If you make a living in the arts and culture sector, are attempting to make a living in this sector, or even if you simply enjoy and value having an arts-rich community, then you need to pay attention to the following.
Nova Scotia’s provincial government is conducting a series of public meetings throughout the province designed to get feedback from people who have a stake in public support for the arts. The goal is to have everyone’s feedback eventually shape the decisions the government makes about how it supports the arts, both in terms of how much funding is allocated and the structure.
In a recent announcement, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage Percy Paris called on as many Nova Scotians as possible to attend these consultations. “We are looking forward to hearing from a broad range of stakeholders in the arts and culture sector who represent the diversity of Nova Scotia. Genuine leadership is only possible when all points of view are considered,” said Mr. Paris.
There are five key questions that the government hopes to get feedback on, centered on what citizens think of the government’s current system of arts support, how the relationship between the government and arts sector and community should be structured, what people would like to see for the future, and how we can all take steps to get there.
What makes this process particularly important is that ever since the NDP won power in 2009, they’ve indicated that one of their main priorities is going to be balancing the budget and eliminating the province’s deficit by 2013. What this means is that policymakers are going to be thinking very carefully what its priorities are when it comes to making decisions about what continues to get funding, and where funding will get cut.
The consultation organizers prepared a discussion guide in both English and French that is intended as a backgrounder on how exactly the government provides support on the arts, where it spends money, and the different strategies and policy tools it has for reducing the deficit while protecting key services. It’s recommended that participants review this 7-page document so that everyone can partake from a more informed viewpoint.
Two in-person consultations will take place in Cape Breton on Tuesday, October 5 from 1:30 – 4 pm at the St. Ann’s Gaelic College of Celtic Arts & Crafts and from 7:00pm to 9:30pm at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre. If you’re unable to attend this session, you have until October 12 to complete the online survey, or provide feedback via mail or fax. For more information on this series of consultations, visit http://www.gov.ns.ca/tch/culture-consultation.asp” target=”_blank”