TIME SENSITIVE!!!! Advocating for the Arts

TIME SENSITIVE!!!! Advocating for the Arts:

As you know, last fall the provincial government significantly cut funding to the arts and other non-profit sectors across BC. Like thousands of other BC organizations (Emerald Pig included), the Arts Council and other Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows community organizations have been affected by these cuts.

There is some good news. In response to the province wide lobby campaign to restore funding to the arts sector, the Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services has recommended to the British Columbia Cabinet that funding levels to the arts be restored to the 2008 -2009 levels.

But… this recommendation must now be accepted by the Cabinet and this recommendation is not assured. So the next vital step of the provincial lobbying campaign is to convince the Cabinet to accept the recommendations of their own committee.

Now is the time to act. And to act immediately, as the government’s new budget is now being finalized and will be announced on March 2.

If you haven’t already, here is what you can do immediately to help. And it is very easy.

Simply click the link below and send an email letter automatically to Premier Gordon Campbell, Kevin Krueger, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, Rich Coleman, Minister of Housing and Social Development, Colin Hansen, Minister of Finance, and by menu selection to your MLA.


Urge the government to accept the unanimous recommendations of his Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services to restore provincial arts funding in BC to 2008-2009 levels (and forestall potential cuts of up to 90% in coming years). Ask them to:

· Return the BC Arts Council Funding and the Direct Access gaming grants to 2008-09 levels;

· Restore the one-year funding commitments to arts and cultural organizations through the Gaming and Policy Enforcement Branch at the Ministry of Housing and Social Development (rescinded this year);

· Maintain the multi-year funding program beyond the current three-year commitments;

· Preserve the BC Arts Council’s arms-length relationship with the province by funding through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture & the Arts (not from gambling revenues).

Thank you for taking the time to do this. The government won’t listen to just artists and arts organizations, but they will listen to you the voter.

Please also check out the BCTC Meaningful Arts Experience survey at http://tiny.cc/BCEXP - a great place to share your personal experiences.

And if you have a little more time visit the Alliance for Arts and Culture site http://allianceforarts.com/ , which has an online petition as well as many media articles, plus there’s even more information on the Culture Counts link.

Please circulate widely. Cross posting encouraged!

Thank you for your participation,

MRPM Arts Council Board of Directors
Lindy Sisson, Executive Director
The ACT Arts Centre & Theatre
Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Arts Council
Direct: (604) 476-2780

You can also PHONE your MLA: You can find your MLA's phone number in Victoria as well as his/her address and constituency office phone number and address atwww.leg.bc.ca/mla/3-1-1.htm

You may also wish to contact:
Premier Gordon Campbell
Victoria: 250-387-1715
Vancouver: 604-660-3202
Kevin Krueger, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts
Victoria: 250-953-4246
Kamloops: 250-314-6031
Toll free: 1-888-299-0805
Colin Hansen, Minister of Finance
Victoria: 250-387-3751
Vancouver: 604-664-0748
Rich Coleman, Minister for Housing and Social Assistance (Gaming is in his portfolio)
Victoria: 250-356-7750
Langley: 604-882-3151

Carole James, Leader of the Opposition
Victoria: 250-952-4211
Toll free: 1-888-868-3637
Spencer Herbert, Critic for Tourism, Culture and the Arts (and recipient of 2 Jessie Richardson awards!)
Vancouver: 604-660-7307
Toll free: 1-888-868-3637


TheatreBC President: Ray Mordan

street: 25 Victoria Rd., Nanaimo, BC V9R 4N9  mail: PO Box 2031, Nanaimo, BC   V9R 6X6  phone/fax: 250.714.0203 web: www.theatrebc.org general email: info@theatrebc.org


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