Friday, October 09, 2009

Further tales, hypocrisy squared

It's a hurry-up day, but I can't let it go by without venting about the latest round of government cuts to the arts.

This time, it's BC's publishing industry. This is an industry our premier has praised for its accomplishments on the provincial front, in the country, and on the world's stage.

One of the hardest hit is a magazine that's available to everyone in our province, as it's distributed in bookstores, and even on BC Ferries. BC Bookworld has been publishing for over 20 years. Its promotional service to BC readers, writers and publishers has served as an examplar to similar publications in other provinces.

But it's more than a magazine. It's affiliated with an online database of over 9,000 BC writers, a website that's accessed by users anywhere in the world.

Similarly, the Association of Publishers of BC has also had its operating budget slashed. It's always been a bare-bones operation, so it's difficult to imagine what might be left to cut. They've accomplished amazing feats; there's even a beta-version of digitalized BC books set to go online in January.

For a province that's poised to host the world for the 2010 Winter Olympics, it's looking as though their promises to showcase our cultural accomplishments (part of the basis of Vancouver's 'winning' the games) mean nothing.

Brags by our premier about the importance of literacy mean little in the face of such contradictory behaviours.

You can bet there'll be more to come on this topic. But for more information, follow the publishers' alliance here.

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