Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

February 22, 2011 10:30 ET

Government of Canada Supports Arts Training in Wikwemikong

WIKWEMIKONG, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 22, 2011) - The Debajehmujig Theatre Group will continue to provide high-calibre training to arts students, thanks to support from the Government of Canada. Funding was announced today by Larry Miller, Member of Parliament (Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

"The future of the arts depends on the financial stability of the arts sector and appropriate training for the artists of tomorrow," said Minister Moore. "By increasing our total funding to arts training in Canada, we are recognizing the importance of investing in the next generations of our most promising artists."

"Our Government is working to help provide Canada's artists with an opportunity to access outstanding training," said Mr. Miller. "We are pleased to support emerging talents that make such a valuable contribution to the cultural vitality of our region."

"The confirmation of operating funding for the National Aboriginal Arts Animator Program of Debajehmujig Theatre Group for the next two years is welcome news that will allow us to streamline our transition between school years for both faculty and students," said Ron Berti, Executive Director. "We are pleased that the Government of Canada, through the Canada Arts Training Fund, continues to support the development of professional careers in the arts based on alternative practices representing diverse cultural communities and traditions."

The Debajehmujig Theatre Group is Canada's first professional theatre company created and established in a First Nations community—Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve, located on Manitoulin Island. The theatre company has offered community-based professional theatre training for more than 25 years, with the aim of developing Aboriginal performing artists to a professional level and a particular consideration for artists from isolated, remote, and underserved communities across Canada.

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $550,000 over the next two years ($275,000 in 2011–2012 and $275,000 in 2012–2013) through the Canada Arts Training Fund. The Fund supports non-profit organizations that offer training to Canadians aspiring to a national or international professional career in the arts. Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the total budget of the Canada Arts Training Fund rose in 2009 from $17.1 million to $24.1 million per year. This represents a permanent increase of 41 percent.

(This news release is available on the Internet at under Newsroom.)

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Codie Taylor - Press Secretary
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations