So this week I got a press release inviting me to come the launch of the Nova Scotia Culture Action Network or NS CAN. It made me sad.
At this point, my proposal to create a cultural federation of federations and industry organizations, something that represents the whole sector but is member driven, is at a standstill. I am just not interested in continuing to work to convince people to do the obvious. It is easier to work with the industry side, they are more focused and results oriented.
I expect that Music and Film will be going out of their way to make sure all three parties support their current programs, I hope the rest of the sector is ready to do the same, though at this time it seems unlikely.
I suspect NS CAN will be a voice, but it will be a voice with narrow scope, driven by people with axes to grind, who seem to enjoy the politics of confrontation and negativity. Maybe I am wrong, but given the track record of its leaders, I doubt they are going to change their tactics any time soon. NS CAN will be the NS Culture Network part 2, a good idea, hobbled by poor leadership, and representing a couple dozen diehards, rather than the sector as a whole.
I still think we need a broad, provincial voice, and until we do that, I doubt the sector is going to get listened to by government. I doubt we are going to advance our interests through a logical philosphical and policy framework, and give the province something to fund. Piecemeal is the way it shall be, one sub sectorial organization at a time.
I suppose I was overly optimistic, but I am an activist and a planner, not a therapist, and I am just not equiped to deal with what seems to be going on with some some of the folks in our sector. Post traumatic stress, burn out, I don’t know, but it is real, and unfortunate.
Until such time as we collectively get our shit together, the dialog is going to be the same as it has been since the turn of the century, and a lot of emotional energy will result in nothing much.