April 2016

The members of the Visual Arts Alliance (VAA) met by teleconference on April 5th. They applauded the recent announcement to increase the Canada Council for the Arts’ parliamentary appropriation by $40M for the 2016-2017 year, and subsequent annual increases to reach a total of $360M by 2021. This increase is a most welcome investment in the arts in Canada. The Canada Council will distribute the new funds according the 2016-2021 strategic plan which will be announced in the third week of April.
The Visual Arts Alliance has reiterated its interest in the working group established last spring with the Research and Planning section of the Arts Policy branch at the Department of Canadian Heritage, to examine the following four points:
– Dissemination of the visual and media arts and contemporary craft by encouraging the expansion of the notion of ‘dissemination’ to include not only performing arts such as music, theatre and dance but also exhibitions and performance art and the growing need for cultural mediation, or art education;
– Translation/interpretation for individual artists, art publishers and organizations into both official languages, and Aboriginal and sign languages where applicable.
– Documentation and historical archiving of both material and intangible art forms as well as the preservation of institutional memory as part of Canadian Heritage;
– Acquisition and conservation of art works, both material, digital and intangible.

The Alliance is confident that the recently announced House of Commons Heritage committee survey of community and small museums will address some of the above concerns. The Alliance is also hoping the Department of Canadian Heritage will take this opportunity to better represent the visual and media arts and craft in its programs, for the benefit of the Canadian public at large.

In the coming months, a calendar listing the Visual Arts Alliance members’ main activities for the upcoming 150th anniversary will be posted on the website. Stay tuned for developments!