UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Rogues, vagabonds, and actors : an essay on the status of the performing artist in British Columbia Puttonen, Allan Michael


This thesis seeks to develop background knowledge about actors in the Province of British Columbia. The British Columbia Labour Relations Act defines actors as employees. The federal Status of the Artist Act recognizes them as self-employed. How did this conflict arise, and how does it affect the role of actors in Canadian cultural life? The status of actors individually and severally under the Vagrancy Acts of England from 1572 is analyzed. The censure of. artists by a U.S. Congressional Committee in the twentieth century is reviewed. The international model of cultural self- determination and freedom of individual conscience as promulgated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and UNESCO Charter is outlined. The arms-length model suggested in the 1951 Massey Report; and the 1957 Canada Council. Act is examined. The erosion of the arms-length principle in Canadian cultural affairs is linked to the politicizing of the arts in Canada: art production coupled with social policy and political initiatives in the 1970's; the cultural industries identified as a source of economic benefits in the 1980's; and regional industrial strategy initiatives presented as cultural policy in the 1990's. In conclusion, an assessment of current trends in cultural policy affecting actors' status, rights, professional development, and artistic freedom in British Columbia is followed by a draft Status of the Artist Act, policy recommendations in culture, and a proposal for an Actors' Development Company.

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