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Advocacy Primer for the Canadian Election – And Beyond

October 17, 200517 October 2005

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These web resources compiled by the Canadian Conference of the Arts provide information and statistics to help artists and cultural workers demonstrate the value of the arts and culture in Canada. The advocacy primer contains steps to develop advocacy activities, effective advocacy strategies, tips on how to communicate with candidates, ways to get the message out, how to “make the pitch”, and more. The advocacy primer provides bullet-point suggestions for each of the five effective advocacy strategies: be brief; be strategic; be appreciative; be informative; and be respectful.

The primer also includes a series of “arts facts”, largely drawn from Statistics Canada and other government sources, concerning the economic impact of the arts and culture, arts attendance, public support for the arts, the cultural industries, cultural tourism and heritage. In addition, the primer provides short “boxed quotes” from a variety of sources on the importance of arts and culture.

The “arts for life” section of the primer provides brief summaries of findings concerning the contribution of the arts to various aspects of life in Canada and abroad, including education, inner-city development, health and the economy. As just one example, the CCA notes that “classically-trained dance teacher Sophia Costentini, an instructor with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, has worked wonders with high school students. Kids who once might have dropped out through lack of interest became actively involved in a high-energy dance programme, and their grades improved in all subject areas.”

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