The Conservative government’s 2009 pledge to deliver $25 million in prize money for the arts remains an empty promise.
Responding to widespread backlash after making $45 million in cuts to arts and culture funding, the Harper government announced the Canada Prizes for the Arts and Creativity — $25 million to be doled out annually to international artists.
But a CBC investigation found that the endowment fund for the prizes has yet to be transferred to the Canada Council for the Arts.
When asked by CBC, Heritage Minister James Moore argued that the funds are still on hold because the program is “tricky” and “complicated”, and attempted to shift responsibility onto the Canada Council and the private sector.
“We want to make sure the prizes grow; we want to make sure the Canada Council has a robust private-sector fundraising arm to make sure the prizes start at $25 million and grow from there,” Moore told the CBC.
Image: Conservative Heritage Minister James Moore and Laureen Harper walk the red carpet at the Genie Awards (source).