Arts and culture organizations are getting an extra boost to help keep the sector resilient as B.C.’s economy works to recover from the pandemic.
“I know how difficult this past year has been for artists, without being able to connect with people in our communities,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “Our government is working with arts leaders and the Office of the Provincial Health Officer to plan a safe return, because we know how important art is for our mental health and well-being. In the meantime, we are stepping up and providing an additional $16 million in supports to people, arts organizations and venues.”
To help arts and culture organizations stay resilient, the B.C. government is providing:
- $14 million in new one-time supplements to 588 arts and culture organizations; and
- an additional $2 million to help 47 organizations improve their existing spaces.
Arts and culture groups like Ballet BC will be able to use their supplement to pay for operating costs, such as rent and utilities and maintaining people’s jobs.
“This is incredible news for companies like us who haven’t been able to perform to live audiences since March of 2020,” said John Clark, executive director, Ballet BC. “This supplement will help cover our lost revenue and help keep artists and staff members employed while we work together on a plan to reopen safely. I greatly appreciate the B.C. government for making arts and culture a priority.”
This funding for the supplements is through StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan. Combined with the $21 million already announced in September 2020, this brings the total amount of targeted recovery funding for the arts and culture sector to $35 million. The government has also doubled arts infrastructure funding this year, with $2 million distributed to 50 arts and culture organizations in January 2021.
“Our government has supported arts and culture since day one,” said Bob D’Eith, Parliamentary Secretary for Arts and Film. “We invested in the BC Arts Council, bringing its budget to a record high, and when the pandemic hit, we were the first province to provide targeted funding to the arts. I’m so proud we are able to provide even more support to help arts and culture groups get through the next few months. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the sector.”
The BC Arts Council will administer both the supplement and the arts infrastructure grants. Organizations will start to receive their supplements in the coming weeks. This announcement is part of B.C.’s $10-billion COVID-19 response, which includes StrongerBC — a plan that protects people’s health and livelihoods, while supporting businesses and communities.
For more information visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021TACS0023-000526