Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I feel compelled to express my disappointment regarding the 2024-25 Provincial Budget’s implications for the arts sector in our province.

With the arts in Saskatchewan still being negatively affected by the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, massive inflation and the continued collection of the PST expansion on admissions, entertainment and recreation, it is disappointing that it’s yet another year of status quo funding to the provincial arts sector. 

What is most disheartening is that amidst these challenges, the budget allocates only status quo funding to our provincial arts funder, SK Arts (formerly the Saskatchewan Arts Board). Such a decision is simply not acceptable for a sector already in crisis. Funding to SK Arts remains flatlined and significantly below historical levels, with approximately $383,000 less allocated than a decade ago.

It is imperative that the government recognizes the substantial contribution of the arts and culture sector to Saskatchewan’s economy. In 2021 alone, arts and culture activities generated a GDP of over $922 million in our province. Moreover, the estimated economic output of SK Arts’ funded organizations amounts to approximately $74 million, underscoring the significant economic impact of the sector.

It is my sincere hope that the provincial government reconsiders its approach and commits to providing increased support to SK Arts. The arts are not a luxury but a fundamental component of our province’s quality of life. Sustainable public funding of the arts is not only a duty but also an eminently affordable investment in terms of overall public spending.

Em Ironstar, Executive Director

Saskatchewan Arts Alliance