Last week the Heritage Minister (who oversees arts funding in Canada) and the Prime Minister announced that the arts were to receive $560 million in assistance (Canadian Heritage Minister Promises $560 Million for Arts
A Canadian Conference on the Arts
Bulletin reported the breakdown of how the money was to be distributed declaring that:
$32 million [is] to encourage export of cultural products and services in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and explore new markets for our artists. Cultural products will be used to "brand" Canada around the world as a diverse and innovative country.
This week Ray Conlogue reported in the May 5th Globe & Mail that the Heritage Minister, Sheila Copps, had recently met with French Culture Minister Catherine Tasca in which Tasca (after launching France Works, a festival of French nouvelle danse, in New York), encouraged Canada to join the culture battle against U.S. popular culture.
To read more of The Globe & Mail article, "Let the culture battle begin"
Netscape Users: Search Ray Conlogue
on the Globe & Mail's
7 Day Search
IE Users: Use this direct [url=http://archives.theglobeandmail.com/s97is.vts?action=View&VdkVgwKey=%2Fopt%2FGIS%2Fverity%2FTGAM%2FTGAM%2Fhtml%2F20010505%2FRVFRAN%2Ehtml&DocOffset=2&DocsFound=7&QueryZip=ray %20%20%20+conlogue&Collection=TGAM&SortField=sortdate&ViewTemplate=GAMDocView%2Ehts&SearchUrl=http%3A%2F%2Farchives%2Etheglobeandmail%2Ecom%2Fs97is%2Evts%3FQueryZip%3Dray%2Bconlogu e%2%206Re%20sul%20tTemplate%3DGAMResults%252Ehts%26QueryText%3Dray%2Bconlogue%26Collection%3DTGAM%26SortField%3Dsortdate%26ViewTemplate%3DGAMDocView%252Ehts%26ResultStart%3D1%26Res ultCou%20nt%3D1%200&]link[/url]
Cultural Branding is an interesting concept. As someone who has both Canadian and American grandparents, as well as a partner who is Francophone, I recognize that there are inherent cultural differences in our histories and our day to day experiences.
The concept of homeogenization through the proliferation of American culture is an interesting one to me because many of the strengths that I find in U.S. dance are actually a result of the 'melting pot' effect of immigration there.
Is the influence of American artists that far reaching, and particularly on the touring circuit for dance? As a Canadian citizen I often travel to the U.S. to see dance...but it's usually to take in European companies or other international fare because considerably more work of international scope is presented in the U.S.
I would see more American companies if they were presented in Western Canada (where I currently reside), but not many U.S. dance companies cross the border here which has to do with the limited resources of Canadian presenters--who present Canadian work first and foremost (no matter how dismal, at times). Should we, in Canada, have to hear 'our voice' ad nauseum in order to protect our culture? I heard a comedian on television say that Canadians were like aliens--they look and act like Americans but they're really not the same. And if that's the case, what is there to guard against? Maybe Canadian dance artists (particularly those in Vancouver) could the energy of some exposure to dance companies from Washington, Oregon and California for a good kick in the pants, lol.
And what do Americans think when they hear that the G7 countries would like to build a touring network to keep them out or at least at arms length?
[This message has been edited by Marie (edited May 07, 2001).]
<small>[ 08-11-2002, 09:51: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>