Sunday, December 7, 2008

Re: Cultural Arts Funding

This just in from the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Honourable Lawrence Cannon:

Mr. Michael Kruse


Dear Mr. Kruse:

The Office of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister,
forwarded to my predecessor, the Honourable David L. Emerson, on August
20, 2008, your email concerning arts promotion programs, in particular
the conclusion of the International Arts Promotion Program (Promart). I
regret the delay in replying to you.

I appreciate having the benefit of your views on this issue and I have
taken note of your concerns. In the 2007 federal budget, the Government
of Canada committed to review all program spending on a four-year cycle
to ensure the efficient and effective management of public funds to meet
the needs of Canadians. In the 2008 federal budget, the Government
presented the first results of the Strategic Review which involved 17
federal departments and agencies, including Foreign Affairs and
International Trade Canada (DFAIT).

It was a primary objective that resources be used to carry out core
mandates and achieve key objectives as efficiently as possible. DFAIT
will, therefore, focus its activities on advancing Canadian interests
and values in the world and providing Canadians with vital consular,
business and diplomatic services. As such, on March 31, 2009, Promart
will end. Promart grant applications will be received only for projects
whose expenditures will take place before that date, and as funds are

Overall, the conclusion of the Promart program only affects a relatively
minor portion of the $2.31 billion that the federal government spends
annually on the arts and cultural sector. Please note that Canadian
Heritage and its portfolio organizations will continue to play the lead
role in the government's overall promotion of arts and culture at home
and abroad. These portfolio organizations and delivery partners - which
include the Canada Council for the Arts, the Association for the Export
of Canadian Books, the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Records
(FACTOR) and the Fondation Musicaction (Musicaction), Telefilm Canada
and the National Film Board - have annual funding dedicated to
international initiatives for culture.

DFAIT will continue to support the promotion of Canadian artists and
cultural entrepreneurs abroad through its international network of
missions and cultural representatives - including the Canadian Cultural
Centre in Paris - in close collaboration with these organizations.

Please be assured that the Government of Canada remains committed to
arts and culture and will continue to work on behalf of Canadian

Thank you for writing and sharing your concerns.


The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Foreign Affairs

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