One of the main goals of the CCF/FCMA is to act as the voice of craft in an advocacy capacity, often in partnership with the national visual arts and cultural sector. Together, we campaign for improved access to cultural funding and programs on behalf of all craftspeople in Canada. Recently, we undertook several actions to raise awareness about the importance of federal support for the arts.
On October 2nd in Saint John, NB, CCF Director, Maegen Black, and CCF First Vice President, Kim Bent, presented a cultural brief to the Federal government’s Standing Committee on Finance. This included recommendations on fair taxation regarding grant income, continued budgetary increases for the Canada Council for the Arts, increased access to Red Seal Trades financial incentives and tax credit programs, implementation of an Artist’s Resale Right, and modernization of the National Museum Policy.
On this same day, Sandra Dupret, CCF President, and Gilles Latour, CCF Past President, represented craft in Ottawa for Arts Day on the Hill. This national day of advocacy is a chance for artists, arts workers, arts service organizations, and national arts service organizations to meet with Members of Parliament and Senators to discuss how the federal government can support the Arts and Culture sector.
Two weeks later, at the CCF’s Placemaking: The Unique Connection Between Craft, Community + Tourism conference in Nova Scotia, we asked the question, “What does craft look like in relation to community?” We were thrilled to have the Honourable Patricia Bovey, long-time arts advocate and Independent Senator for Manitoba, as the keynote speaker for our Lunenburg sessions. Hosted by the Lunenburg School of the Arts, Senator Bovey spoke about her many initiatives at the Senate of Canada. Her speech touched on many important subjects, such as art’s important role in society and how it strengthens Canada’s profile abroad, First Nations Reconciliation through the arts, and income/working conditions for artists in Canada.
I believe I am the first art historian and museologist in the Senate’s 150-year history and as such, I am well aware of my daunting responsibility to ensure artists are at the forefront of all our discussions. When the Prime Minister called to appoint me to the Chamber he made it very clear that I was to be independent, that I was to work on everything, assist in improving legislation, and to do it all “through the lens of arts and culture.” That is my mantra!
You too can advocate for craft on behalf of a rich community of craftspeople in Canada! Share your advocacy projects online and tag @ccffcma on social media posts.
Photo (left to right): Alistair Martin Smith of the North American Drama Therapy Association, MP for London-Fanshawe Irene Mathyssen, CCF/FCMA President Sandra Dupret, The Honourable Senator Patricia Bovey, CCF/FCMA First Vice President Kim Bent, CCF/FCMA Director Maegen Black.