The Ottawa Cultural Alliance today acknowledged and thanked the City of Ottawa for the 1.5% inflationary increase in the City’s cultural funding and for investments made to date in A Renewed Action Plan for Arts, Heritage and Culture (2013-2018) but is disappointed that the City is unable to make any additional investments in the City’s six-year Action Plan in its 2016 budget.
“We are very concerned that the City was unable to make 2016 investments in this unanimously approved Plan intended to give the cultural community and our City stronger economic leveraging power and greater social impact,” said Victoria Steele, Chair, Ottawa Cultural Alliance and Executive Director of AOE Arts Council. “Every day that the Action Plan is not funded negatively impacts our potential.”
At the mid-point of the Action Plan, only 22% of the intended $4.955 M in planned investments are in place. No additional investments means a slower ramp up for Ottawa to reach average per capita cultural investment competitiveness, compared to other Canadian major cities*. The Alliance is also concerned that no new investments now will limit the local cultural industry’s ability to leverage provincial and federal cultural investments in 2016. These investments are critical, especially leading up to 2017.
Carole Anne Piccinin, Ottawa Festivals Executive Director stated that the Alliance is “encouraged by Councillor Diane Deans’ thoughtful stance on the importance of keeping the Action Plan on track. Our City and cultural industry are falling further behind without additional investments in the Plan. We want to ensure we can reap the benefits that the Plan is intended to bring. Surely average is not beyond our reach. The Alliance is ready to continue to work collaboratively with the City to this end.”
The Ottawa Cultural Alliance works collaboratively to strategically address shared opportunities and challenges to further advance the success of Ottawa’s cultural sector. The Alliance comprises umbrella organizations that have over 800 members across the City and collectively serve as the voice for this vibrant sector, including: AOE Arts Council, Council of Heritage Organizations in Ottawa (CHOO|COPO), Heritage Ottawa, Ottawa Arts Council, Ottawa Festivals and Ottawa Museum Network.
Cultural Action Plan tracking and more facts can be found here.