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Canada needs a Visual Artist Laureate

Show your support for a Parliamentary Visual Arts Laureate

On May 6, 2021, the Senate of Canada passed Bill S-205, in support of the creation of a Parliamentary Visual Arts Laureate position. It still needs Parliamentary approval – and you can help!

The Visual Arts Laureate, as proposed in the bill, would be a two-year appointed position, and through this role, an artist would “promote the arts in Canada, through Parliament, including by fostering knowledge, enjoyment, awareness, and development of the arts,” through such activities as art creation, presentation of exhibitions and artistic events, and advising the Parliamentary Library on their cultural holdings.

In 2015 artist Peter Gough began advocating for the creation of a Visual Arts Laureate position. A bill was introduced by Senator Wilfred Moore in 2017, and since then it has been proposed for legislation several times by Senator Patricia Bovey. In May, Senator Bovey told the Senate: “I have learned in these past few months that if the Senate and the House of Commons pass this bill, the artists will see this as a huge vote of moral confidence in a time when they have given so much, and as a way of recognizing their work.”

What can you do?

Before becoming law, the bill requires approval from the House of Commons. With Parliament expected to close soon for the summer, we are asking you to write to your Member of Parliament to express support for the creation of a Visual Arts Laureate position.

Tell your MP why it matters to artists, and what it means to you as a constituent.

You can find the name and email address of your MP here.


Photo: Márcio Cabral de Moura