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Alan Davey delivers keynote speech at Canadian Arts Funding conference

  • Date: 25 November 2011
  • Area: National

Last Wednesday, 16 November, our Chief Executive Alan Davey delivered the keynote speech at the annual meeting of the Canadian Public Arts Funders Network in Whitehorse, Yukon.

In his speech, titled 'Arts funding in a cold climate', Alan discussed how the Arts Council had negotiated the fast-changing economic and funding environment over the last three years.

The speech emphasised that the best way for funders to overcome the short term challenges they face is to articulate an ambitious, long-term vision.

Alan used examples to highlight the importance of taking this long-term view, from JM Keynes' founding principles for the Arts Council, to the goals set out in Achieving great art for everyone, our 10-year vision for the arts.

He said: 'The arts are too important for us to reduce ourselves to short-sighted expediency. Great artists refuse to allow their ambition and their vision to be tempered by external circumstances; as funders we let them down if we don't do the same.

'The first casualty of uncertainty should never be aspiration. What we are all about in the arts at the moment is courage - the courage to be ambitious, not to give in.'

Read full text of Alan Davey's speech