City of St. John's: Invest in Arts and Culture: We are asking City Council to increase municipal arts funding to $4/capita by 2017

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City of St. John's: Invest in Arts and Culture: We are asking City Council to increase municipal arts funding to $4/capita by 2017

This petition had 498 supporters

Pat Foran started this petition to Budget Consultation (City of St. John's) and

To my fellow artists, arts organizations and supporters of the arts in St. John’s,

The City of St. John’s is engaged in a budget consultation process for coming fiscal year, and I want to ensure that we are part of that process.

In 2013, the City increased its funding for Artists and Arts Organizations to $178,000, at a rate of $1.50 per capita.  This fund had previously been at $1 per capita, so I am pleased that the City is recognizing the important role that Arts and Culture plays in the City.  The fund is scheduled to increase to $2 per capita for the coming fiscal year, which is terrific.

When announcing this increase in Arts investment, then Deputy Mayor Shannie Duff, Chair of the City’s Arts Advisory Committee, said, “supporting arts and cultural development in St. John’s benefits the entire community. It enhances our quality of life, contributes to economic growth, and is a significant part of what makes St. John’s a unique and desirable destination for visitors.” These claims are echoed in a report from Hill Strategies titled The Arts and Individual Well-Being in Canada, which states that Canadians who attend or participate in cultural activities are much more likely to be in good health, to be involved with their community, and to report strong satisfaction with life. In short, we know that culture delivers tangible benefits to our community.

But when it comes to municipal Arts funding, St. John’s is actually at a disadvantage. Our City’s level of investment in the arts is well below that of other capital Canadian cities on a per capita basis:

Large Municipality / Per Capita municipal culture grants

Vancouver  $28

Calgary  $18

Montreal $17

Ottawa $10

Toronto $8

Average for Large Municipalities  $14

Critics would say we are not a large municipality, however, even when compared with cities of a similar size, The City of St. John’s falls short.

Victoria, BC  $4.11 per capita, based on $321,000 arts grants / 78,055 population

Barrie, ON   $2.53 per capita, based on $325,000 arts grants / 128,430 population

St. John’s, NL  $1.72* per capita, based on $177,800 arts grants / 106,172 population

*The city stated at the time that Municipal Arts Grants were $1.50 per capita. The population figure for St. John’s, 106,172 is based on the 2011 census.

We are asking City Council to plan for a sustained increase in municipal arts funding, resulting in a municipal arts investment of $4 per capita by the end of this council’s term in 2017.  If you agree, and you want your support for our position to be heard, please sign below.




Petition Closed

This petition had 498 supporters