2021 Federal Budget


OTTAWA, April 19th, 2021 — The greatly anticipated 2021-2022 Federal budget, released today, contained the best news festivals and events have received in a year, if not more.

More precisely, the Government of Canada responded to the recommendation to support festivals and events by unveiling $200 million in spending to support major arts and cultural festivals (through regional development agencies) and another $200 million to smaller local festivals (to be administered by Canadian Heritage).

For this, FAME and its members are extremely grateful to the the Trudeau government. In particular, FAME would like to underline the hard work by the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Steven Guilbeault, the Minister of Economic Development, Mélanie Joly, and the Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland. We thank them whole-heartedly, along with their teams.

The Government of Canada also provided significant amounts towards the two main federal programs that benefit festivals and events at Canadian Heritage – the Canada Arts Presentation Fund and the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program over three years.

Elsewhere, FAME has been very active as part of the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses, for the extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) – which helps organizers to retain their teams and expertise. The fact that the federal government has extended the program until the end of September is excellent news.

For FAME, which represents over 500 events across Canada, these measures recognize the fundamental role played by festivals and events in Canada’s cultural and touristic ecosystem.

“If the pandemic is far from being over, Canadians can today reasonably hope to preserve their cherished festivals and events, where they will once again be able to celebrate with their friends and family”, declared the Executive Director of FAME, Martin Roy.

A KPMG study in 2017 evaluated that a group of 17 Canadian events generated $290,8M annually in economic impact, 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.

FAME offers its full support for the implementation of the new measures announced in the Federal budget, and looks forward to helping the government further leverage the enormous potential of the festivals and events sector to stimulate economic and touristic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.