SAA Responds to the Dropping of Bill S-208
May 1, 2023
On April 24, 2023, the order for second reading of Bill S-208, a Declaration on the Essential Role of Artists and Creative Expression in Canada Act, was discharged and the item was dropped from the Order Paper.
The Saskatchewan Arts Alliance is disappointed in Members of Parliament who failed to sponsor and pass S-208, a bill respecting the Declaration on the Essential Role of Artists and Creative Expression in Canada.
This common sense bill supported access to the arts – including arts education and to freedom of expression. It would have elevated Canadian voices and stories, and it clearly stated that every Canadian, “including artists, ha[ve] the right to be free from discrimination, including racism, ageism and all stigmas, and artists, including those with disabilities or those who are deaf, have the right to barrier-free physical access to places and spaces to create, perform and present their work in both behind-the-scenes spaces and on stages and in galleries, museums, studios and practice spaces, and through online and digital opportunities.”
The arts and creative industries add value to our province and our country – economically and socially. The sector builds stronger and happier communities, gives us a sense of belonging and civic pride, improves mental health, increases innovative thinking in our students, and contributes to the province’s GDP. The Declaration on the Essential Role of Artists and Creative Expression in Canada recognized the vitally important role played by artists and the arts in every dimension of Canadian society.
Even though this important bill has failed to get a sponsor and move forward, the SAA will work to continue to affirm and advance the 10 points of the declaration. We encourage that this bill be picked up again and supported by the people who represent us in Ottawa.
If you wish to express your concern, you can find contact information for your local Member of Parliament here: https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en/search#
To find out more about this bill: