September 9, 2012
Sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hon. Bill Bennett, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
Please accept our congratulations on your appointment as Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. As advocates for arts and culture and artists in British Columbia, we are very interested in your opinions on funding for the arts and how that is administered. We would greatly appreciate your assistance in revealing the disposition of some $3.2 million (part of the Sport and Arts Legacy Fund) that was used by Minister Chong as a “discretionary” fund for supporting organizations of the ministry’s choosing. To date, we have not seen a complete accounting of how this money was distributed. You can find other information, correspondence, etc. on our website www.artsadvocacybc.ca.
We maintain that all funding for arts and culture should be managed and distributed through the British Columbia Arts Council.
As you know, the government of British Columbia has not adopted a cultural policy setting out guiding principles and positions on how government relates to arts and culture. You can find our draft cultural policy, plus additional comments here: http://www.artsadvocacybc.ca/a-cultural-policy-for-bc/
We also believe that cultural tourism is an important and substantial untapped resource in the province. Many studies have been done on cultural tourism, and many countries around the world are mining this resource, not only to the advantage of the usual tourist industries like hotels and restaurants but also to the increased benefits to artists of all disciplines. To be successful a vital cultural tourism industry would require substantial and stable funding for artists, arts organizations, and infrastructure throughout the province. This investment could reap substantial returns.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts on these matters, and we hope to engage in an ongoing dialogue.
Tom Durrie, executive director
Arts Advocacy British Columbia