Thursday, March 12, 2009

Up with Canada Prize Rant-izzle

You know that Canada Prize rant/critique I posted last week? Today NOW ran a version of it. Many thanks to Sally McKay, Michael Wheeler and Todd Harrison for providing background info, and to Simpleposie for her comprehensive posting of government debate links.

In related news, the Globe reports that the Heritage ministry refuses to explain the $40-mil-plus in arts funding cuts last year, and the Canadian Press says the Art Gallery of Ontario may slash up to 100 employees.


Anonymous said...

100 employees?!?!? Isn't that a little too much? I did not know the Art Gallery was in so much trouble here and had to lay off so many people, that's terrible news. I hope it won't affect the quality of the gallery. I wish the government would provide a little more funding into this area.

Take care, Elli

Leah Sandals said...

Hey, yeah, well... the AGO basically says about half of those 100 were on short-term contracts to deal with the post-reno attendance surge. I can kind of buy that.

But even laying off 50 employees is a big deal, for sure.

What the Globe article details is that the AGO hasn't hit its attendance or gift shop targets, hence heads must roll.

It's pretty clear to me that our museums need more realistic estimates of attendance and gift shop spending, as well as admission fee:attendance ratios. The ROM has been burned by misstepping on these points as well.

If you can't fee it, you have to fundraise it, which means back to the drawing board for the development and lobbying folks.

Also, the Minneapolis Insitute of the Arts recently had layoffs, but the CEO took a pay cut as well to keep admission free.

Wonder if that would happen here? Pay cuts at the top?