From the Department of Culture website:
In a free state, all is related and each element leads to another; legislation, commerce, industry, the arts, the sciences, letters are all part of the same body – le corps social … When there is an abuse in one part, the whole social body will be more or less paralysed….
– Sir Wilfred Laurier in 1871
The Department of Culture is a growing community of Canadian citizens who are artists, arts professionals and cultural workers concerned about ensuring the social and cultural health and prosperity of our nation in the face of a Federal Government that is aggressively undermining the values that define Canada.
We are the painters, architects, dancers, writers, actors, designers, filmmakers, sculptors, performers, photographers, ceramicists, directors, curators, musicians, archivists, fashion designers, producers, weavers, choregraphers, editors…
In the impending election, the DOC will support Swing Teams of committed artists and individuals to collaborate and intervene directly in the election and, in a very public, serious, fun and spectacular way, to target vulnerable Conservatives in the so-called swing ridings in which the sitting MP holds a slim majority. If a Conservative MP has a seat, a Swing Team will try to take it away, if a Conservative looks close to getting a seat, a Swing Team will ensure that they never get to sit down. The Department of Culture is focusing its first energies on Jim Flaherty Member of Parliament for Whitby-Oshawa, Finance Minister and Minister Responsible for the GTA and another near-by yet-to-be-determined incumbent. The Swing Teams will use their imagination, their wit, their community resources, their political savvy and their artistic skills to create and distribute an abundance of graphic materials, videos, postcards and other creative materials. These will all focus on the shortcomings of the Conservative Party of Canada, Stephen Harper, and the Conservative candidate running in specific ridings. The Swing Teams will not necessarily work to promote other parties but rather through their actions, they hold other parties and candidates answerable for their social and cultural agendas.
The Department of Culture will make Swing Team kits available on our website that can be used as templates in other ridings across the country. As we continue to organize, we will further our partnerships with like-minded initiatives across the country. We will also post photos, videos, graphics and stories on our website and on our Facebook page.
Canadians are invited to produce and submit a 30 second video spot in a national contest in response to the Conservative government’s dramatic dismantling of arts, cultural and social programs since 2006. Submissions will be posted on our website and reviewed by a panel of celebrity judges. There will also be a viewer’s choice award. Please consult our website at departmentofculture.ca for details about this campaign on or before 12 September 2008 for details.
Head on over to the Department of Culture website for more