British Columbia is dragging up the rear when it comes to support for arts and culture, according to a story in Georgia Straight, based on Statistics Canada data.
For 2008-09, provincial per-capita spending averaged $92—only Ontario and B.C. came in under that figure, with B.C. last of all at $62. B.C. also came last in per-capita federal arts spending, at $51 compared to the average of $122.
Some, but not all, of the slack is being taken up by municipalities, with BC municipalities contributing $98, compared with the national average of $82. When all arts and culture support is aggregated,
B.C. still comes in last, at $211 per capita in total, compared to the average of $296. Quebec leads in overall spending, at $374, followed by P.E.I. at $306 and Saskatchewan at $281.
According to NDP culture critic Spencer Chandra Herbert B.C.’s low per-capita spending is reflected in a poor showing in levering federal funding.
“Canada Council and Canadian Heritage will provide greater resources if you can show you have provincial support,” he said. “But because B.C.’s support is so low, there are other provinces who invest more so their projects are further along, are more developed, and more attractive to funders.”