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Petition to the Government of Canada

  • The Canada Council for the Arts does not recognize stand-up comedy as an artistic activity or artistic discipline, excluding stand-up comedians from arts funding;
  • The Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, Prince Edward Island Council of the Arts, Arts Nova Scotia, New Brunswick Arts Board, Quebec Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council, Saskatchewan Arts Board, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, NWT Arts Council, Yukon Arts Advisory Council, and the Arts Development Program in Nunavut do not consider stand-up comedy an art form;
  • The Canada Council for the Arts funds comedy only if you define yourself as a theatre artist, yet stand-up comedy is one of the most immediate forms of artistic theatre;
  • Stand-up comedians in Canada have no access to public arts funding to tour, develop their craft, create material, produce albums, and reach new audiences;
  • Stand-up comedians in Canada have the same right as other artists to receive arts funding, as they relay through their artistic expression truthful, real, and lived experiences of Canadian life and Canadian identity across all cultural, gender, sexual orientation, and socio-economic lines;
  • Canadian stand-up comedians, acclaimed throughout the world, represent one of Canada's greatest intellectual and creative resources; yet are granted no arts funding and limited opportunities for career advancement, which contributes to comedians leaving Canada in search of work; and
  • With proper recognition, Canadian stand-up comedians can truly thrive, creating significant cultural and economic benefits across the country.
We, the undersigned, residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to designate stand-up comedy an art form and support Canadian comedians through arts funding.

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