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Recently, Peter Hum of The Ottawa Citizen did a deep dive into the funding crunch facing arts groups in Ottawa (and across the province). He conducted a long interview with our own Mhiran Faraday and Carissa Klopoushak regarding the challenges we face. Here is an excerpt from that interview:

Ottawa’s iconic tulip festival is facing a major cash crunch — and it’s not alone

As grants decrease and expenses mount, Ottawa festival organizers are laying off staff, draining emergency reserves, and cutting programming to keep the show on

To have adequate cash flow, Ottawa Chamberfest, which is gearing up for its 30th anniversary edition this summer, liquidated all of its Guaranteed Investment Certificates. They totaled about 20 per cent of its annual budget, explains executive director Mhiran Faraday.

“We didn’t have enough cash on hand to pay our bills,” she says. “So we don’t have that safety net any longer.”

This month, the festival launched a fundraising campaign with a $100,000 goal. By Friday, it had raised $13,655. [As of April 9, we have surpassed the 1/3 mark, with $33,000 – ed.]

“We’ve always had strong support from donors, but we need to make it abundantly clear right now that we really need this now, more than usual,” says Carissa Klopoushak, Chamberfest’s artistic director.

Klopoushak says Chamberfest was denied Experience Ontario funding last year, compared to the $275,000 it received in 2018 and 2019; $250,000 in 2021; and $185,000 in 2022.

“It was definitely a shock and huge disappointment to not see that support from the government,” Klopoushak says. The amount, she says, was equal to about 20 per cent of Chamberfest’s 2023 budget, as well as the amount paid to all of its artists.

Photo credit: Jean Levac, Postmedia

Read the article in full here.

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Ottawa Chamberfest is located on the unceded, unsurrendered Territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation.

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