On October 24, the Alberta government released Budget 2019.

Budget 2019 is a balanced plan to create jobs, grow the economy and protect vital services. It charts a path back to balance through targeted reductions – and thoughtful reallocations away from wasteful, inefficient and unnecessary spending.

I have directed Alberta Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women to look inside our own house to find ways to bring us back to balance. Budget 2019 shows some of the efforts we are making to continue investing in our communities while being fiscally responsible.

As stakeholders, I want to advise you that the programs previously managed by Alberta Sport Connection and the function of its board are being brought internally to the Department. The Board has been disbanded, effective immediately. An interim board has been established to support transition. The department will now administer grants previously administered by Alberta Sport Connection. Moving grants into the ministry will eliminate unnecessary processes, and upholds our commitment to red tape reduction. Moving Alberta Sport Connection programs into the ministry creates cost savings, will realize operational efficiencies and upholds our commitment to red tape reduction; the consolidation of the agency occurs on March 31, 2020.

Alberta Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women’s operating budget 2019-20 is $276.5 million.

Highlights of Budget 2019 include:

  • $94.4 million in grant funding for community and voluntary support services. This includes $23.5 million for the Community Initiatives Program and $11.2 million for Major Fairs. The Other Initiatives Program provides $1.5 million in funding.
  • $60.6 million allocated to support local heritage preservation and the province’s museums, archives and historic sites.
  • $86.2 million to the arts and creative industries, which includes $28.4 million to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, $46.7 million to the Alberta Media Fund, and $8.1 million to Cultural Industries.
  • $24.4 million to support sport, recreation and physical activity programs that will help encourage Albertans to enjoy a healthy, more active lifestyle while creating new economic opportunities for our communities.
  • $1.5 million for the Francophone Secretariat, which includes additional federal funding, towards the continued development and implementation of Alberta’s French Policy.
  • $4.9 million for Status of Women and Multiculturalism.
  • Budget 2019 provides $13.3 million in Support for Culture Infrastructure supporting expansion of the TELUS World of Science ($4 million in 2019, for an overall project contribution of $12 million), Winspear Centre ($4.3 million in 2019, for an overall project contribution of $13 million) and Vivo for Healthier Generations facility ($5 million in 2019, for an overall project contribution of $15 million).

Full budget details are available on alberta.ca. You can also read about the new business plan on the Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women website, which outlines the ministry’s priorities over the next four years.

We remain committed to supporting the efforts of our industry and community partners to realize the full potential of our sport and recreation sectors.


Leela Sharon Aheer
Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women