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Government cuts close the doors on the CCA

By Brittany Duggan

After sixty-seven years of service, the Canadian Conference of the Arts (CCA) announced the end of its operations on October 30th, 2012. The decision comes a year and a half after news broke that the government was not intending to continue its funding to the nation’s largest member-based arts advocacy agency. National Director Alain Pineau commented in a press release, “This was not the way I was hoping to end my time with the CCA, but I leave knowing that all of us at the Secretariat have given everything we had to make this transition a success. I can only hope that someone else will pick up the challenge. The Canadian cultural sector needs and deserves a CCA if it is to be effective and thrive.” The advocacy group recently put together a five-year business plan and requested two years of transitional funding from the government. Denied this funding in the spring of 2012, the CCA continued with support from Canadian Heritage and from its membership. However, it was not enough to re-invent the CCA under a new business model and the group is now left in a state of suspension, maintaining charitable status so as not to lose the accumulation of advocacy throughout the years and to leave the door open for new leadership. CCA was founded in 1945, even before the Canada Council for the Arts, and has been a voice for all disciplines in arts, culture and heritage. Their disappearance prompts the question: what next? Who will lead policy development at the federal level and advocate for Canadian artists and art in Canada?

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