this page in the fall of 2006.' I wonder what time warp Janet Riedel Pigott fell into?

And then while I'm writing about Canada Council prizes, over on this page, they give an overview of something called 'Petro-Canada Award in New Media.' Apparently it tosses off $10,000 every three years. No, I had not heard of it either.

I went looking for who the previous prize winners were and guess what, it appears that it hasn't been given to anyone since 1998 - for the math challenged among us, that is nine (9) years! Then if you read the press release for the last winnner (Thecla Schiphorst) they talk about giving it out every two years, And back when they started they were giving it out every year.

It looks to me, like they ran out of money or something. If we take them at face value, the Canada Council likes to give away about 2% of an endowment as prize money - which would mean that Petro Canada gave the Council something like $150,000 in order to fund the prize. Or was this a case of Petro-Canada giving the Council $60,000? And after six prizes were given out there is no money left?

Back when they announced the John Hobday prize in Arts Management, I questioned how and who was responsible for managing the endowment. I currently don't have the time (or the knowledge) on how to find out the who, the what and the where about the money management at the Canada Council, but from this cursory glance it looks sort of sketchy.

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