The national associations representing visual artists, CARFAC and RAAV, regret the decision taken by the Minister for Canadian Heritage to reduce its financial support to Art Museums and Galleries across the country, by $4.6 million. This decision will have direct consequences on artists whose works are exhibited in these institutions, and for this reason RAAV and CARFAC ask Minister Bev Oda to cancel this decision.
While CARFAC and RAAV are in full negotiations with the National Gallery of Canada and are in discussions with Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization to improve the sums allocated to artists whose works they exhibit, this decision from the Ministry of Canadian Heritage has had the effect of a cold shower. In their attempts to convince Canadian museums directors to remit higher exhibition and reproduction rights to visual artists, RAAV and CARFAC count on granting agencies to increase their support to museums, galleries and artists-run centres. Sadly, it seems that the Conservative government, in spite of surpluses much greater to those expected, do not take into account the difficult situation facing visual artists and the presenters who exhibit their works.
In addition, while Canada is making efforts to have the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity ratified by the greatest number of countries, it is surprising and sad that this government is taking a position that goes against the convention. The convention requests signatory countries to ensure proper income to their artists in order to strengthen their voice and visibility on the national and the international levels. It is regrettable that the Minister of Canadian Heritage seems to disregard the link between her decision and the convention that Canada has ratified.
Considering the negative consequences on the living conditions of visual artists, CARFAC and RAAV urge Minister Oda to cancel this decision and demonstrate her understanding and her support to the requests made by the organizations representing visual artists from all across Canada.
April Britski, CARFAC National Director