03 November 2008

Victoria Foundation halts grants

Sandra McCulloch, Times Colonist

Published: Saturday, November 01, 2008

The venerable Victoria Foundation has fallen victim to turbulent financial markets and announced yesterday that until the economic situation improves it will not hand out funds.

Chuck Burkett, chairman of the foundation board, said no grants have been given out since the end of August, when the markets began their plunge.

Last year, the Victoria Foundation bestowed $7 million in grants to more than 300 individuals and groups involved in charitable activities.

Click above for link to the entire article.

Ephemeral experience might be the next economic currency

Ephemeral experience might well become the next economic currency, or so says Harvard Business School professor John Quelch. How about that - a perfect entryway for dance to stand up and shout "We are fleeting! We're expensive! We're an experience! Come here!"

It'll all make sense when you read the article at Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge website: http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/6067.html His post is based in part on Professor Quelch's Economist article "Too Much Stuff."

John Quelch is Senior Associate Dean and Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.

Here's a taster:

The Next Marketing Challenge: Selling to 'Simplifiers'

Watch out for a new brand of consumer in 2008: the middle-aged Simplifier.

She finds herself surrounded by too much stuff acquired. She is increasingly skeptical in the face of a financial meltdown that it was all worth the effort. Out will go luxury purchases, conspicuous consumption, and a trophy culture.

Tomorrow's consumer will buy more ephemeral, less cluttering stuff: fleeting, but expensive, experiences, not heavy goods for the home...

Transversal web journal - translations

Transversal web journal is currently looking at translation. This is interesting to dance as countries and citizens buckle down into their national and international identities in reaction to 'economic disaster' discourses, and reinvent themselves and reidentify themselves in realms of expression. I've heard of some work being done in Wales and Switzerland about multilingual nations affecting expression and identity in dance - this is certainly parallel to Canada and could readily be considered not only in the official languages (English, French, plus Aboriginal languages) but also all the mother tongues of immigrants that have populated this country since early colonial days (you pick a language, we have it here).

I like keeping in touch with Transversal's thinking. You too can get on their e-list. It's always interesting to see what they're up to - some great minds coming together and clashing (like cymbals, music and noise all at once)....

talks on translation | gespräche zur übersetzung

transversal web journal

“Talks on translation” is in fact a cluster of six interviews discussing the topic of translation from different angles: philosophy, cultural and literary theory, political activism, critical reflexion on migration, globalization, European integration, etc. The partners in the dialogues are a British philosophy professor curious about how modernism functions beyond its allegedly original context; an Indologist and feminist philosopher, herself a cosmopolitan migrant, speculating on the notion of mother tongue; a German cultural theorist who wrote a book about “cultural turns” (and a “translational turn” among them); an American professor of Slavic and Comparative literature who is the author of “A Manifesto of Cultural Translation”; a theorist from Paris, director of the famous international journal of critical thought “Transeuropéennes” and political activist who reflects on translation in the context of European integration; a professor from Tamkang University (Taiwan), an ex-American living in East Asia, interested in heterolinguality and the phenomenon of broken languages. What do they all have in common? At least the fact that in each of their particular fields translation has a problem to solve.


Boris Buden in conversation with:
Doris Bachmann-Medick
: Cultural Studies – A Translational Perspective
Ghislaine Glasson Deschaumes
: Europe – A Construction Site of Translation
Rada Iveković
: Place of Birth: Babel
Tomislav Longinović
: The Answer is in Translation
Peter Osborne
: Translation – Between Philosophy and Cultural Theory
Jon Solomon / Hito Steyerl
: Mission Imbpossible - Jon Solomon in Conversation with Hito Steyerl about the Project „DeriVeD“

New texts in the issue „Borders, Nations, Translations“:

Boris Buden
: A Tangent that Betrayed the Circle. On the Limits of Fidelity in Translation
Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez
: "Lost in Translation" - Transcultural Translation and Decolonialization of Knowledge
Stefan Nowotny
: The Multiple Faces of the “Civis”. Is Citizenship Translatable?
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
: More Thoughts on Cultural Translation
Michaela Wolf
: Translation – Transculturation. Measuring the perspectives of transcultural political action


eipcp - european institute for progressive cultural policies
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a-4040 linz, harruckerstrasse 7


ending a hiatus

With the early onset of winter in Ottawa (hello again snow!) I'm returning to this site after a hiatus that left me with lots of unfinished thoughts. Prepare for a bit of sporadic spew in the next few posts as I get the most prominent interests out of my head and into collated cyberspace.

