Sunday, June 7, 2009
Conservatives and the Arts; Yes, Blues Music is part of the Arts
Remember the hoopla over supposed arts cuts made by the Conservative government last year. Just last week in Montreal Michael Ignatieff was talking about restoring funding to the arts. Considering arts spending actually went up instead of being decreased, that statement was somewhat disingenuos. What the Conservative government did was evaluate program spending and whether it was cost effective for you and I, the taxpayers. One area of the program did receive cuts because the taxpayer was not getting bang for the buck. and that was an election promise made in the 2006 election, reviewing programs and making choices on those deemed not getting the value of the investment put in.
Of course during the past election we heard clamoring that Conservatives don't appreciate the arts. Bull crap. The government made a business decision in the interests of the taxpayer. No more, no less. But what surprised me in all the talk was mention of galas and parties for upper-class performers. That was proven in one particular video showing a taxpayer funded gala event. Most in attendance were performers who have made quite a lucrative living off the arts. Why taxpayers should be subsidizing that type of event is beyond me.
Where money should be spent is things like outdoor music festivals, dance performances by those seeking to make a living by becoming a professional performer. In my case I attend Blues festivals throughout the year when time permits, and play in a Blues band. When attending the festivals, we meet people from all around the globe, letting me see first hand the economic benefits of holding such events Pictured is part of my collection of guitars I use when performing. At no time did I receive or ask for taxpayers to foot the bill. It was my choice to do so. When we do play a gig, the money we receive barely covers our costs, and on some occasions we actually lose money playing.
Why do we do it? Because we love playing. Because we love interacting with those watching. Because music is soothing for the soul. Because we enjoy it. Because the arts is supposed to be about exactly that, the arts, performing, providing entertainment. And we will continue to do that, without ever expecting the government, by way of the taxpayer, to foot the bill.