Good News for Festivals and Arts Presenters in Federal Budget

Good news for festivals and arts presenters as the Federal Government announced that the Canada Arts Presentation Fund budget will be increased by $16 million over two years, and the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage Program and the Celebration and Commemoration Program will be increased by $24 million over two years to support more festivals, large-scale and community-based celebrations and commemoration initiatives.

The Student Work Placement Program is being extended beyond STEM to include students in arts, humanities and social sciences, so they can find good work placements and get the experience they need. The budget targets the creation of 84,000 new student work placements per year across Canada in five years’ time.

The Canada Music Fund – while not a program members can directly access – will also be increased by $20 million over two years, helping foster the talent of the diverse artists that are presented at our events.

With regard to rising festival security cost concerns, it is a positive sign that the Security Infrastructure Program will be doubled from $2 million per year to $4 million per year until 2021-22, in order to make Canada’s community gathering spaces safer to live, work, and play.

Over the last two years, the Ottawa Festival Network (OFN) has been part of the persistent advocacy in partnership with others organizations, presenters and artists from across the country.

“This is a good news story for Ottawa festivals, and the artists and performers that develop and share their talents on our dynamic stages,” said Carole Anne Piccinin, OFN Executive Director. “This increased investment by the Federal Government in festivals and presenters will enable us to make more substantial positive impacts on the economy and our quality of life. It creates more opportunities to present inspiring experiences, increases job creation and enables more students to gain valuable work experience in our industry, and supports the prosperity of Ottawa’s residents.”

We applaud the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism’s commitment to our sector. We commend the Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, for his recognition of the value of the festival industry and presenters. We appreciate Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale for valuing the importance of safe community spaces. We thank the Honourable Minister Melanie Joly for her support of the value of the visitor economy, and our industry’s vital role in tourism and cultural tourism.

We are pleased with this government’s support of the festival industry, and its commitment to growth.

More information: Budget: Part 2: Support for Diversity, Culture and the Arts