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MP advocating for more local arts funding in Waterloo Region


Kitchener Centre MP Mike Morrice believes millions of dollars are needed to even the financial playing field when it comes to local arts programs.

Citing data from the Canada Council for the Arts for 2022-23, Mike Morrice says the Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo area received just $3.39 per capita in funding while Winnipeg, Montreal and Vancouver got an average of $18.30 per person.

“If you add that up, it ends up being a gap of about $9.3 million a year in federal funding that’s not bring appropriately distributed,” Morrice said Wednesday.

He’s sent a letter to the Minister of Canadian Heritage advocating an urgent increase for public arts.

“It’s just kind of unfair for communities like ours, so what we’re calling for is not just to see more money in the budget from the Canada Council for the Arts, but also that [the] money is being distributed more equally across the country and in communities like ours,” Morrice added.

Local organizations are welcoming the funding proposal.

“It’s fundamental to have a thriving arts and culture scene, for us to attract skilled workers, for doctors, for the arts community, for the tech community that are moving here, they need a quality of life,” said David Marskell the CEO of THEMUSEUM in Kitchener.

“Arts is not always an easy sell for communities because it doesn’t always end up very visibly on budget lines,” explained Julie Hall, the development and outreach coordinator for CAFKA. “But the good that arts organizations bring to people’s wellbeing in the community is immeasurable.”

In a statement to CTV News, Kitchener South – Hespeler MP Valerie Bradford said, in part: “Any questions related to inequity in its arts funding should be addressed directly to the Canada Council for the Arts. It is hard to compare different sized municipalities, the criteria requirements and the amount of funding they receive.”

Morrice plans on meeting with the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts over the next few weeks to continue the conversation ahead of the upcoming federal budget. Top Stories

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