Thursday, August 21, 2008

Shout-out: Vid Ingelevics on Canadian Arts Cuts

After doing some more online reading related to our huge arts funding cuts of late, I just wanted to deliver a shout-out to Toronto artist, curator and educator Vid Ingelevics. That's his Woodpile 7, 2006, above, and you know, I'll be damned if Ingelevics, in the troll-laden fray of online commenting boards over at the Globe, doesn't manage to neatly stack a cord of reasons why these cuts are ill-thought-out. For example:

I will give an example of exactly the kind of thing that we will not see anymore with these short-sighted and ideologically-motivated cuts to Canada's cultural programs by the federal government.

As an independent curator I worked with a team on a project for one of Canada's largest public archives to digitize and put on-line a history of Eaton's department store display windows that covered the entire country and almost a hundred years of our history. With almost 200 hundred images, this important aspect of Canada's history is now available to anyone in the country (or the world) who has access to a computer and the net. A significant chunk of the funding for this ambitious project was provided by Canadian Culture Online, a program that the Tories have just cut.

Speaking for myself, it is truly disheartening to have a government that demonstrates such utter contempt for our culture and, ultimately, our history.


Skeptical Realist from Canada writes: 'Can someone give me an example of our 'unigue' Canadian culture that we tax payers need to support? Do we have any?'I just did.

See above. Culture = history.

Sensibly pointing out flaws in logic without hitting the wall of invective is also useful:

sally stink from edmonton, Canada writes: "grants from the heritage department to ethnic groups decidedly on the left of center are great vote getters as well."

Hmmm. Just out of curiousity would you mind identifying for us which "ethnic groups" are left of centre? Do you mean like all Indians, all Pakistanis, all Nigerians, all Mexicans, etc? Who are you talking about?

I didn't realize that entire nations were now being classified by our lovable Tories according to some bizarre ideological scale.

Thanks, Vid, for the clarity at a time of high emotion. I know others are probably doing as much behind the scenes, but it's hopeful to see some commentary in the Internet forums.

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