Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Our Ottawa still includes Culture!

It's budget time again in the City of Ottawa and staff are proposing funding cuts for heritage, festivals and the arts, from $7.5 million in 2008 to $4 million in 2009.

That's nearly half the funding in an envelope that comprises only 0.35% of the city budget.

Family history is an integral part of the heritage community in Ottawa. We need to hang together, or we'll hang separately.

Show your support by sending a clear message to the Mayor and City Councillors. There's further information in the message below from the Council of Heritage Organizations of Ottawa.

November 12, 2008

le 12 novembre 2008

Dear CHOO/COPO Members and supporters of our local heritage,

The City of Ottawa is yet again proposing massive cuts to funding for heritage, festivals and the arts. City staff has recommended a 42% cut to all cultural funding!

  • 100% cut in funding to all 3 heritage service organizations (CHOO/COPO, Heritage Ottawa and the Ottawa Museum Network),
  • 100% cut to historical societies and all heritage project grants!
  • 100% cut in funding for festivals, special events and fairs
  • 24% cut to budgets at all eight community museums
  • Funding commitments for addressing crucial preventative maintenance work in the city's Archives will not be honoured!


  • 9 people within the community museums and heritage sector will lose their jobs
  • Heritage service organizations will shut down and no longer provide service to members and the community
  • Capacity of museums to provide programming for schools, children and seniors will decrease dramatically
  • Workers' Heritage Museum will be forced to close
  • Museum artifacts and archives collections will not receive adequate levels of care


  • Of the $9 Million in proposed service cuts, arts, heritage and festivals make up almost 45% of the cuts - totaling $4.1 million. This is an unfair and disproportionate burden on our local cultural community
  • Loss of funding from municipal government means no more leveraging of funds from federal, provincial and private sources - If our own municipality does not support heritage other levels will not pick up the slack
  • ANY cuts to arts, heritage and festivals programs and organizations are unacceptable. We want 100% of funding to arts, heritage and festivals to be reinstated
  • ALL proposed increases to funding already committed should be followed-through on (the Museums Sustainability Plan, preventative conservation care for city's archival collections, Arts Investment Strategy)
  • The City of Ottawa urgently needs to develop a budgeting process to ensure that community organizations are not crippled by the annual "budget crisis"


We must make our individual and collective voices heard, The cuts proposed by the City of Ottawa to heritage programs and organizations, arts and festivals are unacceptable.

On Monday, November 10, 2008, a meeting was held with representatives from festival, arts and heritage organizations in attendance.

It was agreed:

  • that we will move forward together with a strong, united voice;
  • that we are not willing to let the City split up cuts as line items on their budget sheet, essentially dividing us; and
  • that we are only willing to discuss budget implications to the entire culture portfolio.

We all must work collectively with our partner and member organizations, supporters, sponsors, volunteers, arts and cultural groups, participants and audience members to contact their ward Councillor and the Mayor to get our message through loud and clear - Our Ottawa still includes Culture!

WE NEED YOUR HELP. Your voice can make a difference!

Write to your Councillor by e-mail or letter and speak to the key messages we have outlined

  • Customize the letter to your own personal experience and contribution to the heritage sector
  • REMEMBER to ensure that your mailing address is included - Councillors need to know that you live in their ward - otherwise your message will be ignored!
  • Unsure who your councillor is? Click here and simply enter in your address to find out. (Councillors' contact info are listed at the bottom of this message)
  • Share and forward this message within your networks, friends and colleagues and other supporters of arts and heritage and urge them to voice their support by writing to their councillor

Attend a Public Consultation

  • Make your voice heard during the 2009 draft budget public consultations.
  • A list of dates and instructions is available on the City of Ottawa website here.

Register to Speak to Committee of the Whole

  • Make a five-minute presentation at a Committee of the Whole meeting.
  • Monday December 1st or Tuesday December 2nd, 2008, possibly Wednesday December 3rd.
  • To register call 613-580-2424 ext. 12487

It is time to take action.
It is time to speak with a united voice.
Our Ottawa still includes Culture!

Best regards,

Meg Hamilton, Executive Director,
(613) 562-0405

Ottawa City Councillors - Contact Info

When writing your city councillor -
If you do not include your mailing address your email/letter will be deleted

Mayor Larry O'Brien
Tel: 613-580-2496
Fax: 613-580-2509

Councillor Georges Bédard
Ward 12 - Rideau-Vanier

Fax: 613-580-2522

Councillor Michel Bellemare
Ward 11 - Beacon Hill-Cyrville
Fax: 613-580-2521

Councillor Rainer Bloess
Ward 2 - Innes

Tel: 613-580-2472
Fax: 613-580-2512

Councillor Glenn Brooks
Ward 21 - Rideau-Goulbourn
Tel: 613-580-2491
Fax: 613-580-2531

Councillor Rick Chiarelli
Ward 8 - College
Tel: 613-580-2478
Fax: 613-580-2518

Councillor Alex Cullen
Ward 7 - Bay

Tel: 613-580-2477
Fax: 613-580-2517

Councillor Diane Deans
Ward 10 - Gloucester-Southgate
Fax: 613-580-2520

Councillor Steve Desroches
Ward 22 - Gloucester-South Nepean
Tel: 613-580-2751
Fax: 613-580-2761

Councillor Clive Doucet
Ward 17 - Capital

Tel: 613-580-2487
Fax: 613-580-2527

Councillor Eli El-Chantiry
Ward 5 - West Carleton-March
Fax: 613-580-2515

Councillor Peggy Feltmate
Ward 23 - Kanata South
Tel: 613-580-2752
Fax: 613-580-2762

Councillor Jan Harder
Ward 3 - Barrhaven
Tel: 613-580-2473
Fax: 613-580-2513

Councillor Diane Holmes
Ward 14 - Somerset

Tel: 613-580-2484
Fax: 613-580-2524

Councillor Peter Hume
Ward 18 - Alta Vista
Tel: 613-580-2488
Fax: 613-580-2528

Councillor Gord Hunter
Ward 9 - Knoxdale-Merivale
Tel: 613-580-2479
Fax: 613-580-2519

Councillor Rob Jellett
Ward 19 - Cumberland

Tel: 613-580-2489
Fax: 613-580-2697

Councillor Christine Leadman
Ward 15 - Kitchissippi

Tel: 613-580-2485
Fax: 613-580-2525

Councillor Jacques Legendre
Ward 13 - Rideau-Rockcliffe
Tel: 613-580-2483
Fax: 613-580-2523

Councillor Maria McRae
Ward 16 - River

Tel: 613-580-2486
Fax: 613-580-2526

Councillor Bob Monette
Ward 1 - Orléans
Fax: 613-580-2511

Councillor Shad Qadri
Ward 6 - Stittsville-Kanata West
Fax: 613-580-2516

Councillor Doug Thompson
Ward 20 - Osgoode
Tel: 613-580-2490
Fax: 613-580-2530

Councillor Marianne Wilkinson
Ward 4 - Kanata North
Fax: 613-580-251

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