United in ART
The Future Growth and Survival for Art in Canada Mr. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada Mr. Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance Mr. James Moore, Minister of Art & Culture Hi, my name is Francois Paul Thibault, I am an artist, sometimes solvent and sometimes in need……… you know how this works. I am writing to you because I have I found one of the biggest oxymoron in our Federal Government system that could change the lives of all artists in Canada. Please read the issue, it’s important to artists and to anyone that appreciates or supports the arts. The following solution will benefit all Canadians if the powers that be realize that this request is very reasonable and a very easy fix. I promise you, it's happening all over Canada. I’ve spoken with a variety of Canadians, federal employees, union reps and regular business people; they all agree to support this in order to help all Canadians as well as Canadian artists.
**THE ISSUE **
I participated in a forum in Ottawa to discuss how artists in Canada view and foresee the development of the arts and it's industry in Canada. The earnings statistics of artists in Canada and the monies spent by our government to help support this great Canadian enigma called,"The Canadian Arts” is in perril. Most artists in Canada are struggling; for the most part, they are at or well bellow the poverty levels due to the lack of support that exists in our country. Not that there is no budgets, they put all expenses under this , from hotels to airfares to hall rentals to manager etc.... If we are lucky 10% goes to the artists.
*Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments MAJOR Faux-Pas*
The Federal governments awards program is a multimillion dollar program that begs one to ask , why is our government spending millions of dollars in support of the arts in one hand and yet reward employees with foreign made mix masters, plastic clocks, sets of luggage, cameras, blenders and wrist watches all made and imported from foreign countries ? It happens at all levels of government, right down to your own City Hall. I found this terrible *Faux - pas* in the Federal government’s awards program and recognized it immediately
The Canadian art industry, as a whole, needs help in order to survive; it needs to be elevated and nurtured in order for it to succeed. What better way to accomplish this by having the Government of Canada proclaim that Canadian MADE ART should be legislated as the * Official Gifts *and tokens of appreciation to rewards our Federal employees and or visiting dignitaries. This simple step would be a huge leap forward and a much needed boost to the Canadian art industry. This decree would nurture the development of artists while demonstrating pride and genuine appreciation towards the recipients and guests. These art based rewards would not be limited to the visual arts, they could entail autographed music CD’s or film productions, literary works, pottery, jewellery, leather works and artworks from Canada’s First Nation, Métis or Inuit artists. This art based reward system would create opportunities to a variety of fine artists and artisans from across this great country. These could also be utilized as part payment for commissions for larger works or used as a financial infusion towards the costs of a yearly theater membership fees as well. The future growth and survival for artists in Canada must start at the federal government levels and encouraged at the Provincial, Territorial and City levels as well. Imagine the benefits that this simple gesture would create. These steps need to be implemented by our governments and addressed with enthusiasm. Not only would the governments be awarding their employees with great gifts but they would be finally fixing the current oxymoron that exists by supporting the foreign manufacturing and distributors instead of our own government funded art industry. BONUS + Corporate Taxes & Revenues If the Government of Canada got on board and led the way, how much financial support do you think would then be added to the art industry if Corporate Canada were encouraged to follow suit? If corporations were approached to do the same via a little bigger tax incentive for Canadian art purchases for their company gifts and promotions, our government could possibly save millions as an end result. We need our government to examine this and get this in place ASAP. Just imagine if Bell, Rogers or Bombardier and other large employers were to get on board, the results would be astounding, our government and country would enjoy the benefits while more and more artists would gladly contribute to our country’s tax base. The following is a just a sample of a couple of employers and employees in Canada. With a little effort and better tax incentives for art purchases, we could change lives. I believe there are thousands of corporations that would participate. *Telus Corporation Telus Corporation is Canada's second-largest telecommunications company, Internet, voice and wireless communication services. 24,384 full time staff *Loblaw Companies Limited Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada's largest food distributor of drugstore, general merchandise and financial products and services 31,582 full time staff *Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is the country's largest financial services group with over 85,000 full- and part-time employees 51,100 full time staff *TD Bank Financial Group TD Bank Financial Group provides financial and banking services to approximately 17 million customers’ worldwide 38,907 full time staff *BC Public Service BC Public Service is British Columbia's largest employer, with close to 30,000 employees working in 280 communities 25,581 full time staff *Ontario Public Service The Ontario Public Service (OPS) manages government programs and services to the people in Canada's most populous province 64,725 full time staff Please take the time to review and entertain these suggestions, it is what our country needs for the benefit of your staff and the artists of Canada. A 10 year corporate and public art purchase incentive would change Canada forever. This is the link where employees go and select their Government award. Prepare yourself for what you are about to experience, this is your money, your taxes that are used to purchase these items to be given as reward to OUR Federal Employees Follow this link, enter as * the recipient, go select a department and follow the instruction,
If you think that you can help, please do by sending this to your favorite MP and send to someone that might do the same, we need to do something, I can’t do this alone, please send your support to Link to your MP http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parlinfo/Compilations/HouseofCommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx?Menu=HOC. In closing, I really need your help. This is the biggest injustices made against the development of the arts in Canada, and one that could easily be rectified. I am but one voice from Canada’s far north and this will never be enough. Would you please consider the issue and help me start a movement that will surely change the way the Government of Canada cherishes its people and perhaps encourage corporate Canada to do the same. So far, I contacted a few politicians and art groups have received this, and it is going to make it to Parliament, but it is not going to be addressed unless we apply a little pressure through your goodwill. Please forward this to artists and art aficionados that aren’t afraid of speaking out. I am sending this to the top but as all strategies, I need to have my flanks and my rear covered! Get on board; after all, it’s for all of us
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