Budget fallout: Feds allot $72 million to Quebec arts and culture
By Anne Sutherland, THE GAZETTE April 13, 2012
MONTREAL - James Moore, the minister of Canadian heritage, brought a goody bag of $72 million to Montreal on Thursday to benefit Quebec organizations devoted to arts and culture.
Every year arts festivals, centenary celebrations, cultural spaces, museums, ballet and theatre companies, cultural programs for aboriginals, the Canadian book industry and print magazines are helped out by tax dollars. The $72 million in funding announced Thursday covers a three-year period ending in 2014.
As in previous years, big attendance draws like the Jazz Festival (which received $2 million) and the Just For Laughs festival ($2 million) will benefit from Ottawa’s largesse, as will smaller events like the Bromont Chocolate Festival ($25,600) and the Segal Centre for the Performing Arts ($15,000).
“Yes, we did have to make some choices,” Moore said when faced with questions about the recent budget cuts to the national broadcaster, the loss of Radio Canada International and the closing of National Film Board screening centres in Montreal and Toronto.
“The staff cuts at Radio Canada were the decision of management, and we have confidence in Lacroix and his team,” Moore said of Radio Canada boss Hubert Lacroix.
The question Moore sidestepped was why private for-profit companies such as Transcontinental, Reader’s Digest and TVA received millions in subsidies for certain publications at the same time as the government is slashing jobs and services at Radio Canada, the CBC and the National Film Board.
TVA Publications, which publishes such magazines as 7 Jours (subsidy of $737,654) and Echo Vedettes ($347,731), got a total of $5.1 million in subsidies.
Médias Transcontinental, which publishes Corriere Italiano ($152,005) and Coup de Pouce ($1,249,882), received $3.6 million. Reader’s Digest got $2.2 million. Elle Québec, published by Transcontinental, got $516,649.
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