Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Museum Piece

I read an article recently about the City of Winnipeg cutting the grants that city museums receive by 10% in the new operating budget. According to the article, the cuts impact each museum differently, as they don't receieve the same amount of grant funding. The St. Boniface Museum faces $45,000 drop in grant funding. That's a drop in funding of $45,000 That's 10% of what they receive from the city. I can't believe they even get $45,000 let alone $450,000. The Manitoba Museum would lose slightly more than $5,000. I'm surprised the main museum in Manitoba receives such little funding. The Children’s Museum would lose $12,000 in operation funds and $9,200 that was promised to help pay for recent renovations. Which is kind of odd. The city should at least commit to funds that were agreed upon for renovations. Now what annoyed me was receiving notification via RSS from CBC news about an article titled "Winnipeg Jets could help museum funding shortfall, says official". "Says official". Official from where? Now I read this headline, and I thought, huh, the Winnipeg Jets are considering helping fund the Children's Museum? How odd. Then I read the article. The head of Winnipeg's museums board (the "official") is basically saying "Hey, the Jets are rich, gib moneys pls huehuehue" This annoyed me. It's one thing to see if they could come to a mutual agreement with True North contribute to the Children's Museum, they might even go for that. Heck I'm surprised they don't already. But on what planet is it True North's responsibility to help pick up budget shortfalls of the city? Why are they the first thought? I question the efficiency of these operations if the first thing they do is look grumpily at the Jets success and think "we should be getting some of that". I wonder if this budget decrease has some connection to the "Museum for Human Rights" currently nearing completion. I wonder if the city is planning to take away with one hand and give with another. Or maybe already has. I don't know. Anyways, its not like this budget decrease is going to hurt anybody. Inner city youth maybe won't get free visits? But so what? How many inner city youths have gone to the children's museum and then thought "I'm not going to join a gang, I'm going to be a railway conductor! All thanks to my free trip to the children's museum paid for by city taxpayers!" Maybe that's too cynical, but honestly, seeing that CBC article which was basically panhandling the Jets ticked me off. Do I support public funding of museums? You bet. Aviation Museum, Childrens Museum, St Boniface Museum, all great museums that I have enjoyed visiting and add a lot to our city. Am I against funding cuts? Not necessarily. 10% seems a bit arbitrary. why not 5%? Though if property taxes are going up anyways, are museums really the biggest drain on tax dollars? Somehow I'm skeptical. Still, $450,000 a year for the St Boniface Museum? Wow. Somehow in the end I'm wondering where all the money is going.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It seems fishy that the smallest & least popular museum gets the most $$ for funding. WTF?