Alberta Culture Minister Lindsay Blackett is warning provincial art groups they'll have to do more with less in the coming year.
The provincial budget next week will roll back funding for the Ministry of Culture, he said.
"Ten or 15 per cent cut or haircut across the board is what everyone is going to have to deal with, and we're going to try to come through that together," Blackett said Wednesday in a consultation with arts groups in Edmonton.
A large part of the reduction would be achieved through cuts in administration at the ministry itself, Blackett said.
He held out the promise that cuts to grants for provincial arts groups would be modest.
But he recommended that arts groups organize to provide a single voice in dealing with the government.
"I think they need to get a central administration that speaks with one voice for the arts sector," Blackett told CBC News.
He acknowledged the cuts will come at a time when many provincial arts groups are dealing with reduced corporate funding. He suggested groups pool their resources to find savings.
'Hard for us to get ahead'
A group of Edmonton arts administrators who met with him Wednesday said they are worried about the impact of the cuts.
"This will affect our programs," said Diane Aubin Labrie, administrative director of l'Association franco-albertaine de l'UniThéâtre.
"Right now, it's hard for us to get ahead. We already have the same budget this year as the previous year. We'll see when our grant submissions are returned," she said, speaking in French.
She said it will be critical for arts groups to present a strong voice to the province in the coming months.
"The more people involved, the more we will be able to bring important issues to the forefront," she said.
Karen Brown Fournell of theatre group Rapid Fire agreed.
"The thing is that we just need a stronger team and a more united team to go forward to continue to encourage support and funding for the arts," she said.
Blackett is meeting with arts groups in Lethbridge, Calgary, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie and Edmonton in preparation for the Feb. 9 budget.