Like before, mostly this is a collation of material that interests me and that I want to return to. It's handier to me than bookmarking, and for anyone else out there who wants a glimpse into the early stages and inner workings of my idea synthesis, voila.

Hello world. Welcome back.

13 January 2008

Artist Development Bursary 2008 from Dance in Herts

Artist Development Bursary 2008 from Dance in Herts A bursary of £3000 is available from Dance in Herts (managed by essexdance) for an emerging dance artist or a dance/media artist to research and develop a new dance project. The Bursary may be used as part of a wider range of funding that the artist has acquired. The project should be completed by 31st July 2008.

We are looking for work that is:
· Innovative
· Pushes the experience of dance into new realms
· Has some elements of how\ndance engages with and uses new technologies
· Stimulating for an audience
· Site specific - firmly\nrooted in a place or theme of Hertfordshire

The bursary would be particularly appropriate to artists/companies who:
Wish to engage specifically with the County
Wish to explore dance and new media/interdisciplinary work
and/or wish to explore work in a site-specific context or non-traditional space
Deepen their thinking\nregarding engagement with audiences and communities and how they can achieve audience development in relation to their artistic output

The bursary fits into Dance in Herts’ wider programme of professional activity aimed at engaging with and developing partnerships and relationships with dance artists, companies and Hertfordshire venues.

The funding for the commission is provided by Dance in Herts (essexdance) through funding received from Arts Council England East via Grants for the Arts.

Deadline for applications: 29th February 2008.

Interviews: 11th March 2008.

Contact admin at essexdance.co.uk
Contact 01245 346036 Visit www.essexdance.co.uk for information and application form.

-------------------- The £5000 Site Specific Commission from Dance in Herts is also still receiving applications so visit http://www.essexdance.co.uk/pages/noticeboard.htm commission for details. Deadline 15 February 2008.

23 December 2007

British Council disbands its specialist arts departments, including dance

This story comes from Dance UK and offers their research into this new development.

British Council disbands its specialist arts departments, including dance

Some Dance UK members have contacted Dance UK this morning (Thursday 20 December) to raise their concern about a story that ran in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph that the British Council’s executive board has decided to disband its departments in film, drama, dance, literature, design and the visual arts.

We attach a link to the story below:


As many of our corporate members work closely with the British Council to facilitate their work internationally Dance UK contacted the British Council to ask for their response to the story. They issued us with the following statement:

The British Council is committed to the arts and will continue to deliver arts projects internationally. Examples include the British Council Edinburgh Showcase, managing the British Pavilion and showcasing the best of Britain at the Biennales as we have done since 1938.

The British Council has a global arts programme of £30m and there will be no reduction in this budget. We have re-structured our arts group. We will retain sector expertise in all of the art forms but are mobilising our resources in different ways so that we can deliver bigger, global projects with the same amount of cash resources. This reorganisation involves the merging of sector expertise into more flexible project teams.

We are in a period of consultation with external stakeholders and a more formal announcement will be made in the January/February, 2008. A process document outlining this timeline is available on the website.

Martin Davidson CEO of The British Council said ‘The arts provide a unique space for creative dialogue and underpins our understanding of the world around us. In all its forms, the arts stimulate debate and allow us to better understand what we have in common and the differences between ourselves and other societies. The British Council is deeply committed to the arts in our cultural relations work, now and in the future - especially at a time when the arts and creative industries are flourishing in the UK’

It seems at present that we will have to wait, as do British Council staff, until the New Year to see how this situation develops and how it will affect dance. When we have more news we will let Dance UK members know, formulate a formal response, and if necessary write to the Foreign Office and the DCMS to express members’ concerns.

Sian McAulay, Deputy Director, Dance UK

06 December 2007

Culture Vultures book, England

There is no doubt that in the last decade or so, arts in the UK has seen a massive injection of money for new projects and exhibitions... The book 'Culture Vultures: Is UK arts policy is damaging the arts?' shows official claims about the social benefits of art are based on exaggeration, and that arts practice suffers as a result. The book is being published by the think-tank Policy Exchange....

