2019 Federal Budget : FAME APPLAUDS MEASURES AFFECTING CANADIAN FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

OTTAWA, March 19th, 2019 — The 2019-2020 Federal budget contains extremely positive news for Festivals and Major Events Canada (FAME)! It includes measures that aim to ensure security at community gatherings, as well as an important increase in funding for both the Canada Arts Presentation Fund (CAPF) and the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program – the main Federal programs supporting the festivals and events industry as well as various presenters of performing arts. The creation of the Canadian Experiences Fund, as part of the new Federal Strategy on Jobs and Tourism, is also welcome news.

For FAME, which is made up of thirty-one events across Canada, the two measures affecting the Department of Canadian Heritage come after a decade of budgetary stagnation, and they should stimulate development in the industry. Most notably, these measures recognize the fundamental role played by festivals and events in Canada’s cultural ecosystem. The Federal budget has announced a total of $40M in additional funding to these two programs that benefit festivals and other cultural presenters.

With regard to security, as the Minister of Finance himself stated, “Wherever we gather, Canadians should always feel safe”. It is for this very reason that festivals and events requested that the Department of Public Safety’s Security Infrastructure Program be increased. Budget 2019 proposes to double the size of the Security Infrastructure Program from $2 million per year to $4 million per year until 2021-22 in order to make Canada’s community gathering spaces safer places to live, work, and play. This leads FAME to believe that festivals and events could be eligible for the program, as per its request.

These announcements are linked with FAME’s three pillared plan to create a better business environment for all festivals and events, by keeping them safe, helping them grow, and focusing on creation. It was made public several months ago and was at the heart of an intensive campaign with the Canadian Government and various partners.

Approximately 100 people and organizations have supported FAME and its requests to Government; including twenty-five Members of Parliament, Tourism associations from across the country, Mayors and, of course, festivals and events. FAME is pleased to see that this collective message has been heard and that the Government is proposing budgetary measures to support the festivals and events industry.

FAME would like to thank the various elected officials who have made today’s announcement possible, starting with the Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, and the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, Pablo Rodriguez, who has expressed his firm support for festivals and events since his nomination. FAME would also like to extend its thanks to Minister of Tourism Melanie Joly, and to offer its full support for the implementation of her new Federal Strategy on Jobs and Tourism and the creation of a Canadian Experiences Fund.

Several months ago, a KPMG study evaluated that a group of 17 Canadian events generated $290,8M annually in economic impact (added to market value), created or maintained the equivalent of 4,606 jobs (Full Time Equivalent), and produced fiscal revenues of $66,6M, $17,3M of which went to the Federal Government. This same study concluded that the Canadian Government recouped 1.78 times its investment in festivals and events by way of taxes and fees.