The Rooms to reduce opening times, staff after budget cuts

Published on March 28, 2013
The Rooms on Bonaventure Avenue in St. John’s houses the provincial archives, art gallery and museum. — File photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

The Rooms will reduce its public hours and decrease its staff as a result of Tuesday’s provincial budget.

Funding for the provincial corporation, which generally goes towards the acquisition, conservation and preservation of art, artifacts and archival records, was cut from $7 million to $5.95 million.

In an emailed statement provided to The Telegram Wednesday, a spokeswoman for The Rooms said every possible option for implementing the $1.05 million reduction in the operating grant is being explored with a goal of minimizing the effect on visitors.

“All aspects of (The Rooms) operations are being considered; however, a reduction in operating hours and staffing levels in unavoidable,” said Deanne Fisher, director of marketing and development.

The province’s arts and culture centres also saw a minimal cut in funding, from $2.36 million to $2.2 million.

Funding for the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (NLAC), which provides grants to local visual and performing artists and arts organizations, saw its funding remain the same, at $2.1 million.

“We understand that this budget will present specific challenges to the cultural community, and broader challenges to Newfoundland and Labrador overall,” said Tom Gordon, chairman of the arts council.

“Council has followed through on a strategic review process to ensure its activities, programs, and administration have been conducted in an effective and efficient way. We believe the provincial budget that has been tabled reflects government’s confidence in the priorities that have been established by the NLAC, based on our public consultations.”

The maximum amount for the Film and Video Tax Credit was increased from $3 million to $4 million, in an effort to encourage the continued development of the thriving local film industry, the government said in a news release. This means a continued investment in the TV series “Republic of Doyle.”

The income tax credit, which is refundable, is given to any eligible local film or television project at a rate of 40 per cent of eligible local labour costs, not exceeding 25 per cent of the total cost of production. It’s an equity investment, based on other funding sources.

 

tbradbury@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @tara_bradbury