Council Update – Arts Motion

This Tuesday, September 8, council resumes after the August recess. We’d like to alert members and supporters to Councillor Woodsworth’s emergency motion which calls on the provincial government to restore the approximately 50% cut to arts and culture investment in the province.

Before the cuts, the Arts and Culture budget represented 0.5% of the budget and now the BC Liberals are cutting arts and culture investment from approximately 47.8 million in 2008/2009 down to about 3.7 million in 2010/2011, reducing it to 1971 levels.

According to the government’s own statistics, every dollar invested in the arts brings in $1.38 in taxes alone.

MLA Spencer Herbert, states that “every other jurisdiction in Canada — even those dealing with much bigger deficits than BC’s — have either increased or maintained their support for arts and culture because the creative economy matters, and works. These cuts will create significant job losses in a sector with one of the highest rates of “spin-off” returns.”

Councillor Woodsworth adds, “The City of Vancouver is committed to supporting the arts and culture community in the city, but we can’t do it alone. We require provincial and federal funding and partnerships to maintain a vibrant and healthy arts and culture community. Not only does supporting the arts make good sense for our communities, it’s the economically prudent thing to do.”

She continues, “The only funding that the government has thus far restored – for fear of being sued – is the multi-year gaming funding which is a drop in the bucket. These cuts will be truly devastating for the Vancouver arts community.”

The motion calls on the city to write a letter to the Premier, the Minister for Tourism, Culture and the Arts, and the Minister for Finance (CC to all BC MLA’s, the Union of BC Municipalities and Vancouver Members of Parliament), demanding that they re-institute all arts and culture funding, including that allocated through the BC Arts Council and Direct Access Gaming. In addition, it calls upon the provincial government to restore all Direct Access Gaming funding and for the issue to be placed on the next UBCM agenda.

Supporters are encouraged to email to support the motion and ensure it makes it onto the agenda. The timing for the motion will appear at as soon as it is posted. We’d also like to encourage you to write to the premier at or to your own MLA to tell them that art and culture matter.

Full agendas are always available at



Arts Rally


Please join us on Wednesday at noon in front of the Art Gallery to let the government of BC know that their cuts to our arts and culture sector are not acceptable.


WHEN: Noon, Wednesday, September 9
WHERE: Vancouver Art Gallery


Wear gray – the colour of life without art.



Pass this information on to your friends and colleagues, urging them to write to their MLA’s and to come to the gathering at the VAG on Wednesday.

Art matters. Culture matters. We need your voices.


 School Board Update – Emergency Board Meeting



While the creative sector is fighting back against the disastrous BC Liberal budget, the Vancouver School Board is also facing extreme cutbacks.

The VSB will be holding an Extraordinary Board Meeting Wednesday September 9th 7 pm 1580 West Broadway Avenue.


COPE trustee and Board Vice Chair Jane Bouey says, "The purpose of the meeting is to get an update from our staff on the School Board’s budget situation and implications for next year. I expect there will be some action motions from Trustees regarding our response to the impact of the Provincial Government’s cuts."


The VSB has had their $10.6 Annual Facilities Grant eliminated. This combined with having to cover costs of MSP increases, HST, and H1N1 related costs has had a very serious impact on the VSB’s financial situation.


More info will be available soon at


Harmony Awards


The City of Vancouver is now accepting nominations for the 13th annual City of Vancouver Cultural Harmony Awards.


The awards recognize outstanding contributions by individuals or organizations in promoting greater understanding, respect and cooperation among people of different cultural groups and backgrounds.


All nominees must live or work in the city of Vancouver. Eligible organizations include non-profit groups or service clubs, educational institutions, hospitals, government departments, unions, professional and trade associations, media organizations, small businesses, and public and private corporations.


Nomination forms and details on the requirements for nomination packages are available at the Equal Employment Opportunity office at City Hall (453 West 12th  Avenue, ground floor), or on the City’s website at: Completed nomination packages must be received at the Equal Employment Opportunity Office by Friday, Oct. 2, 2009.


An independent jury will choose winners based on the nature, scope and impact of their achievements. Winners are honoured with a tree planted in their name and a plaque in the Park Board’s Cultural Harmony Grove on the south shore of False Creek. Vancouver City Council will also recognize the recipients at a Council meeting in November.


Last year, the Cultural Harmony Award in the organization category was presented to the Vancouver Moving Theatre for the development of accessible interdisciplinary theatre, events and community art influenced by Vancouver’s Pacific Rim culture. Romi Chandra was selected as the recipient in the individual category for his involvement as a young person and his long-term commitment to anti-discrimination issues.


The Cultural Harmony Awards are sponsored by the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. The awards were instituted in 1996 by the City to honour significant and sustained commitment to the promotion of cultural harmony in Vancouver.


Councillor Woodsworth to participate in “The Value of Unpaid Work” film screening and panel


Should we measure how well we are doing by how much we shop?!

Genuine Progress Index Pacific is presenting The Value of Unpaid Work, the fourth of a five-part Speaker Series that is highlighting unique perspectives about genuine progress on Monday, September 14 at 7 p.m. at the Vancouver Central Library, 300 West Georgia St.


The Value of Unpaid Work features a panel discussion with Ellen Woodsworth, Vancouver City Councillor and Cynthia Oka from the Vancouver Status of Women. The session begins with a showing of “Who’s Counting? Sex, Lies and Global Economics” an NFB film featuring Marilyn Waring. The ground-breaking film, made in 1995, was the stimulus for tracking unpaid work in census data collection around the world, including in Canada.


All sessions are held at the Vancouver Central Library, 300 West Georgia St. They are FREE and open to the public. The Speaker Series is made possible with financial support from Coast Capital Savings.


For further information please call Melanie Conn at 604-736-0935 or visit our website:


COPE’s “I am a free speech zone” T-shirts and Undies



Our first order of merchandise is already sold out, so we’re ordering some more! Please email to pre-order. Photos and prices can be found on the website at

Sept 5: Council update, arts rally, school board update, Harmony Awards, "Value of Unpaid Work" and COPE merch

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