Comedy is one of Canada’s greatest exports. We celebrate our nation’s history of excellence in comedy, and have pride in our country’s long list of Comedy stars.
That’s unacceptable. That must change… today.
In 2020 $500M of Federal support funding was distributed by Canadian Heritage and The Canada Council to support the Arts and Culture sector in Canada… but not Comedy. With an additional $181M in Federal funding earmarked for the embattled Arts and Culture sector for 2021/22, we must act now to recognize that Comedy is Art.
Canadian comedians do not have access to arts grants that are available to peers in theatre, music, circus, dance, literature and visual art. Access to these grants will immediately create career opportunities for comedians in stand up, sketch and improvisation that allow them to tell Canadian stories.
We’re asking you to email your local MP and have them request that The Canada Council for the Arts and Canadian Heritage include Comedy as a recognized performing arts discipline today.
As it stands, Canadian comedians must misrepresent their work, shape-shift, and compete with artists within programs designed for their respective practices – Theatre, Literature and Media Arts. That is ONLY IF they can squeeze past the gatekeepers to The Canada Council’s grants portal in the first place. This is hardly fair. Comedy must be recognized as a distinct arts discipline, complete with its own frame of reference, and tailored programs that include comedy professionals in their adjudication processes.
Refusal to recognize that Comedy is Art has not only left Canadian comedians out of professional advancement and development opportunities offered by funding frameworks, but most recently it has systematically excluded comedians from urgent COVID-19 relief for artists.
Please help us make this change by emailing your local MP today: