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Federal 2023 budget committed to inclusive communities

The 2023 federal budget announced today includes substantial support for Canada-wide anti-racism strategies, increased support towards advancing Truth and Reconciliation, continued funding towards Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage, as well as new funding for large arts and heritage institutions.

The federal government is taking significant steps to fight systemic racism in the country. The 2023 budget will provide $25.4 million, over four years, to launch Canada’s new Anti-Racism Strategy that fights all forms of racism, including but not limited to anti-Indigenous racism, anti-Black racism, anti-Asian racism, antisemitism and Islamophobia. Funding is also available to launch the federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan and to establish the Black-led Philanthropic Endowment fund to create a sustainable source of funding to support Black communities. The budget also announces support for Canadians with Disabilities, along with the Nothing Without Us Accessible Canada Act to realize a barrier-free Canada.

Among its support for advancing the Calls to Action, the 2023 budget includes $2.8 billion as part of the Band Class settlement to establish a trust to support healing, wellness, education, heritage, languages and commemoration activities. Other support was identified to support Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ peoples.

The Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program received an additional $14 million, starting in 2024-25, over two years, to support opportunities for artists, artisans and heritage performers through festivals, events and projects. This includes Indigenous cultural celebrations and the celebration of 2SLGBTQI+ communities.

The budget includes good news for the National Arts Centre and six national museums. The budget includes $28 million over two years to support the performing arts sector and the workforce, as the National Arts Centre recovers from shutdowns and capacity restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. An additional $23 million in 2023-24 and another $30 million in 2024-25 is available to support six national museums, including the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology, the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg and the Canadian Museum of Immigration in Halifax.

The 2023 federal budget was considered a “restrained” budget by many. While it demonstrated the government’s support for inclusive, accessible communities, it was disappointing on support for the non-profit sector still recovering from the pandemic. For more on the budget, click here.