The collection of essays show that many of the claims made about the social benefits of arts are exaggerated, resulting in wasteful projects of poor artistic quality. The criteria for funding means that arts organisations are drowning under a tidal wave of 'tick boxes and targets'.

The book's authors are a mixture of academics and commentators. They recommend:
  • More honest and independent use of evidence in cultural policy. Too much research is driven by arts advocacy and is therefore biased.
  • Less bureaucracy around arts funding. The funding framework forces artists to spend valuable time and resources on ‘ticking boxes’, at the expense of producing excellent work.
  • Debate about true value of the arts. The government and arts quangos should promote the importance of art for its own sake.

  • Click here for more info.

    EU funds research into roles for older female performers

    An article in The Stage published Tuesday 4 December 2007 by Matthew Hemley explains:

    "Grant money of more than €150,000 has been awarded from Brussels for the research, which will examine what roles exist for older women and how decisions are made when casting parts which can be played by either sex. It will also look how women over 40 are portrayed in television and theatre.

    Entitled Changing Gender Portrayal: Promoting Employment Opportunities for Women in the Performing Arts, the research will include a survey that will be handed to each of the federation’s affiliated unions in Europe."

    Read the whole article by clicking here.

    Policies and Programs of Support for Senior Artists

    D'Art research report: Policies and Programs of Support for Senior Artists
    D'Art Topics in Arts Policy, no. 28, December 2007
    IFACCA and Joyce Zemans

    The research, headed by Professor Joyce Zemans of York University, was undertaken at the request of the Canadian Artists’ Heritage Resource Centre Steering Committee. The D'Art report outlines a selection of policies and programs that provide support to senior artists who are experiencing financial difficulty or are no longer able to work. The initiatives, which come from eighteen countries, are classified into six broad types:

    • pension schemes
    • multi-year grants
    • guaranteed income
    • subsidised housing programs
    • dancer’s transition centres
    • grants for senior artists awarded for artistic contribution.

    Click here to download the document in pdf.

    05 December 2007

    Conference on Art Institutions as Catalysts or Indicators: the Role of Art Institutions in Gentrification Processes

    Conference on Art Institutions as Catalysts or Indicators: the Role of Art Institutions in Gentrification Processes - click here for more info.

    The conference on the role of art institutions in gentrification processes will focus on the interaction of culture and art institutions with processes of urban development, and the role of such institutions in gentrification processes in Latvia and abroad.

    04 December 2007

    CHRC's Mentorship Strategy for Managers and Administrators of Cultural Organizations

    CHRC's Mentorship Strategy for Managers and Administrators of Cultural Organizations (March 2005)

    The goal of the mentorship strategy is to increase support for and invovlement in the mentorship of managers and administrators in the cultural sector across Canada.

    To view the Mentorship Strategy, click here.

    CHRC Online Module Critical Thinking for Cultural Planners

    The Cultural Human Resources Centre has released a new online module – Critical Thinking for Cultural Planners. This interactive module works to further clarify the roles critical thinking plays in cultural management. The material is designed to allow Cultural Managers to engage with various aspects of critical thinking as it pertains to their everyday work.

    The module is available here. CLICK HERE.

    02 December 2007

    The internationalisation of cultural life (Ministry of Culture Sweden)

    Here's a fact sheet from the Ministry of Culture in Sweden (October 2007) on the Internationalisation of cultural life.

    The development and vitality of Swedish cultural life is dependent on international exchange and cooperation. As a result of this, an international perspective must permeate the activities of cultural institutions and action to promote internationalisation must be integrated into the infrastructure of cultural life and government grant systems. Culture has assumed an increasingly important role in building relations with other countries in such fields as the promotion of Sweden, democracy promotion and development cooperation. The role of culture and the media for the development of democracy and freedom of expression is becoming increasingly clear. The consequence of this development is that the creators of culture both should, and must be given more scope in the international dialogue. Internationalisation is a long-term cultural policy process...
    There are three major objectives:
    1. High quality, artistic integrity, a long-term perspective and reciprocity
    2. Swedish successes abroad
    3. International cultural meetings in Sweden
    4. Deeper cooperation between different policy areas

    The turn to cultural internationalism is happening across the board.
    Read the full Swedish version by clicking here.

