The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and its school have received a combined $2.22 million in funding from the B.C. government and the B.C. Arts Council.
The VSO School of Music has received $1-million from the B.C. government. The award, announced today (October 14) at a news conference at the school, marks the province’s first contribution to the $30-million facility, which opened this past June. The school had previously received a $365,705 grant from Heritage Canada’s Cultural Spaces Fund and a cultural-amenity density bonus from the City of Vancouver earlier.
“This school does offer an outstanding resource for British Columbians who want to pursue their musical interests and develop their talents,” said Minister of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development Ida Chong, at the announcement. “This school of music is about all of British Columbia.… It means all across British Columbia communities are going to be able access the staff, the professionals here, because of the school’s leading-edge technical capacity to provide distance education.”
The VSO has also received $1.22 million operating grant from the B.C. Arts Council, the largest grant in the first round of approved funding for 2011/2012 from the council, which totals $9.1 million.
“The annual grant decisions of the B.C. Arts Council are based on well-established peer review process,” said council chair Stan Hamilton. “Year after year this independent peer review process has recognized the VSO as one of the leading arts organizations of the province, and has acknowledged at all times their commitment to the highest possible standards of performance, community involvement, and outreach activities, and this will simply help expand that.”
He added: “I have to point out that our capacity to do our job rests on two fundamental issues: number one, the money we get from the provincial government.… The other thing that is equally important is that we do our business based on the peer review process, and I’m delighted that this government and ministry…recognize the importance of an independent peer review process.”
Shaun Taylor, executive director of the VSO School of Music, said the government’s contribution to the school now brings the total raised for its $8.2 million capital campaign to $5.2 million. “There are two main components to the capital campaign. One is the outfitting of the facility, and the other is a requirement from the City of Vancouver to raise an endowment fund now and invest it and not touch it for 20 years,” he explained.