Special post 3: Festivals and urban cultural policy: Some meditations on the literature

Okay, so apologies for another long break from posting – I’ve been in Sydney, interviewing the Sydney Festival’s Lindy Hume for Meanjin Quarterly and aso catching up with my colleagues at the University of Western Sydney and NewMatilda.com.

I’m going to make it up to you all today with a long post on the literature of urban cultural policy as it relates to festivals. ¬†This will be the¬†final post in my “special series” on academic festivals literature, which has been a lot of fun to read up on. It’s another fascinating area of the knowledge base, and while I could spend days delving into it, I am going to discuss the literature in general before examining a couple of specific papers. Continue reading

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The Toronto Star’s series on Canadian culture

Over the last three weeks, the Toronto Star has been running a fascinating series on the lives and livings of artists in Canada.

While it’s not an academic treatment of cultural policy, there is still much of interest in the many anecdotes that Bruce Demara and his colleagues have gathered on the cultural economy of Ontario, particularly as Canada is in many ways a similar-sized country as Australia.

We Australians often think Canada has quite an enlightened approach to supporting culture, particularly in terms of broadcasting, but as the series reveals there are some disturbing similarities to the plight of our own artists as revealed by Throsby and Hollister’s Don’t Give Up Your Day Job.

The Star’s series reveals that Hollywood film production – long a staple of the Canadian cultural industries – is drying up, probably in response to the introduction of many state-based subsidies in the US. As Allen Scott has shown in his research, this is characteristic of subsidy-based foreign film production – a kind of “hot money” which tends to chase the highest subsidies.