B.C. launches arts engagement programs for youth

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B.C.’s minister of community, sport and cultural development and the head of the B.C. Arts Council launched a series of initiatives today (December 3) aimed at helping youth to participate in the arts.

At an announcement at the Presentation House Theatre in North Vancouver, Coralee Oakes outlined $2 million in funding for the Creative Youth Initiatives, and $600,000 for an early career development program.

“Young career professionals…or recent graduates can apply to the B.C. Arts Council for early career development funding to establish residency, internship or mentorship opportunities with the creative sector companies, or arts and culture organizations,” said Oakes.

The Creative Youth Initiatives include a B.C. Arts Council youth engagement pilot program, and a program to increase opportunities for aboriginal youth to participate in workshops led by First Nation artists.

“This will ensure that arts workshops and residencies are available in remote First Nation reserve communities,” the minister said.

Stan Hamilton, the chair of the B.C. Arts Council, called the initiatives “a wonderful step forward”.

“The council has long recognized that it’s important to reach out and to engage the next generation,” he said.

“We want to ensure that the young people in this province have an opportunity to engage in the arts, have an opportunity to work with arts, have an opportunity to create the skills and the appreciation for arts that will be so important as we move forward in this province.”

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