TORONTO, January 10, 2013 - A new investment from the Harper Government will stimulate corporate sponsorship and investment in the arts and culture. Funding for artsVest, an initiative of the association Business for the Arts, was announced by the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

“Canada’s arts and culture sector employs more than 630,000 people and contributes over $46 billion to our economy,” said Minister Moore. “Our Government is proud to invest in projects like artsVest that stimulate our economy and promote jobs and growth. This is only possible through the help of the private sector, and from targeted government investments like the one today.”

Since the program’s launch in 2002, artsVest has created partnerships with over 960 businesses and more than 305 arts and heritage organizations across the country. Of these businesses, 602 were first-time sponsors of the arts.

“We are grateful to the Government of Canada and Minister Moore for their continued support of our national artsVest program,” said Nichole Anderson, President and CEO, Business for the Arts. “artsVest has established itself as an innovative program that can create sustainable funding relationships for the arts, stimulate private sector investment, and build greater awareness in the business community of the benefits of investing in arts and culture and the importance of a thriving arts community.”

“Hamilton’s participation in the artsVest program was a boon to our city’s socio-economic opportunities, as I believe in the transformative power of a strong arts sector,” said Ilya Pinassi, General Manager, Upper James Toyota. “The artsVest program helped to increase arts funding from businesses who appreciated that their dollars would go further. For some, it was the beginning of a relationship between business and the creative sector. For others, like myself, it was the reinvigoration of an existing relationship that has resulted in our increased financial support of Hamilton’s annual Supercrawl event threefold. Thank you for bringing the artsVest program to Hamilton.”

Business for the Arts is a national association dedicated to building partnerships between the business and arts sectors. The organization’s signature matching incentive and sponsorship training program, artsVest, is designed to build capacity in Canada’s cultural sector. This program provides small and medium-sized arts and culture organizations with the expertise and tools to generate sponsorship opportunities with local business through training, matching incentive funds, and community networking events.

The Harper Government is providing a total of $2 million in 2013–2015 through the Strategic Initiatives component of the Canada Cultural Investment Fund. The Strategic Initiatives component provides funding for projects supported by multiple partners and benefitting many organizations. These initiatives help arts and heritage organizations diversify their revenue streams and strengthen the efficiency of their management and business practices. 


via Canadian Heritage

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According to results of a poll on access and availabilty of arts and heritage, the majority Canadians support government involvement in arts and culture. 

The Department of Canadian Heritage commissioned Phoenix Strategic Perspectives Inc. to conduct research with an objective of gathering information on Canadians’ attitudes towards an array of issues relating to behaviours and values associated with arts and heritage.

From June 8 to July 3, 2012, Phoenix Strategies Perspectives Inc. conducted a random digit dialling telephone survey of 1,001 Canadian residents aged 18 years or older. 27% of those surveyed were in the age range 18-34, 36% were 35-54, and 34% were age 55+. 

Most of those surveyed (87%) think governments in Canada should place a moderate (48%) to a great deal (39%) of importance on supporting the arts and culture in Canada. Respondents rated their level of agreement with a series of things the government could do to support arts and culture as follows:

  • Providing support for arts and culture in Canada (45% strongly agree).
  • Promoting awareness of Canadian arts and cultural events and activities (43% strongly agree)
  • Partnering with others to ensure that there are enough arts and cultural facilities to serve the public (42% strongly agree)
  • Helping protect and preserve Canada’s heritage (72% strongly agree)
  • Providing incentives to promote private sector support for arts and culture (37% strongly agree).

Respondents were asked about their own arts and culture attendance, with 83% stating that they attended at least one type of live performance or arts event in the past year, including live art performances, craft shows or fairs, and arts/cultural festivals. 

The survey also gauged respondents’ involvement in arts and cultural events. 57% reported that they were personally involved in at least one artistic activity in the last year, including donation to an arts or cultural organization (26%); participating in a performance (22%); making photos, movies, videos, animation or new media art (20%); and using the internet or a smartphone to create something artistic (20%). 71% of those surveyed indicated that they also use the internet to engage in online activities related to arts and culture, such as learning about events or artists, purchasing tickets, and discussing or promoting events. 

