Norway’s new cultural minister, Labour’s Trond Giske, unveiled this week the left-centre’s revised culture budget. For 2006 the music sector is given a much needed lift – an increase of NOK 22,2m has been welcomed by music organisations across the nation.
Earlier this autumn the Norwegian Rock Music Foundation faced layoffs at its administration due to a severe budget deficit and no increased public support. Now the rock enthusiasts can cheer as Giske hands over a hand of much needed cash – one million Kroner will enable the vital organisation to continue its work at today’s level.
Norwegian rock and pop acts can also look forward to increased spending on tour and festival support as well as the Purchase Programme for Phonograms which will result in more albums being bought by the Arts Council Norway and shipped to recipients domestically as well as internationally. Norgesnettet – a national concert network – will also have better working conditions next year with an increased allotment from the Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs.
The folk music scene can also have a more positive outlook for the future. There has been much debate and planning regarding the establishment of a national stage/scene for folk music and dance, but up until now the government has been reluctant to pledge support for the initiative. The allotment of NOK 1,5m in support of establishment of the scene is a clear signal from the authorities that there will indeed be a national folk music stage in the near future.
This autumn has seen a heated debate concerning the localisation of a new visitor centre for rock and pop history. Oslo and Trondheim have been battling fiercely to gather support for either city’s proposal, but eventually Trondheim won out last week when Culture Minister Giske secured a majority in the Parliament for the Trondheim alternative. The new centre has now been granted its first allotment – 1,5m to start the process that will lead to Norway’s new popular music museum.
The Jazz camp can join in and cheer given the 2 million increase in support for the establishment of a national Jazz scene.
Other sectors that are strengthened in the left-centre’s budget proposal are the Fund for Sound and Picture, the multi-cultural Mela Festival and the Norwegian Youth Festivals of Art.
The increased allotments of the new national culture budget are outlined below:
|NOK 8,5m to the Norwegian Cultural Fund:|
|The Purchase Programme for Phonograms||NOK 1m|
|Tour- and festival-support – rock/pop||NOK 2m|
|Festival support||NOK 3,5m|
|Support for ensembles||NOK 2m|
|NOK 6,7m to the Arts Council Norway:|
|The Music Workshop Programme||NOK 2m|
|Norwegian Rock Music Foundation||NOK 1m|
|Blueshouse Notodden||NOK 200 000|
|The programme for instrument purchases for school marching bands||NOK 2,5m|
|NOK 2m to regional institutions:|
|Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra||NOK 750 000|
|Stavanger Symphony Orchestra||NOK 750 000|
|The Norwegian Wind Ensemble||NOK 500 000|
|NOK 5m to various fixed support programmes:|
|Support for establishment of a national stage for folk music and dance in Oslo||NOK 1,5m|
|Project funding for a new visitor centre and network for conveying of pop- and rock history||NOK 1,5m|
|Norwegian Jazz Forum – establishment and launch of a National Jazz Stage||NOK 2m|
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Music Industry, Politics