CBC stars and VIPs of the business and arts world alike came out tonight (Oct. 4) to celebrate the contributions and commitments made by business leaders and companies to the arts at the Business for the Arts Awards Gala.
We were also at the event, held at the Carlu in Toronto and hosted by CBC senior business correspondent and co-host of the Lang and O`Leary Exchange Amanda Lang, and spoke with Amanda, Anne-Marie Mediwake and Dwight Drummond about Canadian business and arts.
CBC Live: Why is it important for other industries to support the arts?
Amanda Lang: Well, we all benefit and so what I`ve discovered is that artists actually need very little support in order to do this beautiful work that they do. There`s all kinds of business reasons for it - it improves our cities, it actually makes them more livable, it helps attract talent, it actually has an economic value of its own in the billions of dollars. But beyond that, it makes our lives better. So for businesses to actually say we`re not doing it because it`s a good business story, which it is, we`re doing it because we believe in the arts makes me really happy. This is what this is all about. Art for art`s sake - I say hooray.
Anne-Marie Mediwake: Especially in a time like this they need the help, they need the financial support so that there`s room for their creativity, there`s room to make sure that all Canadians have accessibility to it and not just at the major sort of corporate sponsor level but also in the school levels as well. It`s something that we need to keep going. It`s part of our heritage, part of our culture and they need the support.
Dwight Drummond: I`m going to use a cliche and say art is life. It`s so important for enjoyment, for our quality of life that it`s important that businesses come to the table especially in a time where the world economy is down and artists are feeling it like everybody else and they get the kind of support from the business community they`re getting tonight.
Do you have an all-time favourite Canadian in the arts and why?
AL: Veronica Tennant because I grew up in Winnipeg and she was sort of on this pedestal for me. I grew up dancing. Charlie Pachter; obviously in terms of iconic art. But I`m not even going to begin with novelists because I`m a huge fiction fan. I`m on the board of the Writers` Trust of Canada and we have so many great Canadian authors. Joseph Boyden might be at the top of the list but there`s so many great ones that you hate to start picking them out. Our authors really are my favourite. They really stand out.
DD: Yes we got to do some work, if you could call it that, on the Nutcracker this year and we really enjoyed them. We go to the theatre, we take in different plays and the exhibits around town.