We are in the middle of week three of “I Love Alberta Art” deliveries and PACE Board member Marian Brant is stepping up to deliver her package of 200 messages of art love.
These deliveries have been a fun way to send a serious message about Albertan’s love of the arts in our province. Each delivery has arrived at the Alberta Legislature on a day the house was sitting. Each package was forwarded on to Premier Ed Stelmach’s office by the security guards at the front entrance to the building via Rick, the Legislature’s mailman. We’ve forged great friendships over the past three weeks.
Most importantly your voices are being heard about the importance of the arts to Alberta. You should know that you are in good company. We have some strong, influential arts champions in our province and they have had their say, as well.
“Our culture, in the largest sense, is not only how we’ll be remembered in the future, it’s how we’re known now. Nobody goes to London or New York or Toronto for the weather, and they don’t come to Edmonton for that either. Culture is good business; and it’s big business. More than 800,000 Canadians are full-time tax-paying workers in the arts and cultural industries. Many of them live and work in Alberta – but we can always use more.”Tommy Banks, Senator Musician, conductor, composer, TV personality
“Arts and culture are fundamental to who we are as a society. Civilizations remember their roots through art and stories. We need to ensure that our arts have the capacity to expand, and that our stories are not lost. A small investment goes a long way to sustaining this very important part of Alberta’s culture.”Fil Fraser, broadcaster, author, film producer Adjunct Professor, Athabasca University, Past CEO of Vision TV
“Communities across Alberta engage in art and culture every day. From small theatre groups, to painters, to those who give us their songs, they enrich our lives, define us as people and communities, and tell the stories of real, every day Albertans. We need to continue to support our arts and cultural industries to ensure that they thrive and grow.”Morris Flewwelling, Mayor of Red Deer Widely recognized for achievement in Heritage Conservation, volunteer leadership, community building
Go to http://www.pacedmonton.com/advocacy/toolkit/ and scroll down to read more quotes from our Arts Champions. While you’re there, also download a postcard or link to our “I Love Alberta Art” petition and send your message to Premier Stelmach.
Day eight’s delivery comes compliments of film maker and Provincial Advocacy Steering Committee member Geraldine Carr. Premier Stelmach can anticipate yet another package of art love to grace his desk.
The Alberta Legislature security guards are amazed that these deliveries of “I Love Alberta Art” postcards are still arriving for distribution to Premier Stelmach.
You see, Alberta’s professional artists and their supporters are a very determined lot. We know how much Albertans value their arts and culture. We have seen the wide-ranging – and eminently affordable – benefits that accrue to our province from the arts.
It takes such a small percentage of Alberta’s provincial budget to achieve very large, very real results in this province. Did you know, “The province of Alberta receives a 12 to 1 return on their initial investments in the arts through the Alberta Foundation for the Arts”?
(Source: Economic Impact of the Arts Study, 2004, Econometric Research Limited)
That means that, every $1 that flows from lottery profits [because the arts in Alberta receive funding through lottery profits, not personal taxes], through the provincial budget, into the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and out to the arts sector generates $12 of economic activity and about $3 in taxes.
Professional artists and their supporters recognize the impact that arts and culture have in Alberta. Statistics bear this out: All three levels of government receive tax revenue through the arts sector. A total of $67.9 million in taxes is collected (in Alberta) through taxation systems each year.
(Source: Culture and Community Spirit Department: Facts and Stats, Government of Alberta, 2010 http://culture.alberta.ca/culturalpolicy/facts.aspx)
Want to hear more? How is this for a statistic? Over 3,500 Albertans owe their full-time job to the operations of the arts sector with total salaries $106.8 million.
(Source: Summary of The Economic Impact of the Arts in Alberta, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, August 2005)
These are all facts. Mind you, our government is flooded with facts every day. That is why we have to find creative ways to make these art facts float to the surface for them. Alberta’s professional artists are the obvious source for this creative messaging.
