Enhancing spaces for arts and culture organizations

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B.C.’s arts and culture community will benefit from $4 million in grants through the BC Arts Council’s Arts Infrastructure Program.

This funding will support improvements to spaces and facilities for 84 arts and cultural organizations.

“The Arts Infrastructure Program is one of the many ways our government is setting up long-term success for people in B.C.’s arts community, while fostering greater diversity, inclusion and equity,” said Bob D’Eith, Parliamentary Secretary for Arts and Film. “These game-changing grants are enabling arts and culture organizations to plan for future projects, invest in new spaces and make necessary improvements to their facilities so artists can thrive and are empowered to contribute to B.C.’s strong and dynamic arts and culture sector.”

The Arts Infrastructure Program provides grants to arts and cultural organizations to develop and enhance spaces that support B.C.’s arts and cultural practitioners. Eligible activities include planning and consultation as well as capital improvements, such as improving safety features, increasing accessibility or buying specialized equipment.

“The Arts Infrastructure Program provides access to financial assistance to support enhancements and necessary modifications to B.C. arts and cultural spaces,” said Sae-Hoon Stan Chung, chair, BC Arts Council. “Through this program, we are addressing a fundamental need in B.C.’s arts community. This funding is vital to building and maintaining a thriving arts and culture sector in British Columbia.”

Aligned with the BC Arts Council’s commitment to increase equity and diversity in its funding, 50% of grants were distributed to organizations from rural or remote communities or those led by or rooted in Indigenous and equity-deserving communities. This includes a $40,000 grant to Uchucklesaht Tribe Government for renovations to support the construction of a carving room for the establishment of a long-term carving program and makerspace-like arts hub.

“Providing a functional and accessible environment to create is a necessity for our artists,” said Ryan Anaka, director of lands and resources, and deputy chief administrative officer, Uchucklesaht Tribe Government. “The Uchucklesaht Tribe Government is very appreciative of the grant funding provided through the Arts Infrastructure Program. The funding will enable the construction of a new carving room that will support and foster the creation of the Nation’s art and, in turn, the success of Indigenous artists.”

Established in 2020, the Arts Infrastructure Program was introduced with a base budget of $2 million. To meet demand, the Province committed an additional $2 million in one-time funding, which doubled available grants to $4 million in 2021. This increase supported 97 projects in the first round of funding that was distributed in fall 2021. To date, 191 arts organizations have received grants through the Arts Infrastructure Program.

Budget 2021 committed $6 million over three years to expand the Arts Infrastructure Program, beginning in 2021-22.

Learn More:

BC Arts Council: https://www.bcartscouncil.ca/

Recipients from the Arts Infrastructure Program: https://www.bcartscouncil.ca/funding/recipients/

BC Arts Council’s Extending Foundations: Action Plan 2022-2024: https://www.bcartscouncil.ca/priorities/

Facts about arts funding in B.C.

* Through the Arts Infrastructure Program, arts and culture organizations can apply for grants for as much as:
* $250,000 for capital improvements, including construction, renovation, acquisition; or expansion of arts and culture spaces. This grant limit was previously $75,000;

* $40,000 to buy and install specialized equipment; and

* $25,000 for planning processes and research to support the acquisition, development or enhancement of facilities.

* In April 2022, the BC Arts Council introduced its Extending Foundations: Action Plan 2022-2024 which responds to calls to action for reconciliation, diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility.
* Expanding the Arts Infrastructure Program is one of seven actions identified in the plan.

* The BC Arts Council’s budget remains at a record high of $39.61 million, supporting arts organizations, artists and cultural practitioners in every corner of B.C.

* In fiscal year 2020-21, the Province provided $40.19 million in COVID-19 supports to the arts and culture sector through the BC Arts Council: $35 million through StrongerBC and $5.19 million in reallocations within the BC Arts Council budget.