Dix and Chandra Herbert encourage British Columbians to celebrate Arts and Culture Week

VICTORIA –NDP Leader Adrian Dix and Arts Critic Spencer Chandra Herbert released the following statement today:

“B.C. Arts and Culture Week is an opportunity to hear each other’s stories and to celebrate our history and diversity in communities all across British Columbia. In our schools, parks, theatre venues and other locations across B.C., artists of all stripes will be dancing, acting, writing, painting, and more to showcase their amazing talents.

“We want to take the occasion of BC Arts and Culture Week to thank BC’s artists, cultural workers and all the volunteers who bring our province alive through the arts. Arts and culture are essential components of strong and healthy communities and of a compassionate and thriving society.

“Arts and culture is also a cornerstone of the B.C. economy. The arts and culture sector supports 63,000 direct jobs, and film and television production is one of the largest industries in the province. It is difficult to overstate the contribution arts and culture make to our province.

“Times have been tough in B.C.’s arts sector for the past few years due in part to the BC Liberal government’s decision to make the deepest cuts to arts investments in BC history. Cuts to the BC Arts Council and to gaming grants led to chaos in the arts sector, and resulted in many job losses, closures of smaller companies, and a lessening of our ability to tell B.C.’s story.

“The NDP believes in strong support for the arts community, with a respectful and collaborative relationship between government and the sector. A better relationship with this vital industry will support healthier communities, healthier families, and a healthier economy.

“Arts week is all about opportunities to celebrate wonderful artists in communities across the province. We are looking forward to getting out to events in our local communities, and we encourage every British Columbian to participate. Together we can celebrate the best the province has to offer!”

Arts and Culture Week runs from April 22 to April 28, 2012.