The Liberal government has stayed true to its promise to increase support for the arts and culture sector with the release of its first budget.
Overall funding will increase to $1.9 billion over five years (2016–2021), including an investment totalling $550 million – increasing annually from $40 million in 2016–2017 to $180 million in 2020–2021 – in Canada Council for the Arts, which offers support and grants to artists, including writers and publishers.
In response to the budget, Canada Council director and CEO Simon Brault says in a press release:
The doubling of the Canada Council’s budget is an incredible vote of confidence in the capacities of the arts to invigorate our economy and support social cohesion. The Canada Council, along with the remarkable artists and organizations we support, is ready and anxious to responsibly deliver results that will benefit millions of Canadians.
The industry will also benefit from an investment of $35 million over two years (2016–2018) for a new program to support the promotion of Canadian artists worldwide. In 2008, the former Conservative government cancelled the Trade Routes program, which provided grants for global tours and other promotional initiatives.