Federal government invests $2 million in Manitoba arts

The funding will support 23 cultural projects, including the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film and Video Festival, which On Screen Manitoba's Nicole Matiation (pictured) says is an important industry meeting place.
Nicole Matiation-1

The Harper government announced Tuesday funding for a series of cultural projects in Manitoba, which will aim to boost the province’s economy and increase tourism.

The investment, to the tune of $2.2 million, will offer financial support to 23 projects under seven programs, including the Canada Arts Presentation Fund.

“We’re always pleased to see government investment in the arts and culture sector in Manitoba,” Nicole Matiation, executive director of On Screen Manitoba, tells Playback Daily.

“I found it very interesting that the focus of the announcement was on the economic impact of the arts and culture industries. I know they are heavily valued by the Manitoba government, so it was nice to see that echoed [by the federal government],” she adds.

Receiving funding under the Canada Arts Presentation Fund program are festivals, such as Festival du Voyageur and The Winnipeg Aboriginal Film and Video Festival, which nabbed $99,500 and $28,000, respectively.

Matiation says she is pleased to see the government offering increased support for the presentation of film and music, as opposed to simply investing in the production side – especially in Manitoba, which plays host to a series of smaller, niche film festivals rather than a large event like TIFF.

“The Aboriginal film fest is becoming an important event to showcase Aboriginal filmmakers and producers, and their work,” she explains.

“It’s also an event that reaches both industry players and the general public, so it’s a nice meeting place,” she adds.

Receiving the lion’s share of the funding is the University of Manitoba, which was awarded $1 million.

The funding will go towards the School of Art’s Gallery One One One, as well as the new digital art lab, which Matiation hopes will encourage students to experiment with film and video.

“That’s always good for our industry as well. It feeds a certain part of it,” she says.

According to a government spokesperson, the funding, which will also support youth and French language projects, such as Artistic Canadian Excellence for Young People,  will be invested by March 31, 2013.