Monday, April 9, 2012

Of Resurrection

Easter Monday seems as fitting a day as any to talk about the possibility of rising from the dead.

The fallout from this year's funding cuts to our national cultural institutions - of which CBC, NFB and Telefilm are the biggies - has only just begun to be felt in real terms across the country.

Not that last week's announcements of the resulting job and program losses should come as any surprise. It's pretty straightforward mathematics no matter how you slice it: Cuts = Cuts.

But with the NFB shutting down their public outlets in Toronto and Montreal, and CBC announcing intentions to run commercials on Radio 2 as well as replace original programming with even more US syndicated re-runs on TV, it already feels like our current cultural landscape has suffered something of a mini-tsunami.

Likely there's going to be more losses to be absorbed - and mourned - before all is said and done.

And of course, this week it's Telefilm's turn. On Tuesday or Wednesday, our national funding body for original Canadian film and television production is expected to announce its own strategy for cutting costs to fit the number that is their new reality - and ours.

So today, we're all probably coming down off a sugar high and bracing for the next wave of "culture shock" to hit us. And just like in the aftermath of any severe shock, there's bound to be hard times, holes and scars ahead.

But - and here's where that Easter miracle comes in - I'm really feeling like we have to have faith - faith that something really good and strong will eventually rise from these ashes.

Maybe it's all that Easter chocolate talking, but today at least, I have to believe that there will - eventually - be some exciting new growth after the clear-cut. There will inevitably have to be new ways of seeing and doing things that, in some cases at least, may lead to an even more vital, vibrant and sustainable cultural landscape than ever before.

And if it turns out I'm wrong, we may have to talk to Jesus.