August 2019
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Sometimes it’s the personal touch that makes all the difference.  That axiom played out recently in the newly minted federal budget — specifically, the announced $16 million increase to the Canadian Arts Presenters Fund (CAPF). The local hero is Randy Glynn, Artistic Director of Festival of Dance Annapolis Royal (FODAR).

Presenting venues face continually rising costs to bring artists to their stages. While this situation affects both large and small, the impact is especially hard on rural presenters who face fewer large sponsorship opportunities. CAPF funding has been frozen for ten years. In Nova Scotia,  arts presents funding has also been essentially marking time.

In October 2018 arts advocates were in Ottawa putting forward the case for a significant increase to CAPF. They heard the same thing from several sources – that no matter how passionate and fact-based their arguments were, “all politics is local”, and that MPs needed to know what the increase to CAPF meant to constituents in their own ridings.  A letter-writing campaign kicked in and venues across the country, including King’s Theatre, outlined the financial challenges they faced and what an increase would mean for them.

Randy, who, in addition to FODAR is also Artistic Director of Live Art Dance in Halifax, took it upon himself to make these arguments in person. On behalf of the Canadian Arts Presenting Association, he first approached Halifax MP Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary for the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. That very successful meeting resulted in a strong letter of support  from Mr. Fillmore. Randy also met with South West Nova MP, Colin Fraser who wrote a letter of support as well.

In Halifax, during the December 2018 announcement of new Federal funding for the Culture Link Project, Randy was able to grab a short meeting with Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage. But it was his 40-minute one-on-one with Finance Minister Bill Morneau which many, including Kate Cornell, Co-Chair of the Canadian Arts Coalition, believe was pivotal in securing the $16 million funding increase.    

“A big thank you to Randy Glynn of @LiveArtDance for his targeted advocacy for increased funding for presenters in CAPF. Your phone calls and meetings resulted in $16 million investment. #Budget2019 @ArtsCoalitionCa @cdaacd

Sometimes a single wave can reverse a ten-year current.