The time is now Submit an email to Finance Meet your counsellor
Home is where the Art Is
Halifax Regional Municipality is our largest population base, and naturally, where most cultural organizations and cultural workers live and work.
The HRM budget committee is currently weighing a proposal to cut funds to a wide array of services. This includes a massive reduction in funding to the Professional Arts Grants program - cutting $300,000 from this year's budget of $540,000.
This is a 56% reduction in municipal arts funding, amidst times of high inflation, when costs are ever increasing. Mocean, and many local arts organizations will be affected. For us to continue contributing to Halifax as a cultural capital, we need your voice!
While HRM specific, it impacts every part of the province if cultural organizations lose a part of their budget when they are already working on the margins, and also when cultural workers may lose work and then leave the sector or even the region.
If you are opposed to these cuts we urge you to send an email to the Budget office, and copy your your city councillor. Share the impact the arts has on your lives, and show the council how much Haligonians value our cultural vibrancy!
3 EASY STEPS:
1. Write a letter and email it to email@example.com and ask that office to include your message as part of the official public record by officially distributing it to Mayor, full Council, and relevant staff. See below for the Visual Arts NS letter Template.
Letter Template from VANS: EMAIL SUBJECT LINE: Your name – Please Refuse Halifax Arts Funding Cuts (make it unique to you, polite, and clear) Dear Mx/Ms/Mr/Dr (Councillor First Name Last Name)___________ (find your district councillor here and their emails here), My name is___________. Introduce yourself! Include where you live in Halifax. If you live outside the municipality, share the reason why it’s so important that an outside constituent is writing to council. The more specific the better! Talk about your specific artistic experience because it is crucial. Most importantly, individualized letters have more impact than form letters.
Are you an artist? A photographer? A craftsperson? A parent/guardian of a creative person? Art appreciator?
Do you take arts workshops? Are you a theater patron, or a regular gallery goer?
Add your profession regardless of whether you’re an artist or another type of professional, or both!
I’m writing to you today to ask that you refuse the proposed $300,000.00 budget cut to Halifax’s Grants to Professional Arts Organizations Program. Please reconsider this over 50% decrease from the $554,000 distributed last year. Put it in your own words. Add some spicy funding facts from the options below. Share your concern over these budget cut numbers! Remember to share your outrage politely so your letter isn’t screened out. The arts are crucial to me because ________.
I am an artist/a creative/a musician/working with artists. I have/work with children that participate in programs in arts spaces. I offer workshops/events/cultural activities. I support youth/elderly/at risk individuals through arts programming.
I follow or am impacted by artists and their work online. I listen to music, I visit galleries on or offline, I go to art centres, I enjoy events, workshops, concerts, parties, and/or creative programming.
Municipal investment in local artists, culture and heritage organizations enriches the quality of life in Halifax, and greatly contributes to our community’s ability to build prosperity through innovation and creativity.
I urge you to Invest in Halifax’s arts organizations when we most need it by refusing the proposed funding cuts. I am aware that…(choose a fact from the list below or add your own HERE)
Halifax provided $1.16 per capita on its art’s grants program last year, if these budget cuts are accepted that support will be reduced to $.53 cents. For example Windsor, a city half the size of Halifax contributes $1.49 with more comparably sized cities London and Hamilton allocating $4.98 and $5.71 respectively. The median investment of Calgary, Hamilton, London, Regina, Sudbury, Windsor, and Winnipeg was $7.18 in 2021, according to the Municipal Benchmarking Network of Canada.
Nova Scotia’s department of Communities Culture and Heritage has not seen or distributed a funding increase to arts organizations since 2007. That means the 2018 launch of Halifax’s Grants to Professional Arts Organizations was the only government funding increase arts organizations in the municipality have seen in over 15 years.
On a national scale, Hill Strategies reported that between 2019 and 2020, 55% of organizations and businesses in the arts, entertainment, and recreation experienced a revenue decrease of at least 30% (and 36% experienced at least a 50% decrease). There were 8% fewer organizations and businesses in the arts, entertainment, and recreation in May 2021 than in January 2020. The 594,000 employment and self-employment positions in the culture sector in 2020 represented the lowest jobs total since culture specific records began in 2010.
The 2021 TD Bank Business Vulnerability Index reported that organizations and businesses in the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector, were the most vulnerable, higher even than the accommodation and food sector.
With this in mind, Halifax’s arts community and organizations are deeply affected by these potential funding cuts. I need arts access because ________.
Creating or participating in art is a benefit to my mental health, social life, and/or how I connect with who and what in the world is around me. Talk about how your personal life is benefited with arts access <3
Art spaces and programs give me access to new ideas and perspectives that help in my work and life.
Arts and culture helps me connect with my community, understand my neighbors better, and gives me a sense of belonging in Halifax.
Public events and spaces outside of commercial businesses to go to. Talk about how attending events and public spaces available through arts access is vital to your life.
Please support the arts in the upcoming budget. Sincerely, Your Name: ________ Your Permanent Address:___________