2006 City of Ottawa Arts Budget Update

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There were some tense moments during the second day of the City of Ottawa 2006 Budget deliberations as the first arts item up for discussion was defeated in a vote of 8 to 10. The recommendation for $80,000 was included in the Draft Budget as the second part of a two-year investment in the City's newly established Arts Service Agreement Program.

A flurry of media and public response followed and in the second week of the Budget process, the item was revisited and finally approved on a vote of 14 to 6.

A number of other important operating and capital arts budget items were passed including:

  • 2.1% inflationary increase to grants for Cultural funding - $80,000
  • One time funding for the Arts Investment Strategy - $120,000
  • Corporate Art Acquisition and Conservation - $190,000
  • City owned Arts and Heritage Building Improvements - $250,000
  • City owned Arts and Heritage Equipment Improvements - $120,000
  • Major Partnerships, Cultural Facilities - $600,000

We are pleased that City Council took steps to address a number of pressing concerns about Ottawa's low level of arts investment. The situation will be improved in the year ahead. But in light of the recent City of Ottawa report, Arts Investment Strategy, we will need to continue to build our per capita arts spending in subsequent years if we are to address our standing of last place among large Canadian municipalities.