The provincial government has distributed $3.5 million in funds to 120 arts and culture organizations on Vancouver Island and the coast.
Organizations can use the funds to pay for operating costs, like rent and utilities, paying artists and protecting or restoring jobs, such as theatre technicians, production designers or arts administrators, the province said.
“Arts and culture organizations have been working hard to adjust their businesses while adhering to provincial health orders,” said Melanie Mark, minister of tourism, arts, culture and sport. “Our government values the arts as part of our economic recovery and we’re here to help them weather the storm. I know this funding comes at a critical time and will help sustain the sector until we can all gather to enjoy arts and culture again.”
The BC Arts Council provided the funding through the Expanded Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement, part of $21 million from the provincial government’s StrongerBC plan for economic recovery.
The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is using its supplement to hire a new digital assets co-ordinator and a new educator to develop and deliver online programming.
“We’ve been open since May, but with limited entry and cancellation of events, our revenues are down,” said Jon Tupper, the gallery’s director. “This funding is critical and helps us maintain our day-to-day operations so we can continue to offer cultural experiences for people in Victoria, as well as invest in new forms of virtual programming to engage with our audiences in a safe manner.”
To make sure organizations got access to funding as soon as possible, the BC Arts Council started rolling out funding in November 2020. The funding is now fully allocated. In total, the province is providing $15.7 million in supplements to 556 arts and culture organizations in communities throughout B.C.
The BC Arts Council was created in 1995 as an agency of the province to nurture and support arts and cultural activity in the province.