B.C. government letter now hints at how it will hand out other Legacy funds to arts groups

Arts groups are starting to receive letters from the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism saying some Legacy funding will be made available to the B.C. Arts Council's "annual operating clients". But to be eligible, their events must meet certain requirements and "reflect the vision of the Legacy", according to the letter.

The letter, signed by Minister of Arts, Culture and Tourism Kevin Krueger, says the move is being made because B.C.'s cultural community "has faced considerable uncertainty caused by the global economic recession".

Until now, it's been unclear whether established arts groups would be able to access any of the $10 million Legacy fund announced in the last budget.

Because the fund was announced at a time core arts funding and gaming funding had been cut by about 50 percent, the cultural community had been calling for the entire amount to go to the B.C. Arts Council to help make up for the amounts axed.

Earlier today, the ministry confirmed in a press release that $3 million of the fund would go to set up new province-wide B.C. Spirit Festivals run by local arts councils in February.

The new letter describes the Legacy values that eligible groups must demonstrate: "The vision for the Arts portion of the Legacy is to bring our artists, cultural organizations, creative industries, and communities together with the public in celebration of the unique and vibrant culture that reflects the spirit of British Columbia. British Columbians were thrilled to see this happen during the Cultural Olympiad, and we wish to continually renew, refresh, and invigorate this spirit."

Projects must also fall into one of the following categories: participation in B.C. Spirit Festivals or Signature Celebration events; engaging Artists in Residency; and/or featuring emerging British Columbian artists.

The letter asks groups to confirm their wish to "participate in Legacy activities" by September 30, with funds dispersed by October 31.



Jenny P

Jul 27, 2010 at 8:37pm

global uncertainty is caused by doofuses like Kevin Kruger n Gordo

Nik Black

Jul 27, 2010 at 8:55pm

I can't believe the pathetic stuff the BC government is throwing at its artists. First, the contribution of BC government to the Cultural Olympiad was a big fat zero, so Krueger is trying to cash in on something he wasn't even part of. And second, asking groups "to confirm their wish to participate in Legacy activities" is like asking who wants to kiss the devil's dirty bum? It's a surety that most cultural organizations will want access to this money, but asking for it through this hair-brained, half-baked program will make everyone feel cheap - like they've sold their souls simply because the government wants them to know who's really in charge. And when their applications are refused because there's not enough money to go around, Krueger will bask in the glow of his power and announce how popular his idea for the Legacy Festivals really is among arts groups. "Everybody wants to participate," says the minister, "this Legacy idea really got their creative juices flowing!"

Get down on your knees, artists, and kiss Big Daddy's ass.


Jul 28, 2010 at 9:06am

The legacy fund was supposed to create permanent, stable and secure funding for the arts in BC -- at arm's length from government interference and safe from cutbacks. Instead, the Liberals cut all the other funding they used to have in place and are now reaching into the legacy fund to finance what used to be base funding projects.

They did the same thing when the Feds increased scholarships for Graduate Students at Universities -- they just cut their other funding by an equivalent amount.

The spirit festivals are a joke -- and Kreuger clearly does not understand what proper process is in the administration of government funding. This is not his private slush fund, and he is not qualified to judge how best to spend arts money.

Terry Hunter

Jul 28, 2010 at 1:40pm

The other sad aspect of this announcement is that this directed money is for those companies who are on operating grants with the BC Arts Council. But is is the smaller to medium size companies that receive project grants that are so hurt by the cutbacks. This is where the priority support is needed.

Robert Loblaw

Jul 28, 2010 at 1:44pm

Don't take the money then. Simple. There will be no one to blame.

Jim Smith

Jul 29, 2010 at 10:29am

B.C.'s cultural community DOES NOT face considerable uncertainty caused by the global economic recession. It faces considerable uncertainty BECAUSE OF shortsighted policies made by Minister Kruger and his Liberal government. Simply look at any other province in the Canada (not withstanding Alberta) and you will see that arts funding has not suffered the same fate as British Columbia.

Perhaps, when the Premiers’ have their annual meeting next week, Gordon Campbell can ask his colleagues Jean Charest, Darrell Dexter, Robert Ghiz, Shawn Graham, Dalton McGunity, Greg Selinger, Brad Wall and/or Danny Williams how their provinces have weathered the global economic recession while not making draconian and decimating cuts to the arts sector.

Nik Black

Jul 29, 2010 at 12:31pm

I agree with Jim Smith that the terrible situation in the BC's cultural sector was NOT caused by the global recession but by ideological policy decisions by the Liberal government that were meant to decimate BC's cultural community with one fatal blow.

However, wishing that Gordon Campbell would have "culture" on his lips when he meets the other premiers is to dream a little dream. The arts and cultural sector is like a house-fly to Campbell - a minor annoyance that is best addressed with a rolled-up newspaper. ThhhWack! Although it makes perfect sense to any thinking person that the cultural sector should be on the annual Premiers' conference agenda, it's just not the stuff of "serious discussions" by these guys. There are no votes in art and culture, no powerful lobby, no reason to pay attention.

"What? You still here? Where's my rolled-up newspaper?"