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.