CDA reports to Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage

By Amy Bowring

Canadian Dance Assembly (CDA) Executive Director Shannon Litzenberger made a presentation to the all-party federal Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage on March 9th, 2009. Her presentation addressed funding reductions that have directly affected the dance milieu, specifically the PromArt and Trade Routes programs and the Capacity Building component of the Canadian Arts and Heritage Sustainability Program. Litzenberger reminded the committee that the cuts to these programs were made without consulting stakeholders. She told the committee, “Touring internationally provides added workweeks for artists and production staff, and leverages revenue returns through performance fees that are substantively higher in foreign markets than they are domestically.” She cited numbers from 2007/08 illustrating to the committee that investment from PromArt and Trade Routes had supported over 650 dance performances abroad and she informed the committee that “failing to replace investment in international touring will compromise the effectiveness of other funding commitments and the ultimate viability and sustainability of the sector as a whole.” CDA recommended that the federal government invest $12 million to support international touring and foreign market development, that the endowment matching program and investment in capacity building measures be renewed, and that $100 million in new, permanent funds be added to the Canada Council’s base funding.

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