ArtsBuild is encouraged to see further investment in cultural infrastructure in the 2017 Budget.
There are three key points that we believe will be of benefit to our creative spaces in Ontario moving forward. ABO will work with the funders to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information on any program dates and guidelines.
CANADA CULTURAL SPACES FUND
“Budget 2017 proposes to provide $300 million over 10 years to the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund… the new investment in the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund will be focused on the construction, renovation and equipment needs of creative spaces/hubs, which will help drive growth in Canada’s creative economy.” [page 142]
The mention of creative spaces/hubs is especially encouraging given the growth of shared/non-traditional spaces. We will work with CCSF to understand if there is any change in their current criteria that will make both community and professional arts organizations eligible for this funding.
ENABLING ACCESSIBILITY FUND
“Budget 2017 proposes to provide $77 million over 10 years to expand the activities of the Enabling Accessibility Fund. Eligible projects will include constructing and renovating infrastructure (e.g., adding ramps, automatic door openers and accessible washrooms), providing accessible information and communication technologies and retrofitting vehicles.” [page 143]
So many of our organizations are working to make their facilities more accessible. We hope that with the capital funds from Ontario Trillium Foundation, our organizations will be able to access the EAF to realize their accessibility projects.
CULTURAL RECREATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
“To help promote arts and culture in Canada… Budget 2017 proposes to build on this commitment, with a further investment of $1.8 billion over 10 years starting in 2018–19. Of this amount, more than $1.3 billion will be provided to provinces and territories through integrated bilateral agreements… delivered through the second phase of social infrastructure funding.” [page 142]
ABO will be clarifying with Ministry of Infrastructure if Ontario will be able to leverage these funds through a bilateral agreement (at this stage Ontario does not have such an agreement in place). It should be noted that this is likely for larger scale projects and we are unclear if this will have any impact on our small to mid-sized organizations.
You can download your copy of the 2017 Budget here.