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Thread: Nenshi doesn't want to suspend arts budget during downturn

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    Originally posted by sillysod
    I am glad the city spends money on art, I think during the downturn it would be a good idea to cut it back, but the art is part of what helps keep this city from looking soviet like downtown Edmonton.
    There is public art that has been payed out of private pockets, its not like there would be no art if city spending on art was curtailed. Secondly how does installing sculptures at waste water treatment plants beautify the downtown?
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    Originally posted by ZenOps
    Some people like to look at art at the end of the day for personal enjoyment.
    That's just it, SOME people but not all. No different than Some people that like to race or Some people who like to ride bikes or ride the Ctrain. Let's face it, our mayor likes the arts and granola. Plain and simple. When have you ever seen him speaking to a group of car enthusiasts or motorcyclists?

    There always seems to be money in the budget for things like the National Music Center, new library, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks facility and pay raises, yet they can't afford to find any new land to lease out to replace Race City.

    Calgary is so much like an iphone: iCalgary - There's a bylaw for that.

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    Originally posted by frozenrice


    That's just it, SOME people but not all. No different than Some people that like to race or Some people who like to ride bikes or ride the Ctrain. Let's face it, our mayor likes the arts and granola. Plain and simple. When have you ever seen him speaking to a group of car enthusiasts or motorcyclists?

    There always seems to be money in the budget for things like the National Music Center, new library, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks facility and pay raises, yet they can't afford to find any new land to lease out to replace Race City.
    I usually find that catering to monied opinion is the way to go, at least to start with. Build a nice arts center, raise one Picasso - and you will have million dollar paintings with which you can buy two race city tracks with later on if demand warrants.

    Build Race City to start with, and it probably will eventually go bankrupt, in which case eventually you get neither the track, or the arts center. Arguably, the only thing a racetrack does is provide a forum for consumption, as does a space program that consumes 2 million pounds of jet fuel to go 250 miles up.

    Such is the way of capitalism, and it tells me things are working the way they should.
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    Originally posted by ZenOps


    I usually find that catering to monied opinion is the way to go, at least to start with. Build a nice arts center, raise one Picasso - and you will have million dollar paintings with which you can buy two race city tracks with later on if demand warrants.

    Build Race City to start with, and it probably will eventually go bankrupt, in which case eventually you get neither the track, or the arts center. Arguably, the only thing a racetrack does is provide a forum for consumption, as does a space program that consumes 2 million pounds of jet fuel to go 250 miles up.

    Such is the way of capitalism, and it tells me things are working the way they should.
    I don't get why people are coming down on the arts. It would rather stare at some stupid blue ring or birds or a sculpture then emotionless buildings. Every city should have a healthy budget to give it a face lift.

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    I've learned never to underestimate the power of having something physical, be it big blue round lampost or grill cheese sandwich with an image of Jesus on it.

    Race city would be nice, if you could somehow take a part of it and chop it up somehow and be able to get people to buy it each and every time they visit. As is, there is no real way to sustain other than spectators - which is a very hit and miss like a rockstar worldtour or Olympics (which can also not only go bankrupt, but owe money very quickly)

    Invest in something that enhances one of the senses and that people can take home (music, painting, high end restaurant food, perfume, womens shoes and handbags, etc) makes it that much easier to justify.
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    Originally posted by 7thgenvic
    I don't get why people are coming down on the arts. It would rather stare at some stupid blue ring or birds or a sculpture then emotionless buildings. Every city should have a healthy budget to give it a face lift.
    I agree. During an economic downturn it's easy to try to cut the expense, but it's a pretty marginal expense as it is. I appreciate the city's beautification efforts. I like enjoying them, and it causes me to actually go out and interact with the community more (and spend more money at shops/restaurants/etc. nearby).

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    during an economic downturn where people don't have jobs, you don't cut spending that gives people jobs. Why? Because if you cut that spending and people don't have jobs and stay home and collect EI or Welfare and go on other social programs, the government / community still loses that money but gets nothing back in return. Cut spending and save money when everyone has jobs, tax revenue is coming in and the cost of labor is high, so you can ramp up spending and create jobs when times get tough and the cost of labor is cheaper. There will be better places to make cuts and boost tax revenues than cutting the art budget.

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    http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-...ic-art-program

    Honestly, how is this even a discussion? I honestly think that some of our councillors (as well as some beyonders) doesn't have a grasp of Need vs Wants. There are a lot of things we are going to need but dont have the budget for, it doesn't matter if the total numbers are insignificant, it's still a big enough number to add up significantly once we cut other wants. When the money flows again, spend away.

    As for the argument that you don't cut spending because it kills jobs, there's only a finite amount of money to go around to stimulate the local economy. Suspend arts, that money will go towards other needs that will create/sustain jobs.
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    Suspend it or they'll spend to the point where there's another tax increase. Thats what this city is coming to
    We can all pay to stare at more over priced cock rings in the middle of no where

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    What's the real dollar amount saved if they suspend the budget for a year?

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    Originally posted by Nitro5
    What's the real dollar amount saved if they suspend the budget for a year?
    Hard to know, it depends on how much they plan on spending.

