Federal Budget 2022 Offers Some Arts Funding, But Important Programs Are About to End

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

Last Thursday, the Federal Government of Canada announced its Budget 2022, and within it, there was some significant news for the arts sector. Starting in 2022-23, $12.1 million will be provided to Ottawa’s National Arts Centre over two years to support the creation, co-production, promotion, and touring of productions with Canadian commercial and not-for-profit performing arts companies. This move would give valuable, and unusual, exposure to NAC productions outside of the national capital.

In response to the ongoing revenue losses experienced by Canadian arts, culture, and heritage organizations due to public health restrictions and capacity limits, the budget provides an additional $50 million starting in 2022-23 to the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, and Telefilm Canada. Presumably, these granting bodies will eventually announce how these extra funds will be distributed. 

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The budget also included $22.5 million over five years starting in 2022-23 to address historic inequities in funding levels for Indigenous and racialized arts training organizations with $5 million of that going directly to Canadian Heritage for the Canada Arts Training Fund.

The Budget also includes changes to the regulation of charities including changes to the disbursement quota from 3.5% to 5% which hopefully will inject more funds from major foundations. Also, there is a change to the rules relating to how Canadian charities can deal with non-qualified donees including non-profits that are not charities and foreign charities.

COVID Subsidies Ending May 7

Not specifically mentioned in Budget 2022 is the fact that the ongoing pandemic support many freelance artists and non-profit arts organizations have relied on over the past two years is set to end on May 7, 2022. Programs like the Canada Response Benefit (CRB) which was superseded in October 2021 by the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit were open to self-employed workers, including freelance artists, providing them with $300 per week. The Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HBRP) and the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP) which replaced the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to subsidize wages of employees are also ending on May 7. These programs were central to the survival of most performing arts organizations throughout the pandemic when they were required to shutter their stages. They will now have to reopen without this additional government support. Hopefully, audiences and donors will be there to pick up the slack.

Federal Budget 2022

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

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