All the results from the BC Arts Council are trickling in slowly this summer.
Massive cuts are being implemented for all operating clients and some are being cut completely.
However, what's really interesting is that our Province is promising additional funds for BC Arts Council operating clients through the 2010 Sports and Arts Legacy Fund.
You may have already seen it at the Wrecking Ball on November 23rd or through Facebook, but we thought we'd share with you the excellent PSA that was created in response to last summer's withdrawal of funding through Gaming and the proposed cuts to the BC Arts Council.
You can find the clip here.
Here's a little background on the film:
ARTLESS, an independently produced public service announcement about the arts funding cuts, was released online Tuesday November 24 as part of a campaign to protest the BC government's current and planned arts funding cuts. The ad, which imagines a grey artless world, is shot in some of Vancouver's most iconic artistic venues. This powerful visual statement is rapidly gaining attention. After its world premiere as a part of the Wrecking Ball Cabaret on Monday November 23, this PSA received over 1000 hits its first day on YouTube. ARTLESS is currently featured on the Facebook and Twitter pages of many of BC’s top entertainers, and is spreading fast to theatres, schools and TV stations. It can be seen at artlesspsa.wordpress.com
Vancouver filmmakers Kryshan Randel and Cara Yeates were assigned the theme "A World Without Art" by the Wrecking Ball Committee. Immediately, they had the ambitious idea of filming inside Vancouver's most important artistic venues, including the Orpheum, Fifth Avenue Cinemas and Grunt Gallery, emptying them of their art and replacing it with grey. To create further impact, the ad features twelve year old rising star Alex Ferris (RV, The Time Traveller’s Wife) wandering through the stark venues, trying to imagine what art looks like. His journey is accompanied by a haunting song, which was provided by a local elementary school choir.
The team consisting of Randel (Director/Co-writer), Yeates (Co-writer/Producer), Toby Gorman (Director of Photography) and Mathieu Wacowich (Co-Producer), was small but fearless. The shoot was a tremendous challenge; five locations photographed in one ten-hour filming day on Gorman's one day off from on-set work. "My guerrilla filmmaking background helped us make our day, but barely - it was the hardest thing I've ever done", says Randel.
But the hard work is already paying off. Alan Franey director of the Vancouver International Film Festival has committed to passing this PSA onto the festival’s contact list and screening it at the VanCity Theatre. ARTLESS will be soon featured on Novus Television and KVOS. And the message is being delivered to schools across BC. Every hour Randel and Yeates are updated of more good news in regards to its exposure.
The team of working artists are dedicated to this cause. Randel’s short drama GLIMPSE recently won the NSI Short Filmmakers Award. GLIMPSE was funded by the Kick Start program, which has recently been cancelled due to the funding cuts. Also, Randel’s short horror film JACK won four awards including the Grand Jury Prize at the Bloodshots Film Festival. Yeates just finished a whirlwind international tour with her one woman plays SOME RECKLESS ABANDON. Her work has been supported by the BC Arts Council in the past and she’s hoping to get funding for her latest project. Cara was just awarded the first ever Joanna Marratta award for artistic achievement and community leadership at the Vancouver Fringe.
At the moment, all of Randel and Yeates’ energies are concentrated on getting the PSA screened everywhere they can. Yeates notes “as artists we are fighting these cuts the best way we know how, through our art.”
The following written submission was delivered in person by Norman Armour, Executive Director of the PuSh Festival, to Kevin Krueger, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts for The Province of British Columbia at a roundtable session held October 15.
Guess what y'all?
When Kim Cattrall received her Star on Canada's Walk of Fame this week, she questioned BC's provincial arts cuts.
She noted that she got her start as an actor right here in Comox, BC and that without such provincial funding for the arts, she would not be where she is today.
Apparently Minister Krueger didn't hear about this (even though it was reported and all over Facebook). His reply yesterday when questioned about a response to Kim Cattrall's comment was: "I didn't hear about that. But I don't know how much she would know about all this. She isn't living in the province."
Hmm, so now you have to be living in BC in order to know that the provincial government is seriously slashing arts funding? Or maybe you just can't be an artist because you couldn't possibly understand that the BC Liberals are truly giving lots of money to the arts and we just don't get it? According to Minister Krueger, the media is sorely mistaken and the BC Liberals are giving MORE money to the arts this year as compared to last year. Even though the gaming funding has been cut for many arts groups by 100%.
Perhaps the truth is what we all know - this provincial government is DESTROYING arts funding through its cuts to gaming funding and the BC Arts Council. We need more artists and audiences to speak out to this government and remind them of the truth as we know it to be. There's a long road ahead.
Okay y'all - buckle your seatbelts because here comes the BC budget!
Surprise, surprise - Finance Minister Colin Hansen will be projecting a much higher deficit than the $495 million version offered last February.
We'll know more soon... when the budget comes down about 2:45 p.m.
But just to recap the fun of yesterday for a minute.
Apparently the NDP opposition hammered the BC Liberals about the arts cuts in the Legislature. In fact, Doug Donaldson (NDP MLA from Stikine) said the timing of the cuts has left community organizations in the lurch and pointed to the Bulkley Fall Fair, which was under way in Smithers last weekend when organizers were told their $20,000 grant was cancelled.
In response, Minister Kevin Kruger said the cuts reflect the government's priorities. He stated: “Would any member on the opposite side of the House argue that a program to fund nutritional and similar programs in schools for underprivileged children is a lower priority than fall fairs? Not everyone can be funded. Tough decisions have to be made.”
It's nice to know just what our new Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts thinks of the arts sector. Low priority. Maybe he didn't realize that the Bulkley Fall Fair is having its 90th anniversary this year. Or that the funding for underprivileged children through the CommunityLINK program is supposed to come from the Ministry of Education's budget.