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Vancouver City Council invests $7.45 Million in 165 arts and cultural organizations

April 10 2013

“Council is committed to doing everything we can to support our local arts and culture community, and investing in cultural grants is one of the most important tools we have,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson.

Artists of Ballet BC in Aniel.

Vancouver City Council today approved $7.45 million in cultural grants for 165 arts and cultural organizations including the City’s five major exhibiting Institutions, 93 operating organizations and 67 project organizations.

On a per capita basis, the City of Vancouver provides the most grant funding for arts and culture organizations of any city in Canada.

“Council is committed to doing everything we can to support our local arts and culture community, and investing in cultural grants is one of the most important tools we have,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson.

“Our creative sector is a major driver of our economy, and we want to foster and celebrate artistic talent, whether it’s up-and-coming artists or long-standing organizations. These grants make a big difference for the stability and growth of our arts groups, and we’re proud to be supporting them.”

Cultural grants support a diverse range of activities in the performing and studio arts, festivals, and community-engaged practices that reflect historic cultural traditions as well as contemporary art forms and practices. This year’s grants included an additional $200,000 as part of indexing them annually to the Consumer Price Index.

Breakdown of recommendations:

  • operating grants for 98 organizations totalling $6,809,000
  • project grants for 67 organizations totalling $527,300
  • 15 additional one-time grants totalling $109,800 for special requests

The Vancouver Art Gallery will receive $2.18 million, the Museum of Vancouver will receive $758,000, the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre will receive $519,000, and the Maritime Museum will receive $400,000.

The Arts Club theatre will receive $155,000, the Vancouver International Children’s Festival will receive $127,000 and the Vancouver East Cultural Centre will receive $110,000.

There are 12 first-time requests included across the allocations.

A number of organizations will receive operating funding for the first time, including Reel to Real: Celebration of Moving Images Society, and the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra.

Societies receiving first-time project funding include the Association of BC Book Publishers, Vancouver Poetry House, OCW Arts & Publishing Foundation, Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists - BC Chapter, Delinquent Theatre, Alley Theatre and Astrolabe Musik Theatre.

Several organizations are reaching milestone anniversaries in 2013: 

  • Out on Screen, Radix Theatre, Joe Ink, and Dancing on the Edge Festival are celebrating 25 years; 
  • Vancouver New Music, VIVO, Vancouver East Cultural Centre, Western Front, Playwrights Theatre Centre, and Craft Council of BC are celebrating 40 years; and, 
  • the Arts Club Theatre is celebrating 50 years.

To commemorate their 40th anniversaries, both the Playwrights Theatre Centre and the Craft Council are receiving special request funding to host a one-time conference.

The Arts Club launched its 50th anniversary season this spring, receiving a Vancouver Heritage Foundation Places That Matter plaque at its original location on Seymour Street.

Sixteen members of the arts and cultural community who work in a wide array of artistic disciplines took part in the assessment process and made the funding recommendations to City Council.

There is one application deadline in the fall of each year for operating and project grants.

The next application deadline is Friday 15 November 2013.

The City also provides support for the arts through a number of policies and programs, including:

  • the Arts Event program, a new initiative that is the first of its kind in Canada and makes it easier for artists to hold events, showcase their work, and perform in Vancouver;
  • changing zoning to allow artist studios in industrial districts, increasing the permitted space from two million to 28 million square feet;
  • the launch of the Arts Factory, a new 21,000 square foot artist space at 281 Industrial, which will provide up to 40 new studio spaces in a City-owned building;
  • the creation of a citizen-led Arts and Culture Policy Council;
  • over 20,000 square feet of new artist space approved in 2012; and,
  • the Park Board offering nine previously vacant field houses rent-free to artists in exchange for community-engaged arts projects and programming.

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