Vancouver artists conflicted over Cultural Olympiad funding

Posted on: September 30, 2009

In Tuesday’s (9/29) Globe and Mail (Toronto), Marsha Lederman writes, “When Vancouver’s Olympic Organizing Committee officials reveal which artists they’ve lined up for the upcoming Cultural Olympiad, it’s a safe bet [rock singer-songwriter] Matthew Good’s name won’t be on the list. Nor will he take the stage at the opening or closing ceremonies. The Vancouver musician has told his managers that he wants nothing to do with the Games. … In Vancouver’s arts community, there are a lot of mixed feelings these days about the Olympics. There has been talk of boycotting the Cultural Olympiad since the recent announcement of deep cuts in B.C.’s funding for the arts—primarily through the cancellation of gaming grants. In a submission to Vancouver city council last Thursday, the Alliance for Arts and Culture revealed that 44 per cent of the arts and culture organizations that received the grants last year didn’t get them this year. And the Alliance claims that provincial cuts to arts funding will total 92 per cent by 2011-12. While it is impossible to say that arts funding has been cut because of the costs associated with hosting the Olympics, that perception is definitely out there … So there has been a lot of hand-wringing in the arts community over whether to accept funding from Games organizers.”

Posted September 30, 2009