BC’s creative industries have been amongst the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, I had the chance to speak in the Legislature on how our government is supporting BC’s creative industries through this pandemic.
I was honoured to be tasked by Premier John Horgan to assist the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture with their outreach to the creative industries sector: Minister Lisa Beare and I had the chance to speak with over 160 musicians, artists, performers, arts organizations, festivals, film and television producers, publishers, theatres, music companies, and many many others.
What we found is that different parts of the arts, culture, and creative industries were impacted in significantly different ways. We heard a call for flexibility, and we listened.
After my consultations with the music industry, the Ministry of Tourism Arts & Culture announced a series of initiatives to support our music industry including the ShowcaseBC livestream portal, a renewed Amplify BC Fund of $7.5 million distributed through Creative BC, and many more programs to get money into the pockets of impacted artists. Over 740 artists have already received grants.
Many organizations were able to receive funding up to 6 months early. This action was as close to immediate as possible.
We also successfully advocated for changes to the CERB so that gig workers and artists wouldn’t be left out.
We know this is an extremely challenging time for the music, arts, and creative industries province; we are working hard to support the sector through this pandemic.