    Add Value to Contents: the Valorisation of Culture Today

    This article (on www.transform.eipcp.net - a site worth checking out) talks around and through the industry-paradigm of culture.

    As a critique of the industrial frameworks surrounding valorization of culture, Esther Leslie offers a thoughtful portrayal of perspectives on culture, and she responds to it. Starting with UNESCO's insistance that:
    ‘cultural industries’, which include publishing, music, audiovisual technology, electronics, video games and the Internet, ‘create employment and wealth’, ‘foster innovation in production and commercialisation processes’ and ‘are central in promoting and maintaining cultural diversity and in ensuring democratic access to culture’
    She rapidly moves on to attest that within this paradigm, "value is a gift of industry, not a quality of artifacts themselves."

    What I find particularly resonant (and strangely not paradoxical, even as it ironically tempts hypocracy), is the say she frames her statement that value has become a debased term. She rephrases the cultural economic argument (the value that is more valuable than all others is monetary) with cultural marketability.

    Alongside, Adorno and Benjamin, she invokes Marx in the article.

    Click here to read the whole article

    In Britain today, as elsewhere, culture is the wonder stuff that gives more away than it takes. Like some fantastical oil in a Grimm fairytale, this magical substance gives and gives, generating and enhancing value, for state and private men alike. Culture is posited as a mode of value-production: for its economy-boosting and wealth-generating effects; its talent for regeneration, through raising house prices and introducing new business, which is largely service based; and its benefits as a type of moral rearmament or emotional trainer, a perspective that lies behind the ‘social inclusion’ model, whereby culture must speak to – or down to – disenfranchised groups. Culture is instrumentalised for its ‘value-generating’ spin-offs.
    Raises for me broad questions of value, valorization, partnership, leadership, and the relationships between culture and art (both theoretical, perceptual, and functional) in post-industrial capitalism and productive consumerism.

    25 November 2007

    Trade in Culture Services - A Handbook of Concepts and Methods

    Trade in Culture Services - A Handbook of Concepts and Methods

    Culture, Tourism and the Centre for Education Statistics
    Research papers, 2007

    This is a very basic handbook, and what makes it interesting is the discourse employed - the choice of language signals how they are conceptualising issues and topics, and how the Cultural Statistics Program is creating frameworks of reference and justification.

    Here is an excerpt:
    The Canadian Framework for Culture Statistics includes the following activities in
    the definition of culture services: creative services, intellectual property rights for
    culture products, artistic expression, content services, and preservation services.
    Perhaps the most intuitive example of a creative service is a performance.
    Live performances are intangibles that can be bought and sold and involve creative
    artistic activity. Performances can be final demand products (you pay to see a show)
    or intermediate inputs (production services). Examples of live performances are
    theatrical plays or musical performances.
    This sure is revealing about who their intended audience might be (for this handbook I mean) and how much current knowledge they assume their audience has. For example, live performance, in this excerpt, is regarded as material product where services are cash transactions rather than services that may also include other 'intangible' and 'intuitive' human exchange. How this handbook defines cultural services infers a lot about what is valued in the trade of cultural service, and the directed choice of approach.

    Find the whole handbook by clicking here.

    Historic five-year action plan by Assembly of First Nations: The Rebuilding Our Nations Youth Accord

    Hundreds of First Nations youth from across Canada gathered November 1, 2007 in Winnipeg to complete a draft five-year action plan called: The Rebuilding Our Nations Youth Accord. The Accord will set out specific actions to address health, cultural, economic, political and social issues. A draft of the Accord was presented to AFN National Chief Phil Fontaine and Assembly of Manitoba Grand Chief Ron Evans.

    Some of highlights in the Accord are:

    • Mandatory First Nation history curriculum in the public education system and a requirement for all teachers to take mandatory courses in First Nations history;
    • Recognize First Nations languages as official languages of Canada;
    • Mobilize First Nations youth in voting campaigns;
    • Establish a First Nations History Month;
    • Establish First Nations youth governance systems including regular youth gatherings;
    • Increase funding to First Nations schools and addressing the crisis in post-secondary funding;
    • Create healing circles to address intergenerational impacts;
    • Create environmentally friendly enterprises more aligned with First Nations values;
    • Strengthen the child welfare system including better support to families as a first measure

    The Accord will be presented to the AFN Special Chiefs Assembly, December 11 – 13, 2007 in Ottawa, Ontario.

