SERVICES FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

  • Blanche Israël

Cannabis Could Become a Major Funder of Canadian Arts Organizations

Canadian arts advocates are seizing the opportunity of current consultations around Canada's legalization of recreational cannabis to make the case for allowing sponsorship of arts organizations by the marijuana industry.


As arts organizations in Colorado have experienced since the legalization of Marijuana in that state, the two industries are somewhat of a natural pair. In 2014, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra teamed up with a pot company to create a cheeky fundraiser concert series called "Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series". California's landmark legalization, which took effect four days ago, has many California charitable organizations scrambling to figure out whether they can, or should, accept cannabis-related contributions.

Some Canadian festivals, like Pride Toronto and the Front Yard Shindig, have already received sponsorships from licensed marijuana companies. The level of restrictions put in place as part of the legalization process might actually block even those existing agreements, depending on the direction taken by Health Canada.


Cannabis could be a major boon to the arts and culture industry. But the question of advertising is an ideological one: should the marketing of cannabis be treated like it was for the tobacco industry, or should it have all the rights of the pharmaceutical industry?


Whether your arts organization is seeking new avenues of funding or you are ethically opposed to sponsorship advertisement by marijuana companies, you can weigh in on Health Canada's ongoing consultations by filling out the online questionnaire.

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