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Government To Eliminate Arts Travel Program

The National Post reports that the Conservative government is eliminating the $4.7 million PromArt program that funded travel for artists to promote Canadian culture.

Update: The Globe and Mail reports that the government has also eliminated the $9 million Trade Routes program that helps sell Canadian content abroad. 


  1. Conservative Thinking on culture
    THIS is the Conservative Thinking on culture.

    This and C-61 show how the government REALLY cares about Canadian artists.

  2. Good to get rid of it
    Sounds like a boondoggle to me. It\\\’s a good thing for taxpayers they\\\’re getting rid of it.

  3. good to get rid of it?
    thanks steve! yes, because there is obviously no value to promoting art.

    come on.

    as well. 4.7 million is a steal. quick calculations put that at about 15 cents per Canadian.

  4. Steve, if you are for reducing taxes for no reason, are you another Conservative?

    It should not be about reducing taxes, but about spending the existing ones efficiently.

  5. Of course George W. Harper would like to get rid of a lefty artistic program that promotes Canadian culture because the only thing he is interested would be promoting a new Neo-Conservative Americanised Fascist Police-State culture!

  6. Farrell J. McGovern says:

    Steve, sock puppet for Conservatives?
    Well, Steve, funds like the one being discussed, and others like the Canada Council grants that have been cut hurt Canadian commerce…yes, your so-called boondoggles actually help our economy! How?

    Well, for example, there used to be a conference called The Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature that happened yearly in Ottawa. Part of it’s funding came from the Canada Council. It hosted most of the best known Speculative Fiction writers in Canada, allowing them to meet, chat about the state of publishing in Canada, and talk to editors. Before the conference existed, very few Canadian writers, except for the big names like Gibson, Robinson, Kay and Duncan, had US publishing contracts. David Hartwell, Senior Editor at TOR books, said he did more business at this conference than he did at the World Science Fiction Convention, which is because of it’s nature, where many editors meet with their writers. To do more business at *any* conference besides the World SF Convention is an amazing accomplishment.

    So your type of “boondoggle” has returned many times it’s value in commerce through the publishing industry and spin offs. A number of writers found publishing contracts, and thus are making money as writers, contributing to our economy. And some of the people who got their start through contacts at that conference are some of the rising stars in publishing today.

    You had better look at what a fund does before you label it a “boondoggle”, Steve, rather than just being another sock puppet for the Conservative Party.


  7. Hail Harper
    I never heard about the right-wing be interested in culture since they actually act by ignorance and populist values (such as “tax cuts”). They are just being consistent with their anti culture and fascist policy (it is better to spend money on weapons than on culture). Unfortunately culture makes you think and produces that “lefty” intelligentsia which eventually is a pain in the neck.

  8. Harper
    So it looks as if the govt is cutting all the fat from the govt. I will definitely be voting Conservative next time. Its too bad the flaming limp wristed liberals don’t see the value in..getting money BACK for themselves.

  9. Farrell J. McGovern says:

    Can’t think for themselves…
    Hey, X10, the remote control protocol…obviously your connections go right back to Neo-Con church-bunker. Arts enrich our communities and our country. Canada is about community, not individualistic wealth gathering. If you want that, move to the US!!!! Get out of my country! And take your Neo-Con BS with it!

  10. Tal Tal Bachman needs the help
    Thanks guys. I see the light now. Tal Bachman needs our help.

    Obviously such investments with such enormous benefit can only be made by government. Artists are clearly too short-sighted to invest in themselves. I stand corrected.

  11. God, you a conservative idiot Steve!
    Need I say more?
    God, I coming off like a lefty, I just want to be a concerned Canadian!
    Steve, you probably also think that Russia going to war with Georgia is about some extra land and has nothing to do about a pipeline! Open your eyes to everything that is going on around you including our little Canadian free speech issues. Didn’t mean to digress, but sheeple need to look at the bigger picture, including dropping Canadian cultural benefits!

  12. Dwight Williams says:

    As to that Spec-Fic Conference?
    Which PM’s watch did the cancellation of that conference’s funding occur on, Farrell?

    As to the whole PromArt issue in general…once again, I’m disappointed in the New Conservatives’ adherence to doctrine over good sense.