    Click here to see the full press release on the Assembly of First Nations website.

    24 November 2007

    Artist colonies rise above USA politics for new funding

    Artist Colonies, `Heat Shield' From Critics, May Get U.S. Funds

    By Laurence Arnold

    [See the original source article, in full, at www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601088&sid=ab8gKgmzjyaU# ]

    Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Twelve years after Congress ended most funding to individual artists, the National Endowment for the Arts may reopen the flow of money to poets, musicians, writers and painters through artist colonies.

    The NEA, which is in line for a budget increase of as much as 28 percent next year, plans to direct some of the additional money to the hundreds of U.S. colonies and communities that provide artists with residencies, funding and, above all, creative freedom.

    ``We're very excited about this,'' NEA Chairman Dana Gioia said at a Nov. 7 conference in Washington sponsored by artist communities. ``It's something we've been talking about internally for a couple of years now.''

    Gioia said his plan would amend the endowment's application categories to create a specific opportunity for artist communities to win funding. The goal, he said, is to support ``individual artists creating new work.'' Arts groups apply for NEA funding in several different categories.

    Colonies give artists the freedom to explore works that otherwise might be imperiled by public criticism, said Cheryl Young, executive director of the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire. ``They provide a heat shield,'' she said.

    Congress in 1995 sharply limited the NEA's authority to fund individual artists, a response to controversies over publicly financed art that involved nudity or addressed homosexuality and religion.

    Budget Slashed

    For years, Republicans in Congress expressed outrage that the NEA supported exhibits that included erotic gay photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe and an Andres Serrano work depicting a crucifix immersed in urine. Republicans took control of Congress in 1995 and slashed the NEA's budget by 40 percent during the next five years while imposing the new limits on support for individual artists.

    The NEA's budget, which peaked at $176 million in 1992, fell to a low of $97.6 million in 2000 and was $127 million in 2007.

    The new Democratic-controlled House has approved giving the NEA $160 million in 2008, a 28 percent increase. In the Senate, also now controlled by Democrats, the Appropriations Committee has proposed a smaller, 7 percent increase, to $133 million. Differences between the House and Senate plans would have to be worked out during budget conferences.

    Gioia said the NEA's plan to boost support of artist colonies is dependent on the agency being ``well treated in this budget, as we have every expectation to be.'' A program to support artist colonies, if created, wouldn't begin providing money until 2009, according to NEA spokeswoman Felicia Knight.

    Creative Freedom

    A poet, music critic and former General Foods executive, Gioia was appointed to the NEA post by President George W. Bush and took office in January 2003.

    In an interview, he said artist colonies are technically eligible to apply for NEA funding, though they face obstacles under the agency's current system of categories.

    ``We don't recognize them as a unique kind of cultural entity,'' he said.

    Creating a new funding category ``without question'' will increase the number of colonies that receive support, he added.

    Gioia said there are hundreds of such colonies in the U.S.

    The Providence, Rhode Island-based Alliance of Artists Communities says its 250 members -- communities, residency programs and individuals -- collectively support 12,000 artists annually in the U.S. and more than a dozen other countries....

    There is more to this article. Read the rest by clicking here .

    USA Scholars Ask For Normal Relations with Cuba

    U.S Scholars Ask For Normal Relations with Cuba
    20 de Noviembre del 2007

    "In an open letter to Bush, more than two hundred artists and scholars from the United States asked their president to end the travel ban that prevents U.S. citizens from visiting Cuba and allow Cuban artists and scholars to visit the United States."

    Read more at ahora.cu and find the entire article by clicking here.

