I believe that it's a good idea to encourage new artists, but hey . . . let's face it . . . Canada is a small market. No matter how good, how popular, how talented any artist is, the money is south of the border and only a few will stay ... and not because they aren't receiving financial support from the government.
And truly, no government gives grants to just anyone ... you have to be published, have credits, credentials. It isn't enough to make pretty pictures, you have to prove that you have a market . . . that someone has actually bought into your talent. Emerging artists should be encouraged, but realistically, there is no credible or fair way for the government to dole out money just because someone perceives themselves to be an artist . . . so it doesn't.
If talent is our #1 export as Charlie Angus says, it isn't because Justin Bieber didn't get an arts grant. Nothing the government can do is going to stop our best and brightest artists from seeking fame and fortune across the border or around the globe when that's where the real money is.
From the above link:
Short on specific numbers, the four MPs talked instead about the need for income averaging to help starving artists, whose average income is $13,000 a year – well below the poverty line.Income averaging? I support my family by working a crappy job, for a crappy wage, but still pay my share of taxes . . . and the NDP thinks some of my tax dollars should go to *top up* the income of someone who fancies themselves an artist? Thanks NDP. I suppose a case can be made for a government bureaucrat to hand you cash to support you as you struggle with your craft, but realistically, the market decides if it will support you while you create. It's a drag, but if you can't draw the crowds, the fans, the readers, the buyers, then maybe you should get a day job.