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New Act submitted to Parliament on the Promotion of Performing Arts

Ministry of Education and Culture 24.9.2020 13.29
Press release
Colourful Stage Lights.

The Government proposes to enact a law on the promotion of performing arts that would replace the current Theatres and Orchestras Act. The name and scope of the new Act would be more general than the current Theatres and Orchestras Act and would cover all forms of performing arts, and access to the system of central government transfers would not be restricted to certain forms of performing arts. The Government submitted the proposal to Parliament on Thursday, 11 June 2020.

Performing arts units could qualify for entitlement to central government transfers for an indefinite period or for a fixed period of three years. Units could qualify within the scope of the system of central government transfers for performing arts for an indefinite period, assuming that they are likely to meet the criteria for central government transfers over the next six years. In all other cases, units would be eligible for central government transfers for a fixed period of three years.

“I am very pleased that the reform of the system of central government transfers for performing arts is finally progressing to Parliament. The reform strengthens the position of Finnish theatres and orchestras while also taking into account the changes that have taken place in the field of performing arts.

“One thing I find important in the reform is that the new Act will allow more fields of performing arts to qualify for central government transfers,” says Minister of Science and Culture Annika Saarikko.

For units under the central government transfers system for an indefinite period, the fulfilment of the criteria for central government transfers would be assessed every six years. Where a unit no longer meets the criteria for central government transfers, qualification for central government transfers would be withdrawn. Qualification for central government transfers could also be converted into a fixed-term period if the unit no longer meets the criteria of the system of central government transfers for those that qualify for entitlement to indefinite central government transfers.

Unit prices calculated on the basis of actual costs and the number of person-years verified as the basis for the central government transfers would still be used as the imputed bases for the central government system. As a rule, the central government transfer rate would  be 37 per cent, as is currently the case.

Differences in the fields of activities and cost and income structures of different types of art institutions could be taken into account by granting the central government transfer at a higher central government transfer rate for some of the person-years of the unit. This would make it possible to replace discretionary government grants being currently awarded for the same activities in addition to central government transfers.

The higher central government transfer rate could be granted if a significant part of the activities of a unit involves tours or visits, presentations for children, linguistic minorities or special groups, or if other specific cultural policy reasons related to the activities of the unit exist. The higher central government transfer rate would be 60 per cent. The new act is scheduled to enter into force on 1 January 2022.

Introducing multi-annual financial plans

To make the funding more predictable and the conditions for long-term planning of activities more feasible, a multi-annual financing plan would be introduced. The plan would apply to the number of person-years to be confirmed as the basis for central government transfers and the number of person-years within the scope of the higher central government transfer rate. The planning period would be six years, with the exception of the units within the scope of the three-year period of central government transfers, where the planning period would be three years.

The current financial position of TTT-Theatre (Tampere Workers' Theatre) and Svenska Teatern  would remain unchanged, so that their central government transfer rate would be 60 per cent for all their activities. National art institutions operating in the performing arts sector, the Finnish National Opera and Ballet and the Finnish National Theatre, which receive their funding in the form of government grants, would not be included within the scope of central government transfers.
The new act is scheduled to enter into force on 1 January 2022.

Inquiries: Joni Hiitola, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 2953 30108

Links to other websites:
Publication 26.2.2020: Esittävän taiteen valtionosuusjärjestelmän uudistaminen , Description Sheet in English