6 Canadian arts newsmakers for 2008

0 Posted by - December 20, 2008 - Blog, Policy

In a year marked by the dullest Canadian election in decades, the arts featured prominently in the headlines, but for all the wrong reasons. As the Conservative government chopped up arts funding and dreamed up censorship schemes, Canada’s arts community fought back with drama, ditty and diatribe.

CBC published a list of their top ten Canadian arts newsmakers for 2008, and unsurprisingly the majority of them have a political bent to them.

Young People Fucking

Young People Fucking

Young People Fucking: the controversial film about, well, young people fucking, was a flashpoint for hotheaded Conservative politicians who were looking for a scapegoat when seeking to censor Canadian films.

Michel Rivard: the Quebec songwriter joined in the resistance to government arts censorship, starring in Culture in Danger, where he plays a songwriter before a federal arts board staffed with indignant anglos, who reject funding for his song about a seal (or phoque in french), deeming it offensive.

Margaret Atwood: when Stephen Harper took the hatchets to arts funding, Atwood tore a chunk out of the Prime Minister’s ego.

The Masked Avengers: the Quebecois pranksters went after 2008’s easiest target, calling up American VP candidate Sarah Palin and posing as French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Lawrence Hill

Lawrence Hill

Lawrence Hill: the Ontario author’s latest novel, The Book of Negroes, wins the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Writers Trust Award for fiction. The work is a first-person narrative of an 18th century African slave who petitions a British monarch to end slavery.

Geri Hall: the co-anchor of This Hour has 22 Minutes, Hall ambushed Stephen Harper during a news conference, declaring her love for him—and handcuffs, before being tossed out in the cold.

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