By Maureen Mugerwa
The arts in this province have been a target over the past year, receiving many cuts to various programs and funding.
As a result, many people have had to leave the province in hopes of finding work elsewhere while others have chosen to stay and deal with reduced funding allocations.
In the 2013-14 provincial budget, support of the provincial arts and cultural organizations are still intact, according to Kevin Doherty, minister of parks, culture and sport.
“We took the creative and sustainability fund of $1.5 million out and put it into Creative Saskatchewan, so it still exists in there, where it appropriately should be,” said Doherty. The total budget for Creative Saskatchewan is five million dollars.
According to a press release from the Government of Saskatchewan, the government is supportive of the creative industries through the creative industry growth and sustainability program. The purpose of this program is to strengthen “the commercial viability of the creative industries.”
Culture on the Go is a touring and market development program which partners between the Saskatchewan Arts Board and the ministry of parks, culture and sport. This particular program helps make it possible for Saskatchewan artists to further their careers and share art, music and performances with people in the province.
Creative Saskatchewan is going to be responsible for sharing the funds that are put into it among the different arts and cultural organizations, said Doherty.
“If you want to support your people you’re going to have to play with them,” said Alan Bratt, president of the Saskatchewan branch of ACTRA.
ACTRA is the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists. The film tax credit affects ACTRA because they are a union for cinema, television and radio artists.
Many people have left the province because of the lack of funding to the arts and cultural industries. “That is terrible business to chase away investment. That’s terrible business to get rid of talented business,” said Bratt.
He does not think that Creative Saskatchewan is enough to bring back the people in the film industry who have already left but he is happy for those who will be part of the $5 million “pot."
The government is “helping to support a number of significant events taking place across Saskatchewan in 2013-14 which include: The Junos, Canada’s music awards; the Canadian Hockey League’s Memorial Cup; and the Canadian Football League’s Grey Cup game,” stated the budget summary.