Mixing politics and art, Canadian style

Posted: October 20th, 2011 | Author: | Tags: , | No Comments »

Rumi ensemble concert
A while ago, I went to a Iranian classical music concert in Toronto. The event was very well organized and the attendance was impressive. After the usual delay in the start of the show we were informed that the Minister of Immigration was going to open the ceremonies and was running late.

Eventually the Minister walks in, hands the artist a couple of memorabilia (which probably ruined the artists planned entrance at the show) and walks right out.

Here’s what I find odd: In Canada, arts is the domain of the Ministry of Heritage and having the head of the department who has nothing to do with arts (but everything with bringing immigrants into this country) smells of political games. Second, if we assume that the minister was genuinely interested his walking out of the concert hall immediately after presenting the award makes me feel even more like they were just playing to get the immigrant vote.

As if to prove my point, the same minister is on a media blitz promoting any art form that has an audience of immigrants.

Note:I wrote the post at the start of September, but never got around to posting it. The timing of the various appearances makes more sense back in September.