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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From today's Star............






Harper rise a teardown for arts
He'd be bad news for T.O. reno plans

MARTIN KNELMAN

Election fever in Ottawa could spell panic in the streets of downtown Toronto, not to mention wake-up-screaming nightmares for the city's arts fundraisers. No matter how corrupt or dithering the current federal regime may be, it is viewed as infinitely friendlier to the cultural scene in Canada's largest city than Stephen Harper's team.

Take it as a given that if the Liberal government falls and loses power to the Conservatives, it won't be good news for those trying to play the Cultural Renaissance card around this town. Alberta's well-known resentment of Toronto's presumed cultural superiority could find expression in a big chill for local arts funding.

It is a badly kept secret that the institutions with current capital projects — including the Canadian Opera Company, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Conservatory of Music and the National Ballet School — are pinning their hopes on top-up funding from both the federal and provincial governments that showered money on them three years ago in the SuperBuild bonanza. Their chances would be slim under Prime Minister Harper.

At the moment, the most precarious situation is the one facing the Toronto International Film Festival, whose hopes for a glittering new home at King and John may well depend on whether Ottawa comes through with $25 million of funding. Complicating factor: A decision was made weeks ago to advance the money — but it has not yet been announced.

If Parliament is dissolved before there is any official documentation, then the next government will not be bound to give the festival anything. Watch for some fancy footwork to get that funding announced and in the books ASAP.

Rarely has there been such an impressive turnout of Toronto's most prosperous culture lovers of a certain age than on Sunday evening for a sort-of roast, sort-of tribute to veteran arts booster Bluma Appel. It was a two-part event, beginning with dinner for 300 at the King Edward Hotel and moving on to a show called Hats Off to Bluma at the most appropriate of all venues, the Bluma Appel Theatre at the St. Lawrence Centre.

Among those included in the $350-a-head package: Isadore and Rosalie Sharp, William Thorsell, Valerie Pringle, Peter Herrndorf and Eva Czigler, Charles Pachter, Nina Kaiden Wright, Murray Frum and Nancy Lockhart, Ann Medina, Sonja Bata, John Honderich, Michael Burgess, Sarmite Bulte, Madeleine Meilleur and Kyle Rae. David Mirvish brought his mother, Anne.

Unlike other high-society arts supporters, Bluma Appel has never been one to make her requests in a whisper, especially when crusading for AIDS research money. She moved here from Montreal three decades ago, bringing along an aggressive enthusiasm that came as a bit of a shock to low-key Toronto. And if her husband, Bram, had the knack of accumulating a fortune, Bluma mastered the fine art of giving it away.

As former Ontario lieutenant governor Hal Jackman made hilariously clear, people often got themselves into commitments they were hardly aware they had made.

The event raised $150,000, which was topped up by an additional $50,000 from the Appels — adding up to a total of $200,000 to be evenly divided by CanStage and Opera Atelier.

The usual excuse for music programming that keeps offering the same old fare is that it reflects the tastes and demands of the audience. Record attendance at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's recent New Creations Festival at Roy Thomson Hall suggests otherwise. More than 9,000 people hungry for something different bought tickets to the three-program, five-concert festival. The unforgettable highlight: soprano Barbara Hannigan performing Correspondances by 89-year-old French composer Henri Dutilleux.

Hot tip for Hot Docs: Beethoven's Hair, an entry in the retrospective for Rhombus Media director Larry Weinstein, is almost certain to rank as the most original and unusual arts documentary of the year.

It's the fascinating story of what happened to a lock of the composer's hair, removed from his corpse and passed on over the years to many owners. This feature-length saga takes us through 19th century Vienna, Denmark in World War II and modern-day Texas. You can catch it next week at the world's largest documentary film festival.

[email protected]

Additional articles by Martin Knelman
 

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Seems like a bunch of pre election fear mongering to me. "Alberta's well-known resentment of Toronto's presumed cultural superiority" If that is not a fear mongering line than I don't know what is.

Reason is most people I know here in Edmonton think this is the case for Montreal not Toronto. Many people have this image of Montreal is fun and culture, Toronto is just business.
 

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No clue if this is true, the article is just speculating... but why should taxpayers fund a profession like this? If enough people like what they do, the different organizations will be able to raise enough money to build their own concert halls, etc. Why should the government have to pay for something that interests mostly a privelged few? (though I feel that the ROM doesn't fit this category)

Same thing for sports stadiums...

edit: perhaps it is better to say, "Why should the government have to pay for something that interests relatively few people when things like healthcare, cities, and infrastructure need more funding."
 

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goravens said:
No clue if this is true, the article is just speculating... but why should taxpayers fund a profession like this? If enough people like what they do, the different organizations will be able to raise enough money to build their own concert halls, etc. Why should the government have to pay for something that interests mostly a privelged few? (though I feel that the ROM doesn't fit this category)

Same thing for sports stadiums...
You could say the same thing about education. Why should I fund it, it's not like I have kids. Only people with kids should pay for education. Also, I haven't been to the doctor in a year or two, why should I pay for healthcare? Those who use it should pay for it. I don't use the 400-series highways, why should I pay for those priveledged enough to own a car? Screw 'em, let them pay, they got money for a car and insurance!
 

