The Northwest Territories is the only jurisdiction in Canada which denies lottery funds to be used for the arts. Under current legislation, 100 per cent of our territory’s dividend from lottery sales goes towards sports and recreation funding.
The Government of the Northwest Territories is currently reviewing the Lottery Act and an e-petition has been created by Eli Purchase of Yellowknife to allow a portion of the funds to be used to support the arts in our territory.
Mr. Purchase had this to say in a email circulated amongst members of the arts community in the NWT:
“The need for increased support for the arts is high as the GNWT has not increased funding to the NWT Arts Council or other arts funds in nearly a decade. By amending the Lottery Act to allow some of the lottery money to be spent on the arts, this would increase arts funding without increasing expenses for the GNWT. For example the NWT Arts Council’s annual budget is a mere $500,000 whereas the NWT Lottery revenues are in the millions.”
The NWTPMA is asking for the public’s help by signing the e-petition which can be found at this link: http://epetition.lant.public-i.tv/epetition_core/view/lotteryact
Important: Make sure you confirm your email address in the message which is automatically sent after you fill out the e-petition form. In some cases, the message may end up in your spam folder. If you do not verify your email, your name will not appear among the signatories on the petition.
Scott Clouthier is a filmmaker, editor and colourist based in Hay River, NWT. He is a former Vice President and Executive Director of the NWTPMA.