Federal Advocacy Update April 9, 2024

Advocacy Update

We are less than a week away from Budget Day, April 16 when we will learn what if any measures we can look forward to in the way of support for the arts, although recent announcements have given us a few early indications of what to expect.

In advance of Budget 2025, Michelle Chawla, Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) Director in her

The Letter to the Community explained the impact of the Refocusing Government Spending initiative, a government-wide 2% decrease, at the CCA. 

Shortly after, the Department of Canadian Heritage released their departmental plans for 2024/25, which announced $64 million in savings from Grants and Contributions programs, with a further reduction in spending of $15.2 million through operational efficiencies. Of note to the opera sector, the the Canada Cultural Investment Fund – Strategic Initiatives component will be eliminated, and the Cultural Investment Fund – Endowment Incentives component and Canada Cultural Spaces Fund will be reduced.


AOC’s Executive Director, Christina Loewen sits on the Steering Committee of the Canadian Arts Coalition. The Coalition prepared a response to these early warning signals in an open letter to Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Anita Anand,  President of the Treasury Board, and Hon. Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage expressing the sectors’ disappointment with the announced re-allocations. You are encouraged to share this letter with your local MPs.

Other AOC Advocacy Activities

As part of the work of the “Monday group,” an informal network of arts service organizations from coast to coast, AOC participated in a special call with Canada Council for the Arts and the Department ofCanadian Heritage on organizations in financial difficulty on March 25, 2024. As a result of the discussion, these funders asked that we pass on the following information to you, our members, if you are struggling or facing financial difficulty.:

  1. It is important that you keep your data up to date in the CADAC (financial and statistical reports). These reports contain highly valuable information about your reality and are consulted regularly to understand the trends in the sector.
  2. If you experience serious financial hardship or other exceptional circumstances, please contact your funding program(s) well before you reach a breaking point. Some responses funders can offer include delivering an advance payment, extending timelines, reallocating expenses, etc.