B.C. Arts Groups Fight Funding Cuts
by Marsha Lederman, Globe & Mail
Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009 2:34AM EDT
When asked how it feels to be the minister in charge of culture when so many arts groups are fighting for their survival, Mr. Krueger (the minister in charge of culture) said it's been difficult. “I'm very unhappy about the situation and I empathize completely with how they're feeling. It's a shock to them. It's been a shock to us to see the revenues drop the way they have.”
But Ron Reed at Pacific Theatre is skeptical. “It's very difficult not to feel that the government is using this situation as an excuse to do what they would like to do all along,” he says, pointing out that arts and culture take up just a tiny proportion – less than 1 per cent – of the provincial budget.
Mr. Reed's theatre company is in a terrible position, having programmed an ambitious season with a couple of expensive, risky shows long before this past summer, when $72,000 in funding was either cut or deferred. “It's really hard to know how we'll deliver the rest of our season, quite frankly,” he says.
Mr. Reed is trying to salvage the season by doubling his subscribers – which means finding 500 new patrons. Mr. Reed has been blogging about this, sending personal e-mails and making phone calls. But that's time consuming, and there's only so much time. By day, he's rejigging his business plan (“or battle plan,” he jokes), and by night performing in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.
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Image captured from "Stop The Cuts" video