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An Art Rally For The Politicians

Last night I attended an Art Rally - a Meet your Provincial Candidate Evening - at the PEI Council of The Arts. Don Mackinnon, Ken Bingham and Jacob Mal were there to represent their respective parties.There might have been 60 people in attendence. Although there was a lot of talk about not enough money for the arts, it became very clear - something I've recognized for a long time, that the Provincial Government does support the arts in a wide and varied way and to a very generous degree. Take those dollars and do a per capita on them and you see us up there with the best of them in the country. However , the problem is that the dollars come out of various pots and the common denomenator is hardly recognizable. The money comes from the Dept of Education in charge of Culture, the Dept of Tourism in charge of - well they say marketing and the Dept of Economic Development. We could look further and we'd fine some dollars coming out of the Dept of Community Development and, yes, even the Premier's office directly. And this governement is no different than any previous government. Add it all up and you have big bucks and they cover the gamut - fine arts, music, crafts, film, heritage, small museums, arts councils, Heritage Places Protection group, School of Piping and, of course the Confederation Centre of the Arts and I suppose you could add the Capital Commission and their flag ship Discovery Centre/Founders' Hall. It would also be unfair not to include the Anne World, Institute of Island Studies, the Festivals and Bill Buell's community development business and seperate French funding and now even go so far as separate schools. A nice little exercise would be to add up the number of executive directors, secretaries, board members and FRIENDS and PATRONS needed for them all. I think you'd find that culture and heritage is alive and well on PEI. There is a " but"

Written Friday, April 07, 2000 at 06:32 PM

(c) 2000 by Catherine Hennessey. Questions or comments? Email me@catherinehennessey.com

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