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Arts, Culture and Heritage Organizations Present Common Platform for Election 2011

Ottawa, ON (April 21, 2011) – Over 70 national, provincial and municipal cultural organizations from across the country have come together to sign a common platform in the context of the 2011 federal election, in which they ask federal parties to make more sustained commitments to Canadian arts, culture and heritage. This common platform, the first ever achieved by the sector, was established after a series of consultations and discussions led by the Canadian Conference of the Arts (CCA) over the past three months.

“The common platform presents a unique opportunity for our nation’s cultural sector to band together and present a strong united voice, “ said Alain Pineau, National Director, CCA. “Culture plays an important role in contributing to the Canadian economy and society as a whole, and it’s vital that this fact isn’t overlooked. Thus far, arts and culture has not been a priority for the party leaders, but we hope that this call to action will echo on the campaign trail.

The common platform covers four broad themes: investments in the production of Canadian cultural content in the context of a national economic strategy; investments in developing domestic and foreign markets; making arts and culture an integral component of Canadian foreign policy; and implementing the National Museum Policy that was originally conceived in 2005. More specifically, here are the priorities identified by the signatories:

1. Encourage the production of Canadian cultural content in the context of a national economic strategy through:

a. Increasing the budget of the Canada Council for the Arts to at least $300 million by 2015;

b. Modernizing the Copyright Act to ensure fair compensation for creators and other rights holders and to facilitate access of cultural works by Canadians without undermining existing rights;

c. Committing to increased and long-term funding for the CBC, the National Film Board, Telefilm Canada and various funds such as the Canada Media Fund, the Music Fund, the Book Fund, the Periodical Fund, etc.;

d. Making internet and wireless services providers contribute financially to the production of Canadian cultural programs;

e. Adopting tax measures to address the realities of self-employed artists and creators;

f. Adopting tax incentives to encourage arts philanthropy and private investments in arts and cultural industries.

2. Dedicate $40 million to increase access to Canadian artists and their works by Canadians and the international community.

3. Reintroduce arts and culture as a component of Canadian foreign policy.

4. Implement the National Museum Policy agreed to by all parties in 2005 with an injection of $50 million per year.

Click here to view the full version of the common platform with the signatories.

The Canadian Conference of the Arts (CCA) is a national forum for the arts, heritage and cultural community in Canada. It provides research, analysis and consultations on public policies affecting the arts and Canadian cultural institutions and industries. The CCA fosters informed public debate and seeks to advance the cultural life of Canadians.