Twenty-six arts and culture groups throughout the Lower Mainland are getting more than $1 million help to improve their spaces or buy equipment.
“Arts and culture groups operate vitally important spaces of belonging in communities throughout B.C., and this funding will help enhance their facilities so they can come back strong after the pandemic,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “We’re supporting arts groups to upgrade their spaces, improve safety features, increase accessibility or buy equipment so they can continue to offer virtual programming and contribute to B.C.’s economic recovery.”
As the first recipients of the BC Arts Council’s new program, arts and culture groups in the Lower Mainland are getting dedicated funding to improve arts infrastructure. In Vancouver, the African Friendship Society received $65,000 to create Studio Bantu, a new hub for African arts and culture. The society will transform an existing storage space at Vancouver Opera into a culturally safe space of healing and connection. The studio will be a place Black and African communities can gather to preserve, celebrate and share their history, traditions, arts and culture.
Groups are also getting grants to buy special equipment. For example, the Vancouver Native Housing Society received $28,000 to build a mobile livestream studio to support Vancouver's urban Indigenous and artistic communities. Having this equipment will help the artists in residence at Skwachàys teach, promote and sell their work remotely. It will also offer the society’s tenants access to virtual cultural programming. The society hopes to have the studio up and running by this spring.
In total, 50 arts and culture organizations across B.C. received nearly $2 million in grants to help improve arts and culture spaces and support the sector’s resilience.
Bob D’Eith, Parliamentary Secretary for Arts and Film –
“These are grants that make a big impact in our communities. This program shows that the B.C. government is listening and responding to the needs of arts and culture groups. I look forward to continuing to work with the arts and culture sector as our economy recovers.”
David Eddy, CEO, Vancouver Native Housing Society –
“We have developed a concept that we call ‘Community Building Through the Transformative Power of Art,’ which guides and informs how we deliver services such as our Artist in Residence Program at Skwachàys. We gratefully acknowledge this initiative supported by the BC Arts Council and the Province. It not only reinforces our goals and practice, but also adds to our ability to enhance what we achieve in all of our supportive programs.”
Jacky Essombe, artistic director, African Friendship Society –
“This grant is so important to us right now because it will create the first dedicated cultural space for the Black and African populations in Vancouver.”
- Through the Arts Infrastructure Program, arts and cultural organizations can get grants of up to:
- $75,000 to improve arts and culture spaces; and
- $40,000 to buy special equipment to support art programming.
- The BC Arts Council administers the Arts Infrastructure Program. A peer committee reviewed the funding applications.
- As part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, the Province is providing $21 million to support arts and culture organizations’ recovery through the BC Arts Council.
To see a full list of recipients, visit: https://www.bcartscouncil.ca/funding/recipients/