Here are a few links on an issue that is becoming part of municipal budget debates: funding arts facilities. In Hamilton, large arts organizations are seeking increased funding from City Council. A combination of decreasing paid attendance and increasing costs is bringing this issue to the forefront.

In Waterloo Region: THEMUSEUM in Kitchener is facing closure, with the lower-tier Kitchener City Council approving a $150,000 “one-time grant” to keep the doors open conditional on the Regional Council also granting $150,000.

Today’s CTV headline notes the timing of the THEMUSEUM’s request for the $150,000 regional contribution: “THEMUSEUM requests more funding, while regional council looks to cut 2025 property tax increase.”

In Guelph: Guelph’s council has decided to retain a former drill hall instead of adopting a staff recommendation to sell it. Staff there state that the structure needs $5 million of renovation work. Arts organizations hope for the building’s restoration to be used as an arts centre. The mayor voted in favour of exploring the idea, and is reported to have stated the city ‘does not have any money in the budget for something like this.’

In Vancouver: The Tyee has a feature today, “Can a New Vision Save Vancouver’s Arts Spaces?” regarding a Vancouver Council vote ‘directing staff to find ways to protect and expand arts spaces.’

The article focuses on the idea of creating land trusts to own lands that arts organizations can use.



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