The Week in Review: January 28

IT’S OFFICIAL: ART IS GOOD FOR YOU

Hill Strategies’ recent report, The Arts and Individual Well-Being in Canada, provided impressive arguments for including culture within one’s life. Data shows a strong connection between 18 cultural activities and eight indicators of health and well-being. The study concluded: art gallery visits are associated with better health; theatre attendance is associated with strong satisfaction with life; and classical music attendance is associated with higher volunteer rates. As a motivated, passionate and content team working within the arts, we at LMPR agree with the findings wholeheartedly!

DUTCH CULTURE SECTOR FACES HARSH BLOW

Such surveys are just one of the reasons we were distraught to hear of the extreme cuts to arts industries in the Netherlands, including to the Theatre Institute of the Netherlands which – as the national theatre museum – houses around half a million costumes, scripts, and props telling the story of Dutch theatre over 300 years. Funding dropped from $5 million to zero, causing more than 70 redundancies and the closing of the museum.

As always, optimism abounds. The New York Times reports: “Of course it’s an ending but it’s a new beginning, and that has been our mantra,” said Beppie Blankert, director of Dansgroep Amsterdam. “Let’s cry for a while — not too long — and let’s think about the future for everyone.”

The Netherlands Theatre Institute is housed in a stunning building in Amsterdam.

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES BC CREATIVE FUTURES

In local news, the BC Government launched BC Creative Futures this week, a three-part strategy to “support sustainable, long-term success for the province’s creative sector.” The first aspect includes a $6.25 million package of new and expanded programs, all focused on young people and education. Similarly, the third aspect helps the expansion of Emily Carr University.

It is part two of the government’s plan that has already stirred controversy.  Creative BC will be given a $1 million budget to develop and implement a strategy that nurtures the province’s creative industries. The government has compared Creative BC to the Ontario Media Development Corporation, but critics have already pointed out that the OMDC’s budget is 24 times that of Creative BC, with $4 million given to film alone.

CANADIAN PRESS LANDSCAPE CHANGES FOR CULTURE

Newspapers are evolving rapidly to meet new consumer and advertiser demands, and this week has further changed our country’s reporting of the arts. The Globe and Mail announced that long-time literary editor Martin Levin, and assistant editor Jack Kirchhoff, will no longer serve in these posts. The future iteration of the newspaper’s Books section remains uncertain, although the Globe and Mail is advertising for a new section editor.

Closer to home, Postmedia have confirmed that the Vancouver Sun and Province will now share some content in the entertainment sections of each paper.

30 ROCK ENDS, PRAISE FOR ITS EQUAL OPPS BEGINS

With the final-ever episode of 30 Rock now aired, the week saw many news outlets looking back on what was one of the most beloved programs on television. It unprecedented protagonist Liz Lemon was a key reason for fan adoration, as was the comedic genius behind the character, Tina Fey. Slate magazine explores the role Fey took to increase the number of female protagonists and comedians on our screens: a fitting tribute to a very modern comedy.

The quirky, hilarious character of Liz Lemon developed a new path for women in comedy.

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