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The upcoming consultation re the future of The Canada Council of the Arts may present an opportunity for libraries to argue a case for more federal support for arts-related activities.  For instance:
more sponsorship of readings,
strengthening our collections,
encouraging artists to use our resources for learning either related to their discipline or in "peripheral" areas, such as learning about marketing their art or finding out about tax issues,
encouraging partnerships by individual artists and smaller arts organizations and collectives with their local library, possibly as part of a municipal cultural planning exercise,
using libraries to showcase local artists - in building, at library programs, on library websites.

These are just some of my preliminary ideas.  For sure, we librarians can come up with many more.
 
The media release below can be found at: http://www.canadacouncil.ca/news/releases/2007/lb128231240938051902.htm
 
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Canada Council seeks input on future directionsOttawa, May 9, 2007 * The Canada Council for the Arts, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is asking the arts community and the public to help guide the future directions of the national arts funding agency. In developing its strategic plan for 2008-2011, the Canada Council will be holding consultations over the next two months with a wide range of service organizations representing various components of the arts community, as well as other provincial, territorial and regional arts funders and federal departments and agencies. The Council is also enabling other interested individuals and organizations to provide their input through its web site. “Our objective is not to abandon well-respected programs that have gained the Council a reputation for effectiveness and responsiveness,” said Canada Council director Robert Sirman. “Rather, we seek to identify where our energies and resources would best be focused in the immediate future.” “In the longer term, we want to make this already strong organization even stronger,” he said. “We want to put the arts in the centre of the lives of Canadians, improve the Council’s ability to support the continuing evolution of the arts, and deepen the relevance of the arts and the Council to Canadians.”  Mr. Sirman said the Canadian arts scene, as well as the demographics of Canada’s population, have changed significantly since the Canada Council was created by Parliament in 1957. “New technologies, a more diverse population and continuous growth in the number of artists and arts organizations across Canada are just some of the developments that are having an impact on the Council’s programs and priorities,” Mr. Sirman said. “We want the arts community and the public to let us know what the Council could be doing better to improve its support of the arts for the benefit of all Canadians.”In order to enable individual artists and interested Canadians to participate in the process, a discussion paper and contact information will be posted on the Canada Council’s web site as of May 14.  The Council’s strategic plan will be developed over the summer and early fall, and will be reviewed by the board of the Canada Council during its 50th anniversary meeting in Montreal in October 2007. Once approved by the board, it will be released to the public and posted on the Council’s web site. 
Sam Coghlan, Library Director / CEOStratford Public Library19 St. Andrew St.Stratford  ON  N5A 1A2www.stratford.library.on.caVoice: 519-271-0220 x15Fax:    519-271-3843Email: [log in to unmask]



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