All this fuss over so called cuts to the arts. I really don’t understand it. Unless of course it is simply a last ditch attempt by the Liberals to win a few seats. But when you examine the facts, the complaints make no sense.
The issue really isn’t about the amount we spend on the arts, it’s whether government has a right to decide where money for the arts, or anything else should be spent. Overall, funding for the arts increased eight per cent last year, but several programs were cut, lopping about 45 million dollars off the overall budget.
In other words, the Conservatives took money away from some programs, allocated them to other programs, and added eight per cent. What’s wrong with that?
And look at some of the programs cut: The one the so-called arts community seems to be complaining the most about is something called PromArt, which didn’t actually fund any works of art, but rather provided travel money for various individuals and groups.
The Rock band Holy—F***for example can still perform, but we taxpayers aren’t going to be paying their travel expenses to foreign lands anymore. Ditto left wing radicals like Avi Lewis.
We won’t be paying for guys like Gwynne Dyer to take a nice little trip to Cuba.
Films like Young People F****ing will just have to find funding from someone other than us taxpayers.
And let’s not forget something else. When it comes to funding the arts, governments of all stripes have always, and continue, to pour billions into things like art galleries, museums, arts centers, libraries and various other so called cultural events from rock fests to local fairs.
And what about the publishing industry? I picked three books at random from Steve Madely’s desk this morning. The first happens to be a book entitled Where War Lives—author is Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist Paul Watson.
Fine. An interesting book, but check inside the front cover. Let me read you what is says: “We acknowledge the financial support of the government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program and that of the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Media Development Corporation’s Ontario Book Initiative. We further acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council for our publishing program”
Let’s see. That’s four separate grant programs that little book has tapped into. How much money is involved I have no idea. The next book I picked up is the Way it Works, by Eddie Goldenberg, right hand man to Liberal Prime Ministers for many years. Let’s see how his publisher tapped into us taxpayers. This book says: “We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program and that of the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Media Development Corporation’s Ontario Book Initiative. We further acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts council for our publishing program."
Another four grant programs hit up for an author who I would suspect is hardly destitute.
The third book I picked up in a real Left wing Dandy entitled Dry Spring, The Coming Water Crisis of North America written by Chris Wood. His publisher has been able to tap into a different set of taxpayers grants. Let me read the inside cover of this book: "Raincoast Books gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit and the Government of Canada through the Canada Council for the arts and the Book Publishing Industry Development Program."
Wonderful. Another four grant programs hit up, and, by the way, Raincoast Books was the distributor for the Harry Potter books so I would imagine it has a few dollars stored away for safe keeping. Hardly in need of your money or mine.
Now let’s have a look at a local author named Lowell Green who has written three best selling books, made a fair chunk of money, as did his publisher, without receiving one single cent. Not a cent of taxpayers money from any source.
And Why should Lowell Green, or any author receive any taxpayers money? If people want to read the book, they will buy it. If people don’t want to read the book, they won’t buy it. But why should taxpayers be forced to pay for something nobody wants to read?
Same holds true of other segments of the so called arts world. Create something of value, something people want to read, see or hear, and they will pay for it.
Fact is, supporting stuff only a tiny handful of people have any interest in, does not support the arts, it supports junk, and actually discourages real worthwhile art.
Let me give you an example:
A very well know and popular Canadian Author recently contacted several major publishers to see if they were interested in a new book he was writing. His four previous books had all been Canadian Best Sellers, made hundreds of thousands of dollars for him and his publisher who was going out of business. One of the publishers who responded said they weren’t interested and only published what they described as "literary works". But, said the author, you are guaranteed a profit from my book of at least a hundred thousand dollars. "Oh," replied the publisher, "we don’t really care about that. We are government supported!"
And by the way-most Canadian authors who are not in the main stream “CBC literary crowd” will tell you similar stories.
Yes, government needs to support the arts. Galleries, art centers, and museums are a vital part of our culture, but surely we taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for so called artists who in one case stuff vials of blood in their anus, stand on their heads so the blood runs into his mouth, or garbage like young people F****ing!
And we sure as hell shouldn’t have to pay for lefties like Gwynne Dyer to travel to Cuba!