Robert Sirman held the job of President and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts since 2006 and stepped down this past summer. He was therefore the arts funding czar during the whole period of the Harper Conservative government thus far. But of course government arts funding in Canada comes through other channels than the Canada Council: the CBC, the National Film Board, the major galleries, etc. In our lead October essay, Sirman takes the opportunity of his retirement from the Ottawa scene to assess the federal government’s relationship with the Canadian arts sector, and to look for new ways forward.
The city of Toronto has drunk a lot of writers’ ink in the past century or so, but most of those writers have been either rueful or celebratory Torontonians. How about a toughminded assessment of the place written by a Winnipegger? That’s what Michael Valpy reviews in our current issue: Toronto: Biography of a City by Allan Levine.
The gift that is William Shakespeare never seems to stop giving . . . and provoking . . . and inspiring. In this issue, Susan Knutson, a Shakespeare scholar herself, looks at the beginnings of a new Shakespeare Made in Canada series designed for our nation’s schools and colleges; and also at a translation of an intriguing political and literary history titled Shakespeare in Quebec. Infinite variety, indeed.
Absorbing fall reading.