Vancouver’s Queer Arts Festival says federal funding mostly restored

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      The Department of Canadian Heritage has backtracked on a decision to cut annual grant funding to Vancouver’s Queer Arts Festival, organizers say.

      “We’re heaving a sigh of shocked relief. After a huge public outcry, I got a phone call from (Canadian Heritage) saying that partial funding is restored,” artistic director Shaira Holman told the Straight by phone today (May 8).

      Canadian Heritage said it will give the multidisciplinary summer festival around $34,000 for 2013, Holman said. The festival received a grant of around $44,000 last year, which accounted for roughly 17 percent of the festival’s budget.

      “We didn’t get it all back, which is really unfortunate. We still have to find places to cut, but we are really pleased with the outcome.”

      Holman said Canadian Heritage told festival organizers in early April the grant funding would not be renewed. The festival publicly announced the funding cut later that month and called on supporters to voice opposition.

      Holman said festival organizers still have not received a satisfactory explanation about why the funding was initially cut.