As arts and cultural organizations face challenges in operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, the provincial government is providing financial support that will help to create new spaces or provide programming through remote means.
The B.C. Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sport Ministry announced today (January 22) that 50 B.C. arts and culture organizations are receiving almost $2 million in grants to help improve arts and culture spaces through the B.C. Arts Council’s new Arts Infrastructure Program.
The grants can be used for improving their spaces or safety measures, or purchasing equipment that will enable virtual programming.
In the Lower Mainland, 26 arts and culture groups will receive over $1 million in funding.
Vancouver recipients include City Opera Vancouver ($15,000), Electric Company Theatre ($28,644), Firehall Arts Centre ($28,000), Full Circle: First Nations Performance ($42,528), Gallery Gachet ($14,000), Indian Summer Arts Society ($32,000), Museum of Vancouver ($75,000), Or Gallery ($4,758), Rumble Theatre ($40,000), The Cultch ($40,000), UBC Museum of Anthropology ($40,000), and more.
The Vancouver Native Housing Society received $28,000 to build a mobile livestream studio to support Vancouver's urban Indigenous and arts communities, which is anticipated to be operational this spring. This equipment will help artists in residence at a program at Skwachàys to teach, promote, and sell their work through remote means. The society will also offer access to virtual cultural programming to its tenants.
“We have developed a concept that we call Community Building Through the Transformative Power of Art, which guides and informs how we deliver services such as our Artist in Residence Program at Skwachàys,” Vancouver Native Housing Society CEO David Eddy explained in a news release.
In Vancouver, the African Friendship Society is using its $65,000 in funding to create a new hub for African arts and culture that will be called Studio Bantu. The society will turn an existing storage space at Vancouver Opera into a studio where Black and African communities can gather for preserving, sharing, and celebrating their history, traditions, arts, and culture.
“This grant is so important to us right now because it will create the first dedicated cultural space for the Black and African populations in Vancouver,” African Friendship Society artistic director Jacky Essombe stated in a news release.
The provincial government is providing $21 million to help arts and culture organizations recover from the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.