Sixty years ago, the Massey report created our first cultural “road map” by boldly recommending the establishment of a Canada Council to support our creative and interpretive artists.
Its recommendations also strongly encouraged a National Library and the growth of our core national cultural institutions: CBC-Radio Canada, the National Film Board, our archives and museums and scientific research. It affirmed the importance of culture to Canadian society and linked the development of a distinctive Canadian culture to our sovereignty and survival.
These recommendations produced remarkably positive results. However, culture has since been relegated to “niche” status under successive governments, and the cultural sector as a whole has been relegated to the periphery of policy-making.
So that was sixty years ago. Now from the Guardian: Why major theatre institutions should be left to die
The artists of tomorrow are not made through funding an elite, but by funding at the bottom of the pyramid – a pyramid that we have created and sustained during the good times but now seldom question, even though the landscape will look very different in the coming years.
We should stop building bricks and mortar and empires, and rid ourselves of the belief that growth is a good thing for the arts. We should put money into the bottom of the pyramid, not the top – it is only by funding the bottom that we can create the future.
Lots to think about.