Whither Canada’s Arts Ministry?

Canada has a new prime minister, and Paul Martin’s choice to head the nation’s Ministry of Canadian Heritage is already causing arts groups to wonder about the intentions of the new government. “A first-time cabinet minister, Hélène Scherrer is largely unknown among Canadian arts groups… The heritage minister is responsible for a broad range of issues and agencies, including arts and culture, citizenship, multiculturalism and sport.” Scherrer’s background is almost entirely in sports, and her spokesman has already said that the ministry will no longer be the “bank” for the arts that it was under former minister Sheila Copps.