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^ :applause:

Yeah, I love how arts are supposed to be 'different,' or the domain of a privileged few (no idea where this comes from). And there's no doubt that Harper is bad news for the art scene. It's not fear mongering, it's reality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The very reason scum like Harper even exist, is to exploit for his own political carreerism, the type of people who feel that the arts are not part of things we should support, as they educate and enrich our lives.

These people only are interested in themselves, or think giving all our money to Big Business is somehow going to fill this void. They would just like to see lower taxes and more subsidizing of highways and gas....maybe lower the price of beer. LOL

Of course it's dis-heartening...but this is reality.






KGB
 

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Alberta's well-known resentment of Toronto's presumed cultural superiority could find expression in a big chill for local arts funding.

I love the Toronto Star.

I hate to say it, but anybody can support the arts individually if they feel like it. Why is it that individuals are compelled to pay for the arts through taxation even if they don't want to?
 

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sk8rboiiii said:
You could say the same thing about education. Why should I fund it, it's not like I have kids. Only people with kids should pay for education. Also, I haven't been to the doctor in a year or two, why should I pay for healthcare? Those who use it should pay for it. I don't use the 400-series highways, why should I pay for those priveledged enough to own a car? Screw 'em, let them pay, they got money for a car and insurance!
sorry, I edited my post because I stated things incorrectly, but you had probably started writing your post before that. IMO there are much better uses for money such as improving neighbourhoods (for example, adding a community centre to a small town), health care, highways, public transport, etc across the country that benefit way more people than spending millions for Toronto's high society crowd (nothing against them) to have a new place to watch ballets, plays, films or operas. I have gone to plays and operas myself in Toronto, and enjoyed them a lot, but I feel that the organizations that run them and the gate receipts should fund these projects, rather than the government.

edit again: Millions use highways and public transport, an entire community can have wedding receptions, fairs, auctions, and other events in a hall, and almost all must go to the doctor at some point in their life... but relatively few people are patrons of these organizations. There are better ways to spend money that will better help the Canadian people.
 

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goravens said:
sorry, I edited my post because I stated things incorrectly, but you had probably started writing your post before that. IMO there are much better uses for money such as improving neighbourhoods (for example, adding a community centre to a small town), health care, highways, public transport, etc across the country that benefit way more people than spending millions for Toronto's high society crowd (nothing against them) to have a new place to watch ballets, plays, films or operas.
I take it you don't live in Toronto? Ordinary people go to plays (it wouldn't be a theatre city if a handful of people went; plenty of us students pool their money for group subscription or split rates), films, and art galleries, nothing high society about them... But, of course, if we cut off all the funding and bleed these instutions dry, they:

a) won't be an accessible instrument of education (and that's what these are; it doesn't end in school or university...)
b) really will be the exclusive domain of high society
 

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Well that fills up my quota of fear-mongering for the whole week I think. Oh and all the bullshit just keeps me laughing as well. Yeah, everybody who doesn't like the arts is a selfish bastard that wants to give his money to big business...lol :clown:

I can't see any reason why these organizations should get federal funding when there are so many more important places we could put that money. If the Art Gallery of Ontario wants more money, they can either raise it themselves or get it from the provincial government...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As anyone can plainly see, there's a reason why politicians like Harper are around.

People are free to express how and where tax dollars get spent...what's worthy and what's unworthy.

I'm only glad there are a few more decent, slightly informed people than there are not.

At least for the moment anyway.


Hey...I have an interesting idea...why don't we just have the money spent where it's collected...that way every person in Toronto can have everything it wants...and more....and everybody else can just go screw their hat.

Howd'ya like that idea...it's yours after all.






KGB
 

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salvius said:
I take it you don't live in Toronto? Ordinary people go to plays (it wouldn't be a theatre city if a handful of people went; plenty of us students pool their money for group subscription or split rates), films, and art galleries, nothing high society about them... But, of course, if we cut off all the funding and bleed these instutions dry, they:

a) won't be an accessible instrument of education (and that's what these are; it doesn't end in school or university...)
b) really will be the exclusive domain of high society
I stand corrected then. In Ottawa, at least in my experience, going to the theatre is more of a 1-2 times a year thing for most people, and of course not the theatre scene that Toronto has (though there are many community plays, funded by local businesses).

I agree that the ROM and the Art Gallery and such are educational tools and should be supported by the government. I guess the main issue for me is that I don't think the film festival and the operas and ballets should be given special funding treatment for new buildings by the government, as they are just entertainment. Why not give Famous Players millions of dollars to build a cinema? These places already have buildings, and if the market demands it they will be able to raise the funds to get more, but I don't think government funds should be used to fund such a project, especially when poorer locations and other areas of governmental jurisdiction need the funding. just my opinion, nothing against plays or operas.
 

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Who needs Harper to starve the arts when we already have Liberals to guide and protect culture?

OTTAWA (CP) - Behind the soaring glass facade of the National Gallery of Canada lies an institution so short of cash it is resigned to living with leaks every time it rains.