  13. JasonN a lefty?
    You be the judge.

    In this thread JasonN says:

    “Of course George W. Harper would like to get rid of a lefty artistic program that promotes Canadian culture because the only thing he is interested would be promoting a new Neo-Conservative Americanised Fascist Police-State culture!”

    In a previous thread he argues:

    “You guys can keep voting for the right wing, christian fundamentalist, typical promise-breaking Conservative Bush lapdogs and I’ll vote NDP, who are the only party fighting for the rights of Canadian citizens instead of U.S. corporations.”

    Ad hominem sure. But according to JasonN, he is concerned not a lefty. You can always tell when someone is losing the debate when they resort to invoking George Bush as the core of their argument.

  14. I knew that had to be the same old Steve
    Funny Steve, I didn’t realise there was an argument or that I was losing it! Following your train of thought, I’m sure there would be a lot of people aroud here who would disagree with you. It would be nice if you just trolled elsewhere, as I’ve seen your site and your right wing agenda and it’s basically contrary to everything on this site, so I don’t know why you bother! Weren’t you going to burn your Conservative member card or something? You can have the final word if you like as I won’t entertain your “Boondoggle” Harperite comments any further.

  15. JasonN still doesn’t get it
    JasonN, I won’t hide the fact that I lean Conservative, unlike you pretending not to be a “lefty.”

    There may be arguments that PromArt is a good program. But you seem to think that once you call someone right wing, neo-con, Harperite or some sort of Bush lackey, the argument is over.

    As someone who works in government, I see all sorts of public policy boondoggles. We all pay for bad public policy. It undermines people’s faith in government, while diverting resources from other better uses, including our personal use as taxpayers. I’m not an ideological tax cutter and I’m not anti-culture in any way. I have previously worked as a professional musician (without subsidy I might add) and many of my friends still work/struggle in the field.

    So tell me, without any specious, ad hominem attacks, does PromArt provide good value for the taxpayer dollar? While I’m sure there were many worthy recipients of the subsidies, emerging artists and the like, why are we giving money to best-selling authors and musicians with number-one hits? Convince me that this is not a boondoggle.

    As it stands, PromArt appears to me to be the antithesis of good public policy. Should the program be reformed, scrapped or left as is, to continue such apparent wasteful practices? Are there better ways to support the arts? That is what this is about.

  16. Junji the R.A.T.M Fan
    “American eyes, American eyes
    View the world from American eyes
    Bury the past, rob us blind
    And leave nothin behind.” – No Shelter By Rage Against The Machine

  17. Art and Mark Twain
    From art comes innovation. Canadian innovation will continue to suffer until we have another federal election. Remember, the majority of Canadians didn’t vote for the current administration. We like art and innovation.

    These cuts shouldn’t come as a surprise as our current Prime Minister doesn’t seem to like to travel much. Perhaps he should heed the words of Mark Twain in “Innocents Abroad”: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”

  18. value vs cost
    These are time where unfortunately people think more with their pockets than with their minds. Happiness is a state of mind and you do not need money in order to be happy. If you think money is everything try to give $50 bucks to your partner and ask him/her to have sex. Let’s guest what he/she will think about you. Let’s think in terms of “values” rather than in terms of “cost”. Culture is priceless for the rest there is Mastercard 😉

  19. Ontario’s Past
    Look at what the conservative provincial government did to Ontario. They cut everything social, culture, education, etc. The cuts went right for the jugular and left our arts culture bleeding for decades.

    I don’t understand the conservative way of thinking. In all my years, this political party simply disregards anything cultural, almost as if it’s an annoyance.

  20. I mentioned this in another spot … but really the Conservatives true colours are showing..

    They are the modern era Diefenbaker\’s!! – anti-urban, anti-culture, anti-technology.

    The PC vision for Canada is have everyone work on the farms.

    To our new Diefenbaker\’s – there\’s no money in technology. Like Diefenbaker the Harper Gov gets it\’s advice from the states.

  21. Here\’s a comment on PromArt from Peter Worthington:

    [ link ]

    I don\’t think I\’m as heartbroken as everyone else about this program getting the ax.

  22. “Like Diefenbaker the Harper Gov gets it\’s advice from the states.”

    WTF? Please, read a little bit of Canadian history before typing such a totally stupid comment.

    [ link ]