Calgary is no stranger to the arts. We have always forged our own way and generated original, exceptional content whether it's grounded in the creation of the Alberta College of Art and Design, western art at the Stampede, or One Yellow Rabbit's humble beginnings in 1982. I'm proud to sign the Creative Calgary pledge.
I sign it because I am committed to supporting the arts in our city and I believe government has a role to play in doing so. Relying only on ticket sales and uncertain private donations means arts organizations can't do what they do best; entertaining, challenging and inspiring the people and the space around them.
We've got a tough budget coming up, and I have said before that nothing is off the table in these conversations. Council and Administration will need to be meticulous in identifying where savings can be made. I can't promise the increase of funding to the arts to 0.7% from the current 0.4%, but I will commit to keeping the need for reliable funding on the table, and to highlight the value - social and economic - that the arts invariably provide.