Canada’s largest municipal arts councils ask for a basic income guarantee for artists

The Globe and Mail

As we come to terms with the one-year anniversary of COVID lockdowns, Canada’s arts community is focused on creating a brighter and more sustainable future.

A future that takes advantage of the upheaval wrought by the pandemic, to repair the broken model outlined by Marsha Lederman on March 13.

To be effective, this repair will include provision of a Basic Income Guarantee.

We, the leaders of Canada’s largest municipal arts councils, are coming together for the very first time to advocate on behalf of the artists and residents of Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg. Collectively, we represent the country’s largest concentrations of artists. We know our communities and their challenges well.

Passing by any of our country’s theatres or concert halls makes it evident that Canada’s arts sector has been devastated by the pandemic. Arts and entertainment across the country have suffered even more serious effects than the accommodation and food sectors. The GDP of the performing arts sector has fallen by 62 per cent since last year.

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