    City of Calgary capital projects over $1 million allocate 1% of the first $50 million of eligible project costs and 0.5% of the portion over $50 million to public art, up to a maximum of $4 million per project.

    http://www.calgary.ca/CSPS/Recreatio...d-funding.aspx


    From the Public Art Policy pdf

    Eligible capital projects include all upgrade (U), growth (G), and service (S) budget items over $1 million. Ineligible costs include land purchase, rolling stock, portable equipment (furniture, computers, etc.), and maintenance (M) budgets.

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    Originally posted by Nitro5
    What's the real dollar amount saved if they suspend the budget for a year?
    Does that matter? If council was a little better at saving money in all the little ways, then the big ways would take care of themselves. Personally, I started saving the most when I stopped $20'ing myself. $20 here, $20 there... all little amounts, but they added up to thousands over the year.

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    Originally posted by frozenrice


    That's just it, SOME people but not all. No different than Some people that like to race or Some people who like to ride bikes or ride the Ctrain. Let's face it, our mayor likes the arts and granola. Plain and simple. When have you ever seen him speaking to a group of car enthusiasts or motorcyclists?

    There always seems to be money in the budget for things like the National Music Center, new library, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks facility and pay raises, yet they can't afford to find any new land to lease out to replace Race City.
    But only Some people like to race, which I'm going to bet is way less than the people who would use the new library, and (from what I can tell) the NMC, which at least has a more sustainable business model than Race City had. If you can rationalize and prove to me that a new central library is going to see the same usage as a new race track in this city, I will happily side with you.

    I think the complaints against the $1M fish on the Glenmore/Macleod overpass is one of the most assinine complaints one could have. Granted, I don't know much about manufacturing costs, nor the design process, but anecdotally, I can say that those fish are pretty big and from my experience producing large events: all big elements are expensive to produce. Also, as someone who used to drive through there often and at all hours, I don't recall many instances where the fish needed to be repaired or maintained. At the end of the day, I'd rather the fish be there than a blank concrete wall. But that's just me
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    Originally posted by sexualbanana


    But only Some people like to race, which I'm going to bet is way less than the people who would use the new library, and (from what I can tell) the NMC, which at least has a more sustainable business model than Race City had. If you can rationalize and prove to me that a new central library is going to see the same usage as a new race track in this city, I will happily side with you.

    I think the complaints against the $1M fish on the Glenmore/Macleod overpass is one of the most assinine complaints one could have. Granted, I don't know much about manufacturing costs, nor the design process, but anecdotally, I can say that those fish are pretty big and from my experience producing large events: all big elements are expensive to produce. Also, as someone who used to drive through there often and at all hours, I don't recall many instances where the fish needed to be repaired or maintained. At the end of the day, I'd rather the fish be there than a blank concrete wall. But that's just me
    The problem with racetracks has never really been a lack of business, its been zoning and the acceptance of that kind of facility as a neighbor as illustrated by just went on in Rockyview MD...Race city was fully booked everyday it was open, it needed work, but the writing was on the wall the way the City was fighting the lease renewal.
    You are also mixing private ventures with public ones, if the NMC and Library had to survive on it its own with private fund raising, zilch zero government grant money, how sustainable would that be, it wouldn't be at all..
    Back to Needs versus wants, we need a new Cancer Centre which we currently have no money for, but we'll have the NMC and the Library, I can tell you which one I would rather have seen built first with public dollars.
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    May be they can use some of the art budget to fix the water main on 14st for good.

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    Originally posted by BigMass
    during an economic downturn where people don't have jobs, you don't cut spending that gives people jobs. Why? Because if you cut that spending and people don't have jobs and stay home and collect EI or Welfare and go on other social programs, the government / community still loses that money but gets nothing back in return. Cut spending and save money when everyone has jobs, tax revenue is coming in and the cost of labor is high, so you can ramp up spending and create jobs when times get tough and the cost of labor is cheaper. There will be better places to make cuts and boost tax revenues than cutting the art budget.
    It is not the city's job to create work through non-essential projects. IMO, in downturns, the city should focus spending on things that create long and short term employment (ie infrastructure investment). Paying one guy to make a blue ring does not qualify. Also, EI isn't paid by the city, so the city doesn't lose money when they can the artists.

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    Originally posted by sillysod
    *snip Edmonton picture*
    You know, I've lived in both cities, and honestly, that picture just enforces how much of a bubble people outside of Edmonton live in.

    Is it the greatest city? Not even close. But the river valley is actually beautiful, downtown is a lot better (and continuing to get better) as time goes on. And coming from an individual that HATES transit, the LRT and bus system is actually pretty damn good for what it is. Housing is reasonable, strong job market, whyte ave and the u of a campus get your fix of hipster cool "chic" places if you need that kind of crap in your life.

    Having the LRT underground downtown was the smartest decision council has ever made.

    I will agree that the older parts of Edmonton are ugly as sin... but I also don't consider anything north of the Yellowhead to be a part of Edmonton

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    Originally posted by pheoxs
    I think it should stay, but id like to see how it's spent tweaked to be Alberta based companies that do the design and install of the art pieces as way to reinvest in our own economy
    Agree with this dude.

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    72% of the funding does stay local, with a bit more going to Canadian sources.

    The Blue Ring is an anomaly, not the norm.

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