The year ahead will be an interesting one for arts and culture policy as the country heads into a federal election and actions by large media distributors are drawing more attention to issues such as copyright infringement and piracy. Celebrities are bringing attention to some of these issues, as Taylor Swift pulled her music from the popular streaming service Spotify and Youtube made headlines when it threatened to blacklist artists who didn’t subscribe to their new ad-free service. At the provincial level, fiscal challenges and funding challenges dominate.
To help us make sense of it, we asked you what you thought the most important cultural policy issues would be in 2015.
Our ‘ultra-scientific’ poll that we tweeted to our followers identified the following issues: a) paying artists adequate fees, b) amending the Copyright Act to better protect creators an publishers, c) improved public investment through either grants or tax credits, d) policies and programs to strengthen audience engagement, e) greater international presence and promotion for Canadian artists and products, and f) updated cultural content regulations.
Almost 70% of survey respondents indicated that improved public investment through grants or tax credits was the most important issue facing artists and cultural organizations in the coming year. On a related note, 40% said that it was paying artists adequate fees. Paying adequate fees is obviously dependent on organizations having the funds necessary to pay the fees, and thus the two issues are closely related.
Some respondents commented that all the issues in the poll are paramount; one individual said an arts-savvy new government would be an asset. Another person noted that infrastructure funding for arts facilities is also important.
So in a nutshell, improved public investment on all fronts is certainly important to nearly everyone in the cultural sphere. Let’s see what happens!