Your City. Your Budget. Your Future.
- Posted by Terry Rock on February 25th, 2011
We all want a great city, and research the world over confirms what those of us working in the arts know from experience: a great city needs a thriving arts sector. This means artists stay in Calgary and build careers here. It means there are spaces for artists to live and work. It means strong and growing investments in the arts, with government and the private sector confident that an investment in culture is an investment with multiple returns, part of the infrastructure of great cities.
I won't belabour the point here, but if you haven't already checked out my recent blog posts, have a look (here’s the latest) and let us know what you think. CADA's new strategic direction has set some ambitious targets, and to reach those targets, resources are going to be required.
To that end, The City of Calgary has just begun the public engagement portion of their 2012-2014 budget planning process. This is an impressively comprehensive effort to provide a voice for Calgarians throughout the budget process. Over the past 5 years, we have heard over and over (including our own opinion polling) that the majority of Calgarians support the goal of investing to create a thriving arts scene. This new budget process is the time to be vocal about your support.
Please look at the linked information about the process. There are multiple ways for you to have your voice heard. Make an appearance. State your case. Show your support. If you can't make it out, go online and give your feedback that way. Send this message far and wide to your contacts and connections not only in the arts community, but reach out to business owners and other Calgarians that share our goal of building a great city.
Let me close by making one thing clear. This process isn’t about lobbying for more money. More money might be an outcome. In my view, the process is about setting priorities. It is about sharing your views with City Council about what makes a great city, and having policy and resources aligned to get there. It is time for a thriving arts and culture scene to rise up that list of priorities.
- Terry Rock
President and CEO, Calgary Arts Development