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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended December 01, 2000
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By 'Editor, LDSCaNews'

Canadian Musicians Discuss Arts Funding

TORONTO -- Just half a week before Canadians go to the polls for federal elections, three of Canada's most successful musicians discusses government funding for the arts.

Steven Page of the Barenaked Ladies, Tal Bachman and contemporary composer Alexina Louie offered varying opinions on whether the government should continue with arts funding.

Bachman, son of BTO and The Guess Who member, Randy Bachman, is a father and husband and a member of the LDS Church. Just in the past year he received two Juno awards, three Canadian Radio Music Awards and a SOCAN award for "She's So High," possibly his most popular song.

Bachman, in a move that made him seem like the odd one of the three, voiced a strong opinion that "government should stay out of the arts business," never having received funding himself.

Despite disagreements from Page and Louie, Bachman reiterated his point by citing that new technologies make demo cuts and studio work much more affordable, and that the private sector should be the ones financing struggling artists.

As a further argument to his point, he stated that artists who do become world famous end up leaving Canada anyhow, taking all that taxpayer investment with them. And yet almost in contradicting terms, he went on to say that he knew of none of the worldwide starts from Canada who accepted government funding.

Though Barenaked Ladies received very little funding to get them started, Page still argues with Bachman and believes the government has a vital role in supporting artists.

Louie defended the position of Canadian composers, suggesting that if the funding didn't exists, very few composers could afford to write music.

CBC Culture, 24 Nov 2000
[Thanks to LDSCaNews subscriber Robert Slaven for submitting this story.]


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