New award created for B.C. arts and social-service organizations

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      A new award for arts and social-service organizations is being launched as the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation marks its 60th year.

      As of this August, the foundation will transition from an annual granting body to an endowment that will support the Leon and Thea Koerner Award.

      Starting next year, up to three awards of at least $25,000 will be given to social service and arts organizations that collaborate on projects aimed at creating lasting social benefit for B.C. communities. The award will be distributed through a peer-juried process administered by the B.C. Arts Council.

      “I am so happy to announce that The Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation has created a new an innovative framework which will continue to honour the founders legacy,” Lorna Brown, the chair of the foundation, said in a news release.

      “My sincere hope is that this award opens up possibilities for projects of ambition and vision; for thinking differently about society’s most compelling issues.”

      The new awards will see organizations receive more substantial funding for larger-scale projects than in the past, according to the foundation.

      The Koerner Foundation was established in 1955 through a $1 million contribution from Leon and Thea Koerner. Since then, it has funded social service, education, and arts projects across the province.