I am not sure how many of you are aware of this already but last night during budget deliberations an amendment was made by Councilor Doug Shipley to cut $50,000.00 from the Cultural Grants program in the 2013 City budget. The original motion was targeted directly at the $50,000 that we allocate for project grants (which serves individuals and small requests from organizations), however after discussion my understanding is that the motion was amended to state that it did not need to come directly out of the project grant account but would just be a cut of $50,000 to the overall amount allocated to cultural grants. If this is ratified next week then not only will individual artists be affected but all of the not for profit arts organizations that apply for funding will be impacted.
There will be many people from the arts community delivering deputations against this motion, but having the entire arts community show up to support the various arguments is vital. The Council meets next Monday night and if you have any examples of how arts funding has benefited you and the community at large, please feel free to email the Barrie Arts Council or myself so we can share your experiences. If you would like to address the Council yourself, you are welcome to call Carey DeGorter at 705-739-4220 Ext. 4560. If you can’t reach Carey, then try Dawn McAlpine at Ext. 4421. Dawn is the City Clerk and Carey is the Deputy City Clerk.