Who is Kevin Krueger? And why does he think I’m happy?
Probably like you, I had no real idea who "Kevin Krueger":http://www.kevinkruegermla.bc.ca/EN/1196/ was until he was appointed Minister for "Tourism, Culture and the Arts":http://www.gov.bc.ca/tca/ (notice the psychologically revealing order they’re put in). A few minutes of research has revealed that Krueger, a former ICBC employee, has been an MLA since 1996 yet within a short period at his new Ministry he has shown a spectacular lack of political tact.
As reported by Plank on "Monday":http://www.plankmagazine.com/thots/bc-arts-community-faces-crisis-according-alliance, in forwarding a press release from the "Alliance for Arts and Culture":http://www.allianceforarts.com/ on the issue of cuts to arts funding, Krueger revealed in an "interview":http://www.scottwalker.ca/audio/Krueger-Walker.mp3 with Scott Walker of Victoria’s "ProArt Alliance":http://www.proartalliance.ca/ that the arts community was “unconcerned”. As quoted by the Alliance, he went on to make the following statement:
“I am not hearing complaints at all from the arts and cultural community. I think people are pretty happy with what we’ve done.”
In reading over Mr Krueger’s "biography":http://www.kevinkruegermla.bc.ca/index.php?section_id=1198, there is no mention of an interest or personal experience in either the arts or culture. Of course, these appointments are not made based on aptitude or interest. Ministries are simply positions of power which are ranked accordingly to the size of their budget or prestige. What the ministries do - who they serve - doesn’t actually matter. Alas, in the English speaking world, the Minister for Culture is usually at the bottom of the political heap, the ministerial equivalent of a participation badge.
For their part, the NDP have mended their ways by appointing Spencer Herbert as their Arts and Culture critic. Herbert is not only an artist but he is also bright and a rising star. In the interest of fair-play, we at Plank feel it is important that Mr Krueger be given the helping hand he is so clearly calling out for with his recent statement.
If you’re unhappy with the idea of a 40% cut in arts funding, then here are a few things you can do. You can write to Kevin directly at the following:
Victoria, BC V8V 1X4
Tel: (250) 356-6611
Fax: (250) 356-8294
Not sure what to say or looking for the facts to back up your argument, then read what "Amir Ali Alibhai":http://allianceforarts.com/blog/?p=285, Executive Director, Alliance for Arts & Culture had to say in his excellent and extensive letter to the Minister. Or read what Allyson McGrane and others have said in our "comments section":http://www.plankmagazine.com/thots/bc-arts-community-faces-crisis-according-alliance#comment-973 to Monday's posting.
If you're still into paper and ink, you can write to the Vancouver Sun:
or the Province
If you're serious about getting into print, then make sure you include all your relevant contact details.
You can also join the "Facebook Group":http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=103103702403 started by Plank reader Tanya.
And, if you're on Facebook or Twitter post a link to this page or change your status to show just how unhappy you really are!
And of course, you can always comment here or make other suggestions on how to spread the word.