Early this month, a $400K donation to Toronto Pride by the Canadian federal government was criticized by conservatives, resulting in the disciplining of a member of parliament who posed with drag queens during a check presentation ceremony. Now the feds say they have no money for Divers/Cite, Montreal’s giant gay arts week.
An Industry Canada spokeswoman says there are just too many worthwhile events and not everyone can get government funding. That’s the e-mail explanation from Christiane Fox on why the Conservative government rejected a bid for funding by a major Quebec arts festival geared towards gays and lesbians. The directors of Divers/Cite in Montreal say they were told by bureaucrats that their funding request met all the criteria, and the final approval was with industry minister Tony Clement. But on Monday, they were told the government had rejected their request for $155,000. Divers/Cite features gay and lesbian performers from around the world, and brings in around 55,000 visitors. The festival runs from Jul. 26 until Aug. 2.