    Source: ACN

    Art & Innovation: An Evolutionary Economic View of the Creative Industries

    Art & Innovation: An Evolutionary Economic View of the Creative Industries
    Unesco Observatory, The University of Melbourne Refereed E-Journal, 2007

    by Jason Potts ; Arc Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation,
    Queensland University of Technology, School of Economics

    "This paper argues that the economics of the arts and culture, and more formally the economics of creative industries, should be based on evolutionary economics. The reason is simple. The value of the arts and culture to an economic system is dynamic: it is change value, and naturally experimental and uncertain. New ideas and technologies are the drivers of economic growth, yet only to the extent that they are adopted and retained by people. The creative industries are the entrepreneurs and manufacturers of this socio-technical process. They are, I will explain, part of the innovation system of the economy in terms of what I shall call the ‘creative systems’ framework.
    This suggests a new line of thinking for those engaged in research on the arts, education and cultural development that is based on a rather different conception of the economy than is conventional."

    The paper asserts that the value of the arts and culture are dynamic, and Jason Potts explains in this paper how arts, education and cultural researchers could benefit from working with an analysis of economic dynamics (as open system processes of change and re-coordination) ratherr than making futile attempts to defend (static) cultural value against (equally static) economic value.

    - R

    18 November 2007

    Beyond Performance: Building a Better Future for Dancers and the Art of Dance.

    Click here to read: Beyond Performance: Building a Better Future for Dancers and the Art of Dance.

    This is a 64 page document providing rigorous comparative research that documents and lluminates the issue of dancer career transition on a global basis, providing a platform for analysis, action, and advocacy.

    An excerpt:

    Multiple strategies will be necessary to address the career transition needs of dancers
    on an international scale, because the broader context in which dancers carry out their
    work varies from country to country. Factors that come into play on a country-by-country
    basis include the degree to which the arts are publicly or privately supported, cultural
    attitudes towards the arts in general and dance in particular, the dominant dance
    genres in a particular country or region, and the nature of existing worker protections in
    the form of social benefit programs. Because of this variability, the global dance community
    has much to learn from shared information about “promising practices,” which
    can be adapted and refined to meet local conditions.


    15 November 2007

    wow, what a bibliography! (CECC)

    The Centre of Expertise on Culture and Communities has an increadible resource of bibliographic listings on their site.

    Culture and Sustainability http://www.cultureandcommunities.ca/resources/bibliographies/culture-and-sustainability.html

    Cultural Infrastructure

    Impacts and Indicators

    Cultural Planning (Culture in Communities)

    Creative Cities (Culture in Communities)

    Cultural Ecosystems (Culture in Communities)

    Talk about winter reading....


    Vancouver long-range cultural facilities plan underway

    "In May 2007 the Managing Director of Cultural Services and the Manager of Materials
    Management sought proposals for consultant services related to the creation of a long-range
    cultural facilities priorities plan through an RFP (PS07083). The RFP was posted on the City’s
    website, BC Bid, and circulated to the cultural community through the City and Alliance for
    Arts and Culture email distribution lists.
    Five proposals were received and reviewed by the interdepartmental staff team using a
    comparative and consistent matrix format. The matrix compared the proponents’ teams past
    experience with large complex public art programs, proposal content, methodology, and cost.
    Proponents were scored out of a total of 100 points.
    The review team short-listed two of the proponent teams for further consideration.
    Following input from references and the interdepartmental staff team ranked the proposal
    from Toronto Artscape as superior to the other proposals. The Toronto Artscape team
    proposed a project budget of $91,250 plus GST and disbursements.
    Subject to Council approval, the program review will commence October 15, 2007 and be
    completed by March 31, 2008. The result of the review, along with the implementation
    planning reports, will be reported back in June 2008.
    The Cultural Facility Priorities Plan will be developed by the consultants working with a
    Steering Committee comprised of the Managing Director of Cultural Services (Chair), the Co
    Director, Office of Cultural Affairs (Policy Planning & Infrastructure), the Director of Financial
    Planning & Treasury, the Assistant Director, Vancouver Civic Theatres, the Senior Cultural
    Planner, the Senior Social Planner and the Directors of Planning and Facilities Design and
    An Advisory Committee with representation from arts and culture organizations will be
    convened to provide advice on community input and process, as well as recommended
    outcomes. Additional public engagement will take the form of a surveys, interviews,
    discipline-based and cross-discipline focus groups, as well as public open houses. The goal is
    to create a plan that reflects community input and develops consensus-based criteria for
    prioritizing in outcomes. The full scope of work for the Cultural Facility Plan is contained in
    Appendix A."