Results show that Canadians have very positive attitudes toward arts and culture, with two-thirds of respondents agreeing that arts and cultural events are important in terms of quality of life for them and their families. 92% agreed that arts and culture make a community a better place to live. 

More information and the full survey results are available in the final report, Arts and Heritage in Canada: Access and Availability Survey 2012 (download PDF format). 

Research results are intended to be used by Canadian Heritage to assist in evaluating programs and in developing policy with respect to the arts and heritage. 


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Vancouver’s arts community was shocked on Wednesday when a press release was issued by the operators of the historic Waldorf Hotel announcing they will shut down productions as of January 20 because of the sale of the complex to a developer.

The hotel was revitalized in 2010 when a 15-year lease was signed by a group of partners led by Thomas Anselmi, Ernesto Gomez, Scott Chen, and Daniel Fazio. They re-opened the Waldorf in October of that year with a vision to create a welcoming cultural hub in the heart of East Vancouver. 

The community-oriented venue has been host to eclectic events and festivals including the Cheaper Show, Eastside Culture Crawl, Polaris Music Prize, New Forms Festival, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver International Film Festival, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, and culture producers like Black Mountain, Douglas Coupland, Rodney Graham, Grimes, Japandroids, and Paul Wong. In addition to live music, the multi-use space has also hosted art exhibitions, readings, magazine launches, and much more. 

Despite successful programming there were financial difficulties during the first year, and the landlord was willing to forgive some rent. However, according to the Waldorf press release, in August “the landlord’s attitude changed overnight”. Waldorf operators were offered a four-month lease. Upon its expiry last week they were told that the property had been sold to the condo developer Solterra Group of Companies and were offered a week-to-week lease until September 2013. Anselmi says that Solterra were unwilling to discuss negotiating long-term lease possibilities, so the partners have opted to shut down production activities instead. Over 60 people will lose their jobs as a result.

In a Georgia Straight report today, Waldorf Hotel lawyer Gavin Crickmore said that the hotel would continue operations and that Waldorf Productions had not confirmed that they are leaving. “Patrons of the hotel can expect it to be business as usual on the 20th,” he said. “The business of the hotel, obviously, is going to stay open.” He told the Straight that he is unable to confirm comments made by Anselmi regarding a sale or potential sale of the property, and a rep from Solterra had not returned the Straight’s call by the deadline.

The Waldorf’s creative team is seeking a space where they can continue the high-quality arts and entertainment programming the venue has become known for. 

Mayor Gregor Robertson released the following statement online on Wednesday:

“The Waldorf closing is a big loss to Vancouver’s growing creative community. They built a great culture hub, and it’s my hope that they’ll be able to re-launch and return in some form in the near future. Supporting Vancouver’s dynamic arts and culture sector is a top priority of our City Council, and the City is exploring ways to support the Waldorf continuing as one of Vancouver’s most unique and vibrant cultural spaces.”

Additional background from the Mayor’s Office:

The site at 1489 East Hastings is currently zoned for mixed-use commercial purposes, not residential development. Any change in zoning would require extensive neighbourhood consultation and approval by City Council.


UPDATE: January 11, 2013 

Solterra Group of Companies issued a statement Thursday assuring that it currently has “no intention of demolishing” the hotel.

“We have an open mind about the future of this site and we are studying all the options,” CEO Gerry Nichele wrote. “We want to work with the City to explore possible ways to retain and improve the hotel.”

The current leaseholders plan to vacate the property on January 20, but Solterra won’t be taking possession of the Waldorf until September.

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A new report by Rowland Lorimer, director of SFU’s Master of Publishing Program, highlights challenges facing BC’s creative economy and proposes ways of boosting the sector.

The report, entitled Dreamcatcher: Towards a Creativity/Innovation Strategic Plan for British Columbia, addresses issues raised at the BCreative Conference which took place at SFU’s Vancouver Campus in May, 2012. 

