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Provincial budget bumps up support for arts and cultural sector

On March 2023, the Government of Saskatchewan announced increases to its cultural funding levels as part of its 2023-2024 Provincial Budget: Growth that Works for Everyone. Creative Saskatchewan received the most support with a 20 per cent increase, or extra $2 million, to support Saskatchewan’s re-energized film industry. SK Arts, Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation and Western Development Museum saw 2.5 per cent increases across the board.

According to Erin Dean, CEO of Creative Saskatchewan, and the official film commission for the province, “We’re very pleased with the Government’s decision to extend the reach of our Feature Film and Television Production Grant program. Productions are a multi-faceted endeavour, built around labour with the potential to create many new jobs, and have far-reaching impacts on local hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors. This is estimated to result in a total of $55.8 million in positive economic outputs, and over 250 new jobs.” The program supports hiring local labour and incentivizes expenditures with Saskatchewan businesses, ensuring that every cent remains in the province.

With inflationary rates continuing to rise, arts, cultural and heritage organizations are experiencing greater challenges to maintain programs and services important to the people of the province. While these modest 2.5 per cent increases are appreciated, many feel that a greater government commitment to support arts and culture long-term is needed. Research shows that 85 per cent of Saskatchewanians agree that “arts and cultural activities in a community make it a better place to live” (Hill Strategies Research, 2022).

SK Arts CEO, Michael Jones, said the increase to SK Arts “is certainly a move in the right direction. Over the next week or two, SK Arts leadership will have to consider how we can use this money to address sectoral and internal needs.” We understand the challenges faced by the funded organizations and artists we support.” 

For more information on the 2023-24 provincial budget, click here.