    Click here for the administrative report Vancouver long-range cultural facilities plan underway

    12 November 2007

    Arts debate - Arts Council England's public value inquiry

    Arts debate

    Learn about the findings from Arts Council England’s first ever public value inquiry! An overall summary of arts debate findings now available.

    The arts debate, Arts Council England’s first ever public value inquiry, ran from October 2006 to September 2007. It involved a number of stages of in-depth research as well as an open consultation. During that period we learned an enormous amount about how different people value the arts and their views on arts funding in England.

    We have now brought together the findings from all stages of the inquiry into an overall summary report, Public value and the arts in England: Discussion and conclusions of the arts debate, available on the summary & conclusions page.

    You can also access detailed findings from each stage of the inquiry on the research & consultation page.

    Next steps

    We are currently taking time to reflect upon all that we have learned and to consider the implications for future policy and practice. We will also be sharing and debating the findings with our partners in the arts sector and beyond.

    The Arts Council will be different as a result of the arts debate. We will use the next few months to develop a detailed response to the findings, combining:

    • short term actions in our next corporate plan

    • a long-term policy response to be published in spring 2008

    More details on how we are responding to the arts debate will be available on this website in 2008. In the meantime, we would like to thank everyone who has helped us by supporting or taking part in the debate. Your contribution is making a difference.

    05 October 2007

    British arts funding - final rites, or olympic transmogrification?

    My particuar weakness for admiring the practices happening far from home involves yearning for them with a longing that is unashamedly transparent. At times like these (everything is greener...) a reality check or two is necessary.
    This article by Norman Lebrecht titled "London needs to form its own arts council" is a kind of wake-up call:

    "The final rites were administered last week to the founding principle of British arts funding. In Scotland, an aggressively secessionist government announced new laws to replace the arts council with a state-run ‘cultural agency’. Wales is mulling a similar move while England abolished any pretence of arm’s-length independence by appointing a Yes Minister official from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to be chief executive of Arts Council England, effectively its terminator."

    Lebrecht's article goes on to talk about the changes in London and England, the troubles brewing (I'd call them troubles, and look forward to seeing how reactions unroll), and the need for a concerted London arts council, especially in the run up to the 2012 olympics. Good thinking Lebrecht, thanks for the mini expose.

    To read the entire article, click here.

    29 September 2007

    Alan Davey appointed new Chief Executive of Arts Council

    Alan Davey appointed new Chief Executive of Arts Council

    - To read the full article from Dance UK, click here -

    Sir Christopher Frayling, Chair of Arts Council England, announced on Wednesday 26 September the appointment of Alan Davey as the new Chief Executive of Arts Council England.

    Alan Davey, 46, is currently Director of Culture at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, (DCMS) a post he has held since 2003 having worked in the Department as head of the arts division since 2001. In an earlier stint at the then Department of National Heritage he was responsible for designing the National Lottery. Mr Davey is well known as a dance fan and is often seen at dance performances. He recently attended the All Party Parliamentary Dance Group event at the Ballet For the People Gala at the Royal Festival Hall, which featured performances by the Ballet Boyz, English National Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Rambert, and new choreography from Christopher Wheeldon, Craig Revel Horwood and Rafael Bonachela.

    His appointment to Chief Executive of the Arts Council is potentially good news for the dance sector and early responses from dance professionals are all positive. Mr Davey is seen as a supporter of dance as an art form, whilst also being informed about a crosssection of current issues facing the dance sector, such as tax and dancers’ health, all issues raised in the recent DCMS Dance Forums.

    Born in Stockton-on-tees, the son of an electrician, Alan Davey studied English at Birmingham University and went onto Oxford where he received an MPhil. He was then offered a provisional place at Manchester University to study medicine, but when he failed to raise the money to attend the course, he opted for a career in the civil service.

    Mr Davey will take up his new appointment at the Arts Council in early 2008 – succeeding Peter Hewitt, who will have been in post as Chief Executive for ten years.

    Alan Davey says: “I couldn’t be more excited about my new role. The arts in England have never been healthier, more challenging, innovative or popular. I want the Arts Council to be at the forefront of building on that success – working with artists to reach even greater heights, leading the arts with passion and excellence, and forging new partnerships that secure the position of the arts in national life.

    “Building on what has been achieved by Peter Hewitt, I am confident that a creative, focused and entrepreneurial Arts Council can do just that. I can’t wait to get started.”

