Nfld. & Labrador

Jonathan Galgay wants St. John's council to review arts grant cut

Just a week after St. John's council cut the grants funding for the arts, the chair of the city's finance committee wants to review and reinstate it.
Coun. Jonathan Galgay says he plans to put a submission in to reconsider the funding for the city arts grant during the Jan. 4 council meeting. (CBC)

Just a week after St. John's council cut funding for the arts, the chair of the city's finance committee wants to review and reinstate it.

Coun. Jonathan Galgay says he plans to submit a motion at the Jan. 4 council meeting to review a 50 per cent cut to the $100,000 grant, outlined in the 2016 budget.

On Monday, about 400 protesters peacefully demonstrated outside city hall against the arts cut.

Galgay said he heard arguments from the local arts community and thinks council should now consider undoing the cut.

"After receiving enormous amounts of feedback [I] feel that council should go back now and re-evaluate this portion of the budget to determine whether or not we can reallocate funds outside of the arts in other areas and grants and top it up to the 100 per cent," he said in an interview.

Local artists demonstrated outside city hall this week against a grants cut in the 2016 St. John's budget. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

"Going forward we'll keep a very close eye on the arts budget and determine if there's areas in which we can invest more and we will be working closely with the arts community moving forward."

However, Galgay said council would not move core services funding to boost up the arts grants.

"We can't go into core services, but for the $100,000 I think we should be able to make up the shortfall in other areas of grant allocation."

Galgay said he has informed the rest of council and city staff of his plan to make the submission.

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