Since we lovingly give so much back to our beautiful province, is it unreasonable to ask for stable, long-term investment in Alberta’s arts and culture sector? What do you think? Click here to send your message of art love today.
Last day of week two of art love deliveries and Provincial Advocacy Steering Committee member Jennifer Faulkner arrived at the Alberta Legislature to hand over Albertan art lovers’ seventh package of “I Love Alberta Art” postcards and petitions.
Throughout these deliveries even more postcards and petitions continue to arrive. Who knows when it will end? There are hundreds more postcards and yet-to-be-printed petitions out there. Only you can decide.
As we keep saying, the more postcards and petitions we receive, the more we deliver. We will continue recording and posting our deliveries on this website until you feel you’ve made your point.
Albertans value the arts not only as entertainment but for the important role they play in improving our health care (just look at the McMullen Gallery in the University of Alberta hospitals), our education (consider the value of the artist in residence program in our schools), our social services (theatre, design, music, and visual art are all critical components of most successful rehabilitation programs) and our communities (the arts have been integral in the revitalization of the Alberta Avenue neighbourhood in Edmonton, for instance). Albertans know the arts are not just a frill; they are the lifeblood of our province – a source of innovation and pride.
Premier Stelmach is receiving that message with every package we deliver. The province’s MLAs and city mayors also received this message when we wrote them about this delivery campaign.
We encourage all of you to keep checking back on our progress. You can find the archive of our previous deliveries by clicking on this link. To send your own postcard or petition, simply go to our Advocacy Toolkit page or click here.
Wednesday, April 20 was the sixth day of the “I Love Alberta Art” delivery campaign. On each day Alberta’s Legislature is sitting since April 12, members of the Provincial Advocacy Steering Committee have delivered packages of 200 postcards, postcard printoffs and online petition printoffs. On this day Karen Brown Fournell, Treasurer of PACE (Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton), stepped up to take another art loving package of postcards to our premier.
The security guards are getting to know us now and we are getting to know them. On day six, we also got to meet Rick, the mailman that conveys the postcards and petitions people have sent in from all over Alberta. This campaign has been full of fun and love from day one, but it also carries a very serious message.
Each package delivered tells Premier Ed Stelmach how essential Albertans
believe the arts are to every community in our province. Many signatories have also added their own comments illustrating how they have seen the arts benefit education, economic development, neighbourhood revitalization, and innovation.
In fact, people across Alberta have even been printing their own versions of “I Love Alberta Art”, including translating it into French, as you can see here. We deliver every card of art love that we receive. As long as the cards and petitions keep coming, we’ll keep delivering.
Click here to download your own cards or sign the petition. As well, feel free to print your own version of the “I Love Alberta Art” cards. Keep in mind that the layout (particularly around the address box) needs to be the same in order to get through the mail.
On day 5 of the delivery portion of our postcard campaign, Keltie Brown tucked a package of heartfelt art love under her arm and headed up the steps of the Alberta Legislative Building.
As with all our delivery people to date, Keltie sits on the Provincial Advocacy Steering Committee and has put in a great deal of time on this project on behalf of arts lovers and supporters across Alberta.
Our marathon of art love continues.
If you sent us a signed card or online petition, you are a part of this important message we are now delivering to our government. If you have not yet sent in your card or petition, there’s still time to get in on the action. Go to our Advocacy Toolkit page to find an assortment of cards you can download and mail or simply click on the link to our online petition and your message will be sent to us instantly.
Through this campaign, we are giving voice to the established fact that Albertans support the arts. Resinnova Research & Consulting Inc.’s 2010 study showed that, “91% of Albertans attend or participate in an arts event or activity each year”.
Albertans also recognize the arts are not just a source of entertainment. The same study revealed that, “91% of Albertans feel arts activities are important in contributing to the overall quality of life in their community”.
Through your “I Love Alberta Art” postcards, we are sharing this knowledge with our government. Add your voice today.