    25 September 2007

    New post

    Haven't posted much since I took up my 'new post', leading me to move halfway across Canada (to Ottawa) and begin a year-long contract with the Canada Council for the Arts, in the dance section.

    Now with feet on ground and head in stars, more will be posted here again soon.

    - R

    21 September 2007


    Robert A. Stebbins, FRSC
    University of Calgary
    Paper presented at the “Leisure and Liberty in North America” Conference held 12-13 November 2004, University of Paris IV, Paris, France. Read the entire paper - click here.

    Change is afoot regarding human resources, young administrators, aging dance artists and devotee work in relation to working in the arts.
    “devotee work,” is work that is so attractive that it is essentially leisure for those engaging in it. The only important difference between their work and what their counterparts in "serious leisure" do is that devotee workers get paid for their efforts...

    ... Vis-à-vis other kinds of work and leisure, both occupational devotion and serious leisure stand out, in that they, alone, meet all six of the following distinguishing criteria:
    1) The valued core activity must be profound; to perform it acceptability requires substantial skill, knowledge, or experience or a combination of two or three of these;
    2) the core must offer significant variety;
    3) the core must also offer significant opportunity for creative or innovative work, as a valued expression of individual personality;
    4) the individual devotee must have reasonable control over amount and disposition of time put into the occupation (the value of freedom of action), such that he can prevent it from becoming a burden;
    5) the individual must have both an aptitude and a taste for the work in question;
    6) the individual must work in a physical and social milieu that encourages them to pursue often and without significant constraint the core activity.
    It should be understood that these six criteria do not necessarily constitute an exhaustive list; for through further exploratory research and theorizing, other criteria may well be discovered...
    ... What is happening today to this interface between work and leisure? In answering this question note, first, that the modern work ethic – most generally put that hard work is good – is manifested in at least two main ways: workaholism and occupational devotion.
    Devotee? or Serious leisure? Hmmm. Read the entire paper - click here.

    22 August 2007

    Presto-chango: Josée Verner as Canadian Heritage minister

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper has appointed the Honourable Josée Verner as the new Minister of Canadian Heritage, switching places with the Honourable Bev Oda who has gone to replace her at International Cooperation. Verner, a francophone from the Louis-St-Laurent riding in Quebec City, assumes the Heritage portfolio.

    First elected Member of Parliament in January 2006, Ms Verner represents the riding of Louis-St. Laurent, in the Québec city area. She became Minister for international co-operation, la Francophonie and Official Languages in the very first Conservative Cabinet. Previously, she had been spokesperson for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Region of Québec in Mr. Harper’s shadow cabinet. This was widened in September 2005 to include the Official Languages portfolio.

    She also chaired the Québec Caucus for the Conservative Party of Canada. More bilingual than her predecessor, Ms. Verner has spent close to 20 years in the communications and public service fields. She served in the office of former Québec Premier Robert Bourassa and in the office of the Deputy Speaker of Québec’s National Assembly, and also worked in the Ministry of Health.

    09 August 2007

    Cabinet shuffle for Bev Oda?

    August 8 2007. The Toronto Star reports that the biggest cultural development of the summer could be an impending cabinet shuffle, said to be in the works for next week.

    "That's because Bev Oda – who has been an enigmatic and lacklustre head of culture as heritage minister since early 2006 – is a likely target for Stephen Harper... if Harper shuffles Oda, it won't be because she has disappointed the arts world. He may opt for the political advantage of a French-speaking heritage minister, knowing culture gets votes in Quebec."

    Read the article - click here.

    03 August 2007

    A profile of professional dancers in Canada

    A Profile of Professional Dancers in Canada

    Based on a questionnaire from the Dancer Transition Resource Centre

    Profile prepared by Kelly Hill, Hill Strategies Research Inc., February 16, 2005 http://www.hillstrategies.com

    Professional dancers were asked about the dance-related activities from which they earned income during the past tax year (generally the 2003 calendar year). Almost all selected performing (92%). The next most common sources of dance earnings were teaching (51%), choreography (31%) and grants (22%). The following table summarizes the responses to this question. (Because dancers could choose all applicable responses, the percentages in this table add up to more than 100%.)

    Click here to download the entire research paper.