A PricewaterhouseCoopers study estimates 85,000 people are employed in the creative sector, making it the second largest of BC’s six major industrial sectors, with generation of $4 billion in economic activity (the fifth-largest sector in the BC economy), yet, the report states, from an official perspective, BC had paid little attention to the creative economy as of 2012 and had undertaken few statistical analyses. Lorimer says that the province has invested in sectors  such as film and video, video games, and new media – which appear to create jobs and benefit the economy – rather than in the cultural sector as a whole. “Its emphasis on “screens” is a high-risk strategy that does not consider the ecology of creative production where cross-fertilization among creatives can result in a vibrant dynamic,” says Lorimer.  

While discussing the relative lack of investment in the sector, the specific challenges of creating low-rent space for artists in Metro Vancouver, and the potential to strengthen BC’s tourism sector, the report proposes two initiatives. 

The first would be to follow the example of other jurisdictions and recognize cultural subsidies to artistic activity as infrastructure investments that create jobs and drive economic growth. The report also recognizes the importance of providing investment for continued development of creative industries such as publishing, music, and filmmaking as they transition to the digital world. 

The second set of actions proposed is the creation of a branded strategic plan to make creativity and innovation a central element of the social identity of BC in an effort to actively promote the province as a hub of creative production. “By creating a brand such as Creative Beautiful British Columbia and facilitating a very public campaign of recognition and support, creativity in BC could move to the centre of British Columbians’ consciousness and become a primary identity element of the province and its society,” the report reads. “Were that to happen, creativity itself would be enlivened, participation in artistic and creative events would increase, tourism would be enhanced, and growth of the creative sector over the next decades would be catalyzed.”

The BCreative conference is designed to bring together government, business, researchers, and the creative sector to stimulate thinking, policy, and action to further build BC’s creative economy. 

To download the full 65-page report in PDF format, click here


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The Crazy8s Film Society is very pleased to announce the six winning teams of their 14th annual competition. Whittled down from the original +100 who applied in November, and following pitching, writing and intensive story editing workshops, emerge the following victorious projects:

Braindamage - Matt Leaf (Director/Writer) and Victoria Angell (Producer)

Happy Homecoming - Nimisha Mukerji (Director); Orsy Szabó (Writer); Haydn Wazelle and Anand Raghavan (Producers)

Manstruation - Ryan Haneman (Director/Writer); Christopher Lee (Writer); and Derek Green (Producer)

Stewing - Sean Tyson (Director) and Patrick Currie (Writer/Producer)

Under the Bridge of Fear - Mackenzie Gray (Director/Writer)

When I Saw You - Jane Hancock (Director/Writer); Nicholas Carella, Michelle Ouellet and Brie Lunn (Producers)

In its 14 years, Crazy8s has established itself not just as Vancouver’s premiere fast filmmaking event, but as a launching ground for emerging filmmakers, a significant mentorship opportunity and a hub for the independent filmmaking community.

Teams now have a few weeks to prepare in advance of their start date of February 8. From that time, they’ll have just eight days to shoot, edit and post their short films, with only $1,000 cash and significant in-kind support generously provided by the local film industry.

This year, for the first time, Crazy8s will be hosting a free Kick-Off Party at the Rio Theatre on January 23 at 7:30 pm. Screenings of well-known films from its 14 year history will be shown, as well as plenty of opportunity for mingling and making connections with Crazy8s alumni and current team members.

And don’t miss the chance to see what these talented filmmakers can create in just eight days! For tickets to the Gala Screening and Afterparty at The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts on Saturday February 23 or for more information visit


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Canada Council for the Arts has posted the following information about a funding opportunity from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education and Culture.
Note: This is not a Canada Council program, however, they are pleased to provide the following information about the EU Culture Programme and how you can access it.

About the Programme

The EU Culture Programme is a fund set up and managed by the European Commission. It funds projects and initiatives that develop cross-border collaboration between cultural operators and organizations in at least three European countries. Each year, the program also offers funding for projects linking European countries to one or more countries outside of Europe (referred to as “third countries”). In 2013, the Programme has identified Canada or Australia as the “third countries.”

