Tell me again
Will you please
I am but
A lazy artist
We interrupt to bring you …. The following
This is an unpaid non-political advertisement.
Invest in good.
Get a good job
Not worth $10,000 a year
Join the festivities?
Get together with artists?
Celebrate culture days?
Celebrations cost money
Not much left …
$10,000 hardly pays the bills.
Fade into the background?
Where is my pride … Is that the question?
Fade out like a dignified senior is expected to do?
Not on your life, O Canada.
O Canada, you gave me this bed upon which I am expected to retire.
Now take a good look.
So O Canada you think artists are worth nothing?
So … To all those good capitalists who have been living off of the creativity of artists for my lifetime … What can I say?
I remember one woman, years ago in Bathurst … Some say she sailed away on a love boat … I have no idea. What I do know is that she stole my work. Yes I know those are harsh words but it is the truth. She stole my design which was a drawing of a cornucopia which was to have been used on a menu. I was paid only for the menu design. What she did was to take my drawing and build her whole marketing campaign around it. She even had the drawing copied onto a large sign made to hang outside her very successful high end gourmet dining room. I was never paid for this extended use of my drawing.
What can I say about the young man who was starting up a consulting business in Bathurst back in the 1970s. He asked me to design a brochure. I worked many long hours and presented him with a professional camera-ready copy. He disappeared and I was never paid. Commercial art, some say is a cut-throat business. I agree and I guess that is why I closed down my small business shortly thereafter.
Then there was the good Christian woman whose Bible I repaired. She too disappeared and I was never paid. And there were all those other fine folks who complained that I asked more than five or ten dollars to repair a book that might take hours of work. There was also the hand-tooled leather guitar strap that was never paid for.
Then there was the super smooth talking Bathurst salesman who had this brilliant idea for something or other involving a picture of a baby which he asked me to do. Well, yes I did it, gave it to him … OK … One more mistake. I never saw my drawing again. Need I say that I never saw a cent of money.
I suppose all this might be discounted by saying that I am not a competent business person. I don’t pretend to be. I am an artist.
So why did I not get out and get a “Real Job” all those years ago? I tried … For years and years. My government was no help there either.
Now I am a senior … Yes boring, I agree … and my government feels that I should be able to live on under $800.00 a month.
You did what O Canada?
You supported your Artists? That would be an outrageous lie.
“Arts in Canada
Status of the Artist in Canada
An Update on the 30th Anniversary of the UNESCO
Recommendation Concerning the Status of the Artist
Prepared with the generous support of
Canadian Artists and Producers Professional Relations Tribunal
Author: Garry Neil, Neil Craig Associates Quebec research: Guillaume Sirois
Canada responded to the UNESCO Recommendation by creating the Siren‐Gélinas Task Force on the Status of the Artist which reported in August 1986. The 37 recommendations urged action by all levels of government on taxation, copyright, collective bargaining rights, payment of professional rates by governments and their agencies, social benefits, health and safety provisions, education, training and freedom of expression.
In response to the Siren‐Gélinas Report4, the federal government appointed an Advisory Committee on the Status of the Artist, comprised of artists and officials from associations and
the federal Status of the Artist Act, which was proclaimed into law in June 1992.
Part 1 of the Act outlines important principles, including: “The Government of Canada hereby recognizes:
(a) the importance of the contribution of the artists to the cultural, social, economic and
political enrichment of Canada;
(b) the importance to Canadian society of conferring on artists a status that reflects their
primary role in developing and enhancing Canada’s artistic and cultural life, and in
sustaining Canada’s quality of life;
(c) the role of the artist, in particular to express the diverse nature of the Canadian way of
life and the individual and collective aspirations of Canadians;
(d) to propose measures, based on research and studies, to improve the professional
working conditions of artists….”
THIS IS SOME KIND OF A BAD JOKE?
Ahhhhhh yes is that what they mean by lip service? Say one thing for official records but do the exact opposite?
“Part 1 also enables the creation of the Canadian Council on the Status of the Artist as a vehicle to give voice to the concerns of the artistic community and to recommend appropriate action by the government. ”
“While a temporary Council was appointed in 1991, its appointment was never confirmed by the Governor‐in‐Council as required by the Act. It effectively ceased to function in 1996, roughly a year after the substantive provisions of the Act were implemented. As reported below, the Council was eliminated in 2010. ”