Federal Budget: Recovery plan for arts and culture

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April 20 – Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland yesterday unveiled a federal budget providing for $1.9 billion (including approximately $900 million from 2021-2022) over five years to support the sectors of culture and tourism, which are still seriously suffering the consequences of the health measures implemented in the context of the pandemic.

Here are the main points regarding the recovery strategies in arts and culture.

Recovery Fund

The 2021 budget will provide $300 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to Canadian Heritage to set up a Recovery Fund for the arts, culture, heritage and sports sectors.

“To date, businesses and non-profit organizations in these sectors have received an estimated $15.4 billion in support to pay workers through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, support for rent and mortgages through the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, and Lockdown Support, as well as support for small businesses through the Canada Emergency Business Account.

“The government’s plan will support our economic recovery, restoring and creating jobs in these sectors, drawing visitors to towns and cities across the country, and unleashing spending that stimulates local economies.”

Tourism, Arts and Culture: Festivals

Regional development agencies will receive $200 million to support world-class festivals and Canadian Heritage will receive the same amount to support local festivals and cultural events, among others.

“To assist the sectors’ recovery, the government proposes to make available a further package of supports, totalling $1 billion over three years, starting in 2021-22.

“Budget 2021 proposes to invest $200 million through Canadian Heritage to support local festivals, community cultural events, outdoor theatre performances, heritage celebrations, local museums, amateur sport events, and more.”

Specific support for businesses and workers in the arts sector

“Before the pandemic began, an estimated 410,000 Canadians worked in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industries in February 2020, but that number fell drastically throughout the following year (Chart 6.1).”

Chart 6.1
Employment Change (%), February 2021 Compared to February 2020
Chart 6.1: Employment Change (%), February 2021 Compared to February 2020

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.

Here are the main targets of the $300 million two-year recovery plan, starting in 2021-22, for the arts, culture, heritage and sports sectors, as set out in the report.

Supporting Performing Arts and Community Events

To support performing arts festivals and community-based cultural events, celebrations, and commemorations that make our communities stronger:

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $49.6 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to Canadian Heritage for the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program ($14 million over two years, starting in 2022-23), the Canada Arts Presentation Fund ($16 million over two years, starting in 2022-23), and the Celebration and Commemoration Program ($19.6 million over three years, starting in 2021-22).

Supporting Musicians and Music Venues

To help Canadian musicians, concert venues, producers, and distributors:

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $70 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to Canadian Heritage for the Canada Music Fund. This includes up to $50 million in 2021-22 to help the live music sector, including music venues, weather the pandemic.

Making Cultural Spaces Safe During COVID-19

To help arts and heritage institutions upgrade their facilities to meet public health guidelines:

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $15 million in 2021-22 to Canadian Heritage for the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.

Supporting the National Arts Centre

The National Arts Centre (NAC) is Canada’s home for the performing arts. It is the largest bilingual performing arts centre in Canada and nurtures the next generation of artists and audiences. Because of COVID-19, cancelled performances and events have had a major impact on the NAC, resulting in significant revenue loss. The NAC plays a vital role in the career of many performing artists, singer-songwriters, dancers, playwrights, choreographers, actors, and directors from across the country.

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $17.2 million in 2021-22 to the National Arts Centre to address financial pressures caused by COVID-19 and to ensure the NAC will continue to support artists and celebrate Canadian culture.
  • Budget 2021 also proposes to provide $6 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to the National Arts Centre to support collaborations with equity deserving groups to help relaunch the performing arts sector.

Supporting Canadian TV and Film Productions through COVID-19

In September 2020, to support Canadian television and film productions interrupted by the pandemic, the government has announced a $50 million Short-Term Compensation Fund. 

In February 2021, the government extended the fund into 2021-22 and doubled the funding to up to $100 million so that, during the peak spring and summer production period this year, filmmakers and producers have access to this critical backstop that reduces the financial risk productions face amidst ongoing COVID-19 shutdowns.

The fund is administered by Telefilm Canada and will support the resilience of this important $9.3-billion industry and help maintain well over 150,000 jobs for the industry’s artists and workers.

Investing in Telefilm Canada

The shift to digital media is changing the landscape for Canadian film and television production and increasing global competition for online streaming content. To make sure Canadian film tells the story of all of Canada’s diverse peoples and reaches audiences all over the world:

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $105 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, for Telefilm Canada to modernize its current suite of programs to provide better access to a diverse range of creators and producers, support green practices, and respond to increasing digitization in the audiovisual industry.

Encouraging Diverse Voices in Canadian TV and Film

To provide opportunities for equity deserving creators to build skills and experience, and to support greater diversity in top-tier productions:

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $60 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to the Canada Media Fund to increase support for productions led by people from equity deserving groups working in the Canadian audiovisual industry.

Support for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation / Radio-Canada

Like many media organizations, during the pandemic the CBC/Radio-Canada has experienced declining advertising revenues that threaten its capacity to continue delivering public television and radio programs. To support Canada’s public broadcaster, the CBC/Radio-Canada, and ensure it can continue to report local and national news in both official languages:

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $21 million in 2021-22 as immediate operational support to the CBC/Radio-Canada. This funding will ensure its stability during the pandemic and enable it to continue providing news and entertainment programming that keeps Canadians informed.

https://www.budget.gc.ca/2021/report-rapport/p2-en.html#chap6

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

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