Key features:

  • Applications must come from a consortium of organizations from at least three European countries, plus one or more from Canada;
  • Any type of organization can be a partner – small or large companies, co-operatives, charities, businesses, universities, municipalities, government departments, etc.;
  • Almost any type of arts and culture project is eligible, but the program excludes projects that are solely focused on the media or audiovisual sectors, or focused solely on translation;
  • Grants of up to €200,000 may be awarded for projects lasting up to two years. This amount can be no more than 50% of the total project budget;
  • At least 50% of the project activities must happen in the “third country” (i.e. Canada).

Deadline for submissions: May 2013

Canada Council will post more information and resource links on its website as available. Please check back periodically for updates.

Web links to help you access the Programme

Cultural Contact Points (CCPs) in Europe
This links to a full list of the CCPs in 35 of the 37 eligible countries in Europe. A CCP is an organization designated by the European Commission to provide information about the program and to stimulate collaborations between organizations in their country and partners in other countries.

Culture Fund
This website by Visiting Arts, London (the UK CCP), contains detailed information on the EU Culture Programme. Specifically, the resources below will help you learn how to access the programme. For more information, contact Christoph Jankowski.

This private website offers a service, Connexions, to help link you up with other organizations looking for partners. Paid membership is required to access the service.

Canada Council information seminars

In January and February 2012, the Canada Council’s Audience and Market Development Office hosted a number of seminars in Canada to provide:

  • general information on EU funding for arts and culture
  • specific information about the Culture Programme and funding for “third country” partnerships
  • tips on how to find and collaborate with European organizations

The seminars were presented by Geoffrey Brown, the director of EUCLID and a UK-based consultant who specializes in sharing European and international information. He oversees the website and the membership of Connexus.

Listen to the online seminar (length: 2 hours)
Download a slide presentation from the seminars [PDF]


Canada Council are interested in learning if you are planning to access this fund, and ask you to email to let them know if this information has been useful, and what else they can do to help:

Audience and Market Development Office 
Canada Council for the Arts 
350 Albert Street, P.O. Box 1047 
Ottawa ON K1P 5V8 
1-800-263-5588 (toll-free) or 613-566-4414, ext. 5272 
TTY: 1-866-585-5559

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The Pacific Baroque Orchestra recently welcomed David Carlin to the organization in the role of general manager.

After an international career in the music industry with Richard Branson’s Virgin Entertainment Group, David returned to Vancouver and has worked as an arts writer, broadcaster and manager, most recently as the general manager of the Vancouver Cantata Singers.

David is a past President of Early Music Vancouver, and has a particular passion for Baroque music. He is also a former musician and was the Director of Music at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Saskatoon for half a decade.

If you’d like to get in touch with David, please email him at


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Diane Loomer, C.M., recipient of the Order of Canada, founder and director of Chor Leoni Men’s Choir, co-founder and conductor emerita of Elektra Women’s Choir and founder and conductor of EnChor Chamber Choir, died in hospital in Vancouver on Monday, December 10 at the age of 72.

A Celebration of Life will be held on January 11, 2013 to remember and rejoice in Diane’s remarkable sojourn here on earth.

The format will be a concert sung by her three latest choirs, Elektra, Chor Leoni and EnChor, and will include opportunities for us all to sing together. You are all invited to attend. We hope to see as many of you as possible there to shed a happy tear for her great life, hug each other and SING.

Be sure to get there early as there are no reserved seats and it will likely be quite full.

Chor Leoni will be honouring Diane, in perpetuity, by periodically commissioning major choral works in for men’s choir in her name, drawing from our newly established Diane Loomer Commissioning Endowment Fund through the Vancouver Foundation. The family asks that in lieu of flowers you consider supporting this endeavour. Click here to make a donation.

Friday, January 11, 2013 • 7:30pm
Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC
6265 Crescent Rd, UBC, Vancouver

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