It appears to the regina mom that the City of Regina would rather fill that new pie in the sky, outrageously overpriced, not yet built football stadium with ticket-buyers than fund events for writers in the Queen City. The Vertigo Series, Coteau Books and the Saskatchewan Writers Guild will receive nothing, as it stands. From the member newsletter, eBriefs:
City of Regina Slashes Literary Funding
For many years the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild has successfully applied to the City of Regina for about $24,000 annually to assist with literary programming in Regina. This year, our funding request was denied in its entirety.
SWG is one of at least three literary organizations denied funding by the City of Regina grant program. Coteau Books and the Vertigo Reading Series have also been cut. The rationale provided for the cuts is that the SWG application “scored low in the area of community need.” We have been advised that SWG also scored low in the area of “financial need.”
Meanwhile, performance, film and music organizations that run festivals generating ticket sales have received more funding than in previous years.
The Saskatchewan Writer’s Guild has a rich history of literary programming in Regina, some of which we have provided for over thirty years. We offer a wide array of free programming to writers and the public, raise literary awareness, raise writers’ profiles, and enrich the lives of hundreds of people, including key identified targets of youth and Aboriginal constituents.
A new application process that groups all disciplines and former community grants into one is partly responsible for the cuts. The literary arts and the community will suffer heavily in Regina this coming year.
As a result of these cuts, beginning August 1st or earlier, the following Guild programs will be affected and/or suspended:
· City of Regina Writing Award (sponsored by the City for 32 years)
· Words in the Park (3 years)
· Writer-in-Residence at a Regina school (10+ years)
· First Nations Reading series (5+ years)
· Signature Reading series (15+ years in various editions)
· Aboriginal Storytelling Month (2 years)
· Aboriginal History Day/Month (4 Years)
· Talking Fresh (11 years)
· Regina Workshops (25+ years)
· Apprentice Readings (15+ years)
· Windscript Launch (4 years)
· Playwrights Reading series (5+ years)
· Historic Walking Tours (4 years)
Guild staff will be meeting with the City Community Consultant responsible for the grant programs on Tuesday next week to see if there are any options for alternate funding. We will inform you of the results shortly thereafter.
We encourage you to contact Regina City Council to voice your concerns about literary arts being cut from cultural funding, and to raise their awareness that the literary community is strong and viable, and this programming serves an important community need. You may email Regina City Councillors and/or Mayor Michael Fougere at the following link:
trm has already let her Councillor, Shawn Fraser, know about this abomination. He’s a good guy and has not heard about it but is looking into it. However, it would be very useful for people “from away” to chime in and let Mayor Fougere know how they feel about the big #YQR #fail!