General information: Status of the Artist
What is happening?
The Government of Alberta is exploring ways to enhance the status of Alberta’s artists and recognize the important social and economic contributions artists make to the province and the quality of life of Albertans.
Status of the Artist initiatives, which can include legislation, consistently have two main components:
- Recognizing and raising awareness of the value of artists in Alberta; and
- Enhancing the economic and working conditions of artists in Alberta.
Why we are talking to you?
We are talking to artists and representative arts organizations across Alberta and from different communities so we can gather feedback from a variety of perspectives. What we learn from these discussions will be used to:
- Ensure the government’s actions are meaningful and reflective of Alberta’s arts community;
- Identify specific actions government could take to recognize and enhance the status of Alberta’s artists; and
- Better inform government policies and programs that impact artists.
Our government began an initial engagement process in November and December of 2017. This next round of engagement is building on what we learned last year.
How do other Canadian jurisdictions recognize and enhance the status of artists?
Some Canadian jurisdictions recognize artists through Status of the Artist legislation. The federal government and five provinces—Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador—have Status of the Artist legislation. While the content of each province’s legislation varies widely, it consistently serves as a formal commitment to the arts and artists.
What can you expect?
At an engagement session, you can expect to spend approximately three and a half hours discussing issues with other artists and arts stakeholders about how to raise the profile of artists and their contributions to Alberta’s society. This process will help us gather information about meaningful ways the government can contribute to this goal, either through the introduction of legislation or through other means (such as recommending changes to current policy).
How else can you provide feedback?
We are also gathering feedback through an online survey. We encourage you to also share your thoughts at www.alberta.ca/status-of-the-artist-engagement.aspx The survey will remain open until June 22, 2018.
What supports and resources are currently available to artists in Alberta?
The Government of Alberta primarily supports artists and arts organizations through the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA). Through the AFA, the government supports artistic activity that encourages excellence, provides public access, promotes the value of the arts and celebrates Alberta artists as cultural ambassadors.
Through the AFA, individual artists can apply for project funding that supports art production, training and career development (including support for tuition or program fees), art marketing, or art research. The AFA also provides operating and project funding to art organizations that provide artist employment or purchase artists’ work or services. The government also acquires, preserves and shares artwork by Albertan artists through the AFA Art Collection.
The government increased funding for the AFA in 2017. The government also supports programs and initiatives that benefit the arts sector in Alberta, such as:
- The new Screen-Based Production Grant, which launched in 2017 and supports the creation of film and television production in Alberta;
- The Northern and Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditoriums, which host more than 430 performances per year and the government recently announced a $9.3 million investment to upgrade;
- Community grants, including the Community Facility Enhancement Program which provides funding to purchase build, renovate or upgrade public-use community facilities, such as the recent investments to rebuild the Roxy Theatre in Edmonton and upgrade the Arts Commons facility in Calgary; and,
- Alberta Culture Days, which provides grants to support the province’s largest celebration of arts, heritage, diversity and community spirit.