Mayor Brian Bowman Appoints Task Force for Heritage, Culture and the Arts

In his annual State of the Arts address today at a luncheon recognizing recipients of this year’s Winnipeg Arts Council Awards, Mayor Brian Bowman announced the appointment of a Task Force for Heritage, Culture and the Arts with a mandate to explore opportunities to broaden the revenue base for these sectors and ensure their long-term success.

“We have tremendous people in the arts community doing great work in Winnipeg, but we need to continue to look at ways to better support and embrace their contributions,” said Mayor Bowman.

The Task Force will be chaired by Councillor Mike Pagtakhan, Chairperson of the City’s Standing Policy Committee on Protection, Community Services, and Parks (PCSP) and will be comprised of individuals from organizations integral to the arts community in Winnipeg.

Membership will be comprised of:

•    Deputy Mayor Mike Pagtakhan, PCSP Chair, City Council
•    Christian Robin, Co-Chair, City of Winnipeg Museums Board
•    Thom Sparling, Vice-Chair, Manitobans for the Arts
•    Susan Kuz, Board Member, City of Winnipeg Museums Board
•    Carol Phillips, Executive Director, Winnipeg Arts Council
•    Cindy Tugwell, Executive Director, Heritage Winnipeg
•    Chantal Sturk-Nadeau, Senior Vice President, Tourism Winnipeg

The Task Force will also be consulting with stakeholders on existing government standards and grants; reviewing governance models for museums, heritage, and tourism; providing a recommendation on the best model for re-imagining the City of Winnipeg Museums Board; and making recommendations on how to best move forward in supporting and structuring Winnipeg’s vibrant arts, culture, and heritage sector.

“I continue to believe that investing in this sector is key to building a competitive, prosperous economy, and that it has direct positive impacts on local jobs and businesses,” said Mayor Bowman, who noted that the arts and creative industries in Winnipeg provide approximately $1 billion annually in economic output, representing over 6% of Winnipeg’s workforce.

“Winnipeg today is a thriving, diverse, modern city that is well on its way to one million people strong,” said Mayor Bowman. “Through continued investment in our arts and culture sector, as well as looking at ways we can broaden its revenue base and strengthen its structure and governance, we will also be ensuring Winnipeg increasingly becomes a destination stop rather than a departure point for visitors from across Canada and the world.”

The Mayor noted that today’s announcement builds on important City of Winnipeg budget investments that support arts and culture in Winnipeg. These investments include increasing per capita funding to the Winnipeg Arts Council to $7, and investing $1 million a year over the next five years into the Inuit Art Centre.