William Gibson, Douglas Coupland and other Vancouverites speak out

William Gibson with Ron Terada's "Big Star", photo by Candace Meyer

Vancouver writer William Gibson with BC artist Ron Terada’s “Big Star.” Photo: Candace Meyer, all rights reserved.

A number of Vancouver’s most high-profile cultural figures have spoken out recently about the British Columbia government’s recent assault on arts and culture. To read their statements, click here or on the image above. I temporarily thought of apologizing for using this blog for political commentary, but then I remembered that design and art are not divorced from each other nor the world in which they occur; that our cultural environment is deeply formative of all our thinking and our relationships and needs to be protected – especially on this anti-culture continent; and anyway, this is my blog. A couple of friends and I, like many thousands of others, were so fed up with the arts in our province being administered (slashed to nothing) by an arts-hating, anti-intellectual, ex-insurance adjustor Arts Minister who’s more or less a marionette operated by an increasingly corporate, right-wing unaccountable bunch of cowboys misnamed the BC Liberals, that for our part in this struggle we decided to gather written statements against the assault on arts from eminent members of the BC arts community. (And that we would start writing incredibly long sentences.) I’m not sure if these short statements are interesting to anyone outside British Columbia, but I think it’s always compelling when any prominent arts figures step into politics, because it’s not as if art and politics are ever divorced, and at times like these it’s helpful to be reminded of that fact. The only person on this list who’s not a British Columbian is Margaret Atwood, who’s from Toronto, but as far as we are concerned she is an honorary Vancouverite. (To read more about her interest in social and economic issues see her Massey Lectures on debt here). Please visit our site for more information and spread the word, if you can. We’re on twitter too. Thanks again to everyone who has spoken out on Stop BC Arts Cuts. It’s interesting how active all the writers have been, in particular. Not only do they say yes, but they deliver their statements within 12 hours. But you know who spoke out first? Kim Cattrall, who grew up on Vancouver Island. I don’t even have TV and I never did watch Sex and the City, but I love her for using the podium at the Canadian Walk of Fame to do that. If anyone knows others whose name should be on our list, tell them to contact us! Email is on the website.

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