Culture has role in city’s economy

Artists could make a living by, for example, busking on street corners, but this would not be a good model to follow.

To the Editor,

Re: Culture can thrive without tax dollars, Letters, Dec. 2.

The letter writer argues against the funding of culture through taxation, saying that artists will find ways of expressing themselves regardless of whether they are subsidized. It is true that artists could make a living by, for example, busking on street corners, but this would not be a good model to follow.

The 2013 Nanaimo Arts and Culture Economic Impact Study shows the economic impact of the arts in the Nanaimo region, saying, “The total direct (not including indirect) gross output attributed to the arts and culture sector in Nanaimo is estimated at $9.4 million in 2012. This is equivalent to $5.5 million worth of contributions to the provincial GDP, 880 jobs created, and $7 million in tax revenue to all levels of governments.”

If, as the letter writer says, “we are smart about money” we can “create the conditions where our arts and culture will grow” by making shrewd investments of taxpayer dollars.

James A. DuthieNanaimo

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