A newly disclosed document describes a "crisis" at one of Ottawa's main tourist attractions, a facility running out of storage space, staff and money.

The art gallery "is facing a crisis within the next 18 months as fixed costs increase faster than increases in government funding and revenue generation," says an internal report, obtained under the Access to Information Act.

"The gallery has started to limit programming and exhibitions to address budget pressures . . . (but) does not have a co-ordinated revenue generation approach and strategy."

The May 2004 report by management consultants Deloitte and Touche was based on consultations with the gallery's nine-member senior management committee.

The document largely focuses on the gallery's deteriorating facilities, which require more than $4 million each year in repairs and renovations but are getting only $1.2 million this year.

"Without increased funding . . . the gallery will run out of space for storing art and non-art, and the (main) building will suffer damage due to lack of maintenance," says the report.

A long-standing problem with a leaky roof at its dramatic Sussex Drive location remains unresolved. Patches have been made to prevent leaks from damaging art in display and storage areas, but the dramatic entrance pavilion and ramp walkway still drip in a downpour.

"We've had to postpone roof repairs," says Fran Cameron, deputy-director of administration and finance. A recent engineering study called for a program to fix the facade's leaky windows as well, but that has also been deferred to future years.

Last year, the gallery had to permanently give up $400,000 in its annual base funding as a contribution to a government-wide savings program.

Revenue from admission fees remains flat, though an additional $1 million is expected this year from increased corporate donations and fundraising. In the meantime, staff salary and benefit costs keep rising.

Earlier this month, the gallery announced it was cutting 15 full-time positions from its 247 staff, or about six per cent.

It is gradually winding down its five-year commitment to a controversial gallery in Shawinigan, Que., established in the riding of former prime minister Jean Chretien for what many saw as purely political reasons.

Last year's $1 million in support to La Cite de l'energie - owned and operated by a local non-profit group - is dropping to $750,000 this year, the third year of the deal, and will be even lower next year, says Cameron.

There will be fewer art exhibitions and installations in Ottawa this year as well, though no cuts so far in travelling exhibitions that make stops at 35 communities across Canada.

"Where we're really reducing activities is in Ottawa," Cameron said.

The gallery, with more than 38,000 art objects in its care, has also disposed of many non-art items, such as display cases and crates, to help free room in its overcrowded storage facilities.



The Deloitte and Touche study noted that about 60 per cent of the institution's storage space was taken up by non-art items because the gallery lacks clear storage policies, a problem that may be bleeding precious dollars.

Canadian Heritage, the gallery's parent department, has projected flat funding of $44.5 million annually through to 2008, which means there's no relief on the horizon, forcing a greater reliance on donations to keep up with rising costs and deferred maintenance.

Heritage Minister Liza Frulla promised a review of museums policy last December, but there are 2,500 museums and galleries across Canada clamouring for money. John McAvity, executive director of the Canadian Museums Association, has called the crumbling infrastructure in many of these buildings "a national disgrace."

At the same time, Ottawa is pouring up to $100 million into Winnipeg's planned Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

A long-range strategy for the National Gallery to 2010 was approved by cabinet last month, but won't become public until June at the earliest when it is to be tabled in Parliament - if there is no election called first.

In the meantime, the towering glass-fronted structure designed by architect Moshe Safdie, built in the late 1980s, will continue to admit bad weather along with art patrons.

"Even though it looks wonderful, it's reached an age where there are major components that need to be replaced," said Cameron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
"IMO there are much better uses for money... across the country that benefit way more people than spending millions for Toronto's high society crowd"



How could you argue against such an intelligent summary? LOL!!!

And trust me...if Torontonians were as dumb and greedy as people who cater to this kind of opinion, we would be keeping all our money, rather than watching it get wasted on all you knuckle-dragging cretins.

And if you don't know the difference between non-profit cultural institutions and for-profit corporations, then it's really a waste of time trying to explain to you what the value of them are.



"High Society".


LOL






KGB
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wow...that was a real classy response...you must be of them high society peoples eh?


Hey...I got an even better idea than the other one...let's start taxing the church. That way the religious fanatics like Harper can pay their fair bit too.






KGB
 

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KGB said:
Hey...I have an interesting idea...why don't we just have the money spent where it's collected...that way every person in Toronto can have everything it wants...and more....and everybody else can just go screw their hat.
How true :)
 

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I'm actually suprised at the level of disdain for the arts. We should look at how successful Europe has been able to cultivate its arts scene and culture, & how its aura attracts visitors and intellectuals worldwide. The Arts should be seen as smart investments, not some piece of trash you throw money at. After, the Arts is a talent trust...teeming with creativity & energy.

You can't be a world class country/city without a thriving arts community.



Boris550 said:
If the Art Gallery of Ontario wants more money, they can either raise it themselves or get it from the provincial government...
We would be able to afford it if equalization wasn't so painful to the Ontario economy. Afterall, Ontario's post-secondary spending per capita is second lowest in the country, so...

KGB said:
Hey...I have an interesting idea...why don't we just have the money spent where it's collected...that way every person in Toronto can have everything it wants...and more....and everybody else can just go screw their hat.
Couldn't agree more.
 
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