2024-25 Provincial Budget: Classrooms, Care, & Communities

Sask Legislative building with Wascana Lake in the foreground.

SAA’s Response

2024-25 Provincial Budget: Classrooms, Care, & Communities

On March 20, 2024, the Honourable Donna Harpauer, Minister of Finance, delivered the 2024–25 Provincial Budget: Classrooms, Care, & Communities. The provincial government projected a $1 billion surplus for 2023-24, only to see that evaporate into a projected $273.2 million deficit for 2024-25.

With the arts in Saskatchewan still being negatively affected by the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, massive inflation and the continued collection of the PST expansion on admissions, entertainment and recreation, the SAA is disappointed with yet another year of status quo funding to the provincial arts sector.

A status quo budget for a sector in crisis is, simply, not good enough. Funding to SK Arts is flatlined and well below historical levels – approximately $383,000 less than a decade ago. 

We remind the government and will continue to remind them that the arts and culture sector contributes significantly to the province’s economy and is a worthy investment: GDP generated by arts & culture in SK in 2021 was: $922,018,000. Considering the estimated economic output of SK Arts’ funded organizations alone contributes approximately $74 million in economic output to the province, the overall contribution of arts & culture should not be undervalued.

It has been a difficult year for many people in Saskatchewan. We must remember that the arts are not superfluous, but essential to the quality of life for those living in this province. The provincial government must recognize that sustainable public funding of the arts is a duty and that it is, in terms of overall public spending, an incredibly affordable investment.

We appreciate the work done by the Honourable Laura Ross and the Ministry of Parks, Culture, and Sport on behalf of the arts. The SAA will continue to work with the Ministry in our ongoing advocacy around the needs of the Saskatchewan arts community and we are more motivated than ever to work in partnership with SK Arts to develop research to support increased funding directly to the arts in Saskatchewan.

Following are excerpts from the Parks, Culture, and Sport section of the 2024-25 Estimates. Links to other budget documents can be found here.

2024–25 Arts Related Estimates with Comparisons to 2023–24 Estimates

Parks, Culture, and Sport Estimates Community Engagement Allocation 2024-2025 2023-2024 Percentage Change Community Sport, Culture and Recreation Programs 3,100,000 3,100,000 0.00% Active Families Benefit 3,890,000 4,000,000 -2.75% Heritage Institutions and Saskatchewan Science Centre 5,551,000 5,551,000 0.00% Saskatchewan Arts Board 6,775,000 6,775,000 0.00% Community Initiatives Fund 8,477,000 6,366,000 33.16% Creative Saskatchewan 17,313,000 17,313,000 0.00% Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation 308,000 308,000 0.00%