The government’s pre-budget consultation process for Budget 2015 has been announced – the deadline is Wednesday, August 6th.

For details visit the Finance Committee website.

The CAC’s steering committee had a chance to discuss the feedback they received on the initial drafts of their recommendation and have decided to recommend the following in our brief:

Recommendation One: Increase the Canada Council for the Arts’ Parliamentary appropriation by $35 million in 2015 with a long term goal of reaching $300 million.

Recommendation Two: Increase Canada’s presence on the world stage for 2017 by establishing a $25 million pilot program over three years at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development for Canada’s 150th birthday.

There were reservations raised by some participants in the consultations concerning the second recommendation. It was suggested the recommendation be changed to the Department of Canadian Heritage. Government representatives have told us that there is an interest at the Department of Foreign Affairs in providing this kind of funding in the context of Canada’s 150th birthday. Changing the recommendation to Canadian Heritage would mean passing up on an opportunity that has been presented to us as a likely win for our sector. We feel that this is an opportunity worth pursuing. We also hope this can serve as a pilot program which, if it goes well, could be extended past 2017.

Unfortunately, consensus was not reached on a third recommendation concerning Canadian content online. Nevertheless, many participants expressed concern that revenues from the private sector to support the creation and dissemination of digital content are shrinking. For this reason, the steering committee plans to put together a recommendation requesting a review by a House of Commons committee of the revenue models for creation and dissemination of Canadian content online.

Our full pre-budget brief will be finalized in late-July. We hope to circulate it in advance of the deadline for submissions.