The Province is providing $34.5 million to arts and culture organizations to support resiliency and economic recovery for people working in the sector.
“The past three years have been incredibly challenging for people earning a living in the arts and culture sector,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “This funding is intended to help bolster resiliency of organizations in the industry and make a difference in addressing rising costs, so we can provide an arts and culture sector that benefits everyone, including our visitors.”
As part of year-end funding from the Province, $30 million will be distributed to 337 arts organizations through the BC Arts Council. The funding was provided in response to the arts and culture sector’s call for support while it continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The sector is experiencing loss of audiences, increased costs, staffing shortages and reduced revenues from sponsorships, memberships, admissions and space rentals. The Province provided similar support to the events sector in February 2023 with a $30-million investment in the Fairs, Festivals and Events program.
“The core of our work is to listen and respond to the priorities of people in B.C.,” said Bob D'Eith, Parliamentary Secretary for Arts and Film. “We heard you and our government is taking action to support the arts and culture sector on the road to economic recovery because we know that arts and culture are critical to the well-being of British Columbians.”
To support arts infrastructure projects, the Province is also providing $4.5 million in one-time funding to BC Arts Council for the Arts Infrastructure Program, which is in addition to the base budget of $4 million. The program meets the need for arts spaces that are safe, affordable and accessible, and the new investment means $8.5 million will be distributed to 128 arts and culture organizations through the program.
- The Province has delivered approximately $47.5 million in one-time support since the beginning of the pandemic.
- BC Arts Council’s Arts Infrastructure Program was first introduced in 2020 to enable arts and culture organizations to plan for future projects, invest in new spaces and make necessary improvements to facilities.
- The Arts Infrastructure Program was introduced with a budget of $2 million and was increased to $4 million in 2021.
- The BC Arts Council is the B.C. government’s lead agency for arts funding and development in British Columbia.
BC Arts Council: https://www.bcartscouncil.ca/
Recipients of the Arts Infrastructure Program and resilience funding: https://www.bcartscouncil.ca/funding/recipients/
A backgrounder follows.