Thursday, July 15, 2010


The hand of government that taketh away also now giveth, it would seem.

Having denied long established arts and cultural festivals in the province much-needed gaming funding, the Minister of Tourism, Culture, and the Arts, Kevin Krueger, has just announced a three-year, $30 million fund to stage BC "Spirit Festivals" across the province starting next February.

The idea is to tap into and reanimate the residual good feeling from the 2010 Olympics (about which I talked in a previous post) and, according to Krueger, to help cultural organizations across the province get a leg-up in their funding. You can read the details here.

Never mind that it was the government that slashed that funding in the first place. Or that this new fund--and its "inspiriting" mandate--is yet another disturbing incursion by the Liberals into the cultural programming of arts institutions in BC.

Why some festivals in the province are denied sustainable funding and told to fend for themselves and others (as yet to be chosen) merit infusions of cash as long as they can somehow rekindle our lost Olympic mojo has yet to be explained by Minister Krueger.

To paraphrase Kurt Cobain, this exercise in spirit-making certainly smells like something.


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