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Rally vs. Cutbacks in Culture; with Guillaume Saladin of ARTCIRQ, and Andre Dudemaine of Land InSights

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29 August 2008

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Since Harper's Conservative government took power in 2006, over $34-million in funding for arts and culture programs have been eliminated. Last week, the Tories announced they would terminate a $4.7 million PromArt program, which subsidizes the promotion of Canadian artists touring abroad, as well the $9 million Trade Routes program, which promotes the export of Canadian cultural production.

The Tories are planning further cuts, totaling $48.5 million, before 2010. Federal arts programs to be eliminated are:

* $300,000 to the Audio-Visual Preservation Trust of Canada, for programs archiving important film, television and musical recordings.

* $1.5 million to the Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund.

* $2.5 million to the National Training Program in the Film and Video Sector.

* The Stabilization Projects, Capacity Building Program and two New Media Research Funds.

While opposition parties demand a parliamentary review of the Tories' cuts and have asked for a moratorium on the measures, diverse sectors of society across the country are mobilizing to reverse the governments' unilateralism.

On August 27, 2008, artists, singers, actors, writers, filmmakers and politicians gathered at the Society for Arts and Technology, in downtown Montreal, to denounce the cutbacks and call for a campaign to stop the pending regime of censorship.

The cutbacks have already impacted the Indigenous cultural milieu. Less than four weeks prior to the 18th edition of the First Peoples' Festival in Montreal (June 12-22, 2008), Canada Economic Development (CED) decided to cut their annual grant.

IsumaTV joined the protest in Montreal and spoke with Andre Dudemaine, director of Land InSights (coordinating body for the First Peoples' Festival) about the cutbacks.

Watch the protest speeches and listen to more interviews with Guillaume Saladin of ARTCIRQ, as well as Amir Khadir, spokesperson for Quebec Solidaire.

Year of Production: 2008

Country: Canada

Region: Montreal

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