Culture and Arts federal budget 2022

Arts and Culture in Budget 2022

Following back-to-back years of COVID response budgets from the Government of Canada that saw significant investments into the cultural sector, Budget 2022 A Plan to Grow Our Economy and Make Life More Affordable, offers comparatively smaller investments, yet underscores the government’s commitment to key policy changes in the sector.

Here are six key highlights specific to the arts and culture sector, and what this might mean for your advocacy and government relations work.

  1. Funding to Cover Capacity Limit Revenue Losses

Budget 2022 includes $50 million in the 2022-23 fiscal year, disseminated through the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, and Telefilm Canada to help compensate organisations for revenue losses associated with public health restrictions and capacity limits.

We will be keeping a close eye on the eligibility criteria for the upcoming program, given the sector’s nuanced realities around closures and revenue loss. Over the course of the pandemic, we have observed the inconsistency of public health restrictions between provinces and territories, and the efforts to maintain company health and build back audience confidence.

This budget commitment does not indicate that it will be administered as a direct ticket-matching program, compared to what was previously announced in the Liberal election platform.

2. Arts Training

After considerable advocacy for an increased investment in the arts training sector, the Government of Canada announced $22.5 million over five years starting in 2022-23 and a permanent increase of $5 million towards Canadian Heritage’s Canada Arts Training Fund (CATF).

CATF is a long-oversubscribed program, and one of the only sources of federal funding for arts training organizations. This increase will be targeted toward addressing historic inequities in funding levels for Indigenous and racialized arts training organization.

3. Charitable Sector Donations

Budget 2022 proposes amendments to the Income Tax Act to allow charities to provide resources to organisations that are not qualified donees, provided that the charity meets requirements that ensure accountability. This change could mean more flexibility and support for grassroots groups, collectives and other activities that may not be traditionally incorporated.

This budget proposal is in alignment with the spirit of Bill S-216 which was originally introduced by Senator Ratna Omidvar and is currently being considered in the House of Commons.

4. Charity Disbursement Quota

The disbursement quota is the minimum amount that charities must spend from their investment assets each year, which is applicable to many arts organizations and foundations which manage endowments.

After extensive consultations in 2021, the Government of Canada has proposed a new, graduated disbursement quota rate for charities in Budget 2022. If passed, the Budget bill will ensure that for investment assets exceeding $1 million, the rate of the disbursement quota will increase from 3.5% percent to 5%. These changes will be effective as of charities’ fiscal period beginning on or after January 1, 2023 and is expected to be reviewed after five years.

5. Copyright – Term Extension and the Path Forward

As expected, Budget 2022 includes the commitment to amend Canada’s Copyright Act to ensure the general term of copyright protection is extended from 50 to 70 years. This change is algins with the requirements of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). The Government of Canada has also recommitted to broader copyright reform which may be introduced before the end of the Government’s fiscal year.

6. Cross-Sector Changes

Beyond these specific cultural policies and arts investments, the Government of Canada also committed to broader public sector changes that may be of interest to arts and culture stakeholders. These include:

  • Employment Insurance (EI) and Temporary Seasonal Workers: an extension of the measure in EI that provides five additional weeks to seasonal workers in targeted regions until October 2023.

    This commitment takes place in the context of the ongoing EI modernization initiative, which aims to include coverage for self-employed and gig workers. This is of particular interest to those in the arts and culture sector who are working towards better, more inclusive income supports for creative workers.

  • Strategic Policy Review: Budget 2022 includes a commitment to a Strategic Policy Review across government to address program effectiveness and identify opportunities to save and reallocate resources, focusing particularly on real property, travel, digital service delivery, inclusiveness and the fight against climate change.

    Strategic Policy Reviews reviews have historically amended intended outcomes and goals of government programs, eligibility criteria, reporting and accountability, and funding timelines.

What’s next?

Following Budget 2022, the arts and culture sector will remain in the spotlight, with key pieces of legislation, such as Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act, expected at the committee stage this Spring, as well as the Arts and Culture Recovery Summit that will be held online and in Ottawa on May 2 to 4, 2022.

For the announcements made in Budget 2022, it will be important to stay informed and participate in the eventual design and roll-out of commitments and investments. It will be important to maintain advocacy efforts to advance initiatives that will provide funding support not included in Budget 2022, such as in the lead up to the Fall Economic Update.

For more information or assistance on these files and any other questions, please get in touch with our PAA Advisory | Conseils arts and culture team:

Sean Casey, Managing Director:
Tara Mazurk, Director (Arts & Culture)
Andrew Walker, Senior Advisor & Client Director: