BC is a surreal place. Our food issues are handled by the ministry of healthy living and sport; our cultural interests are smothered by the skirts of tourism. This probably makes it easier to dismember funding, since the arts are so inextricably entwined with visits to the Ogopogo and whale watching.
I guess it’s easy to get confused about the relative value of something like the BC Arts Council, when having to weigh its funding against that of community torch relays and resort development. And as UK arts bodies have been finding out for some time, when the Olympics is on the horizon, a lot of money gets siphoned away.
Whether that’s what behind the 40% cuts to the BC Arts Council, it really beggars belief to hear the minister quoted as saying he thinks the arts community is happy with what he’s done. On the other hand, it’s an easy call to make if you don’t receive letters of complaint. If you’re in BC and you’re bothered by the cuts and the attitude, here are some suggestions from the Alliance for Arts and Culture on how to make your feelings known.