Vancouver to provide over $8.4 million in grants for arts and culture recovery from COVID-19 financial impact

    1 of 2 2 of 2

      Vancouver is allocating over $8.4 million in funding to help arts and culture organizations recover from the financial wallop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

      The City of Vancouver announced today (January 19) that city council approved a total of $8,406,150 in grants for 144 cultural organizations to help ensure their programs and services remain accessible to artists, cultural communities, and citizens.

      Under normal circumstances, these grants would normally be distributed in two parts: 40 percent given in January with the remaining amount in April.

      However, due to current economic conditions resulting from the pandemic, the funding will be available to most recipients immediately.

      Five grants for a total of $3,948,400 will go to major institutions, or large-scale established groups with other City support and budgets over $1 million. Recipients include the Vancouver Art Gallery ($2,166,000), the Museum of Vancouver ($758,000), the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre ($519,400), the Vancouver Maritime Museum ($400,000), and Science World ($105,000).

      A total of 59 grants worth $2,896,550 will be distributed to operating organizations, or established groups with budgets between $300,000 to $1 million.

      Among the recipients of these grants are the Arts Club ($152,000), Ballet B.C. ($100,000), Coastal Jazz and Blues ($90,000), the Cinematheque ($45,000), Contemporary Art Gallery ($75,000), DOXA Documentary Film Festival ($28,000), the Cultch (Vancouver East Cultural Centre, $150,000), Firehall Theatre ($75,000), PuSH International Performing Arts Festival ($80,000), Vancouver Co-operative Radio ($32,500), the Vancouver International Writers Festival ($65,000), the Vancouver Folk Music Festival ($80,000), Vancouver Fringe Festival ($40,000), Vancouver International Children's Festival Society ($134,000), Vancouver International Dance Festival ($35,000), Vancouver Opera ($55,000), Vancouver Symphony Orchestra ($65,000), and VIVO Media Arts Centre ($37,500).

      Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

      A third category of 78 grants for a total of $1,531,200 will be given to Annual Assistance organizations, or emerging and established groups with budgets under $300,000.

      Recipients of these grants include the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art ($37,500), Centre A ($37,000), Eastside Culture Crawl ($13,000), Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance ($20,000), Latincouver ($15,000), Powell Street Festival ($40,000), Pride in Art ($40,000), Room Magazine Festival ($20,000), Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre ($25,000), Vancouver Jewish Film Centre Society ($10,000), Vancouver Latin American Film Festival ($18,000), and Word Vancouver ($15,000).

      Vantage Point, which partners with the city to support nonprofit cultural leadership development by providing free access to leadership skills development and networking opportunities to arts and cultural groups, will receive a grant of $10,000.

      The Carnegie Community Centre Association will receive $20,000 for its Elder in Residence program, which offers informal and formal learning opportunities and sharing of cultural knowledge through workshops, ceremonies, and celebrations.

      The grants will help non-profit organizations cover core costs, as Indian Summer Arts Society grants and community initiatives manager Laura June Albert explained.

      “Annual Assistance keeps the lights on, paying the costs of unsexy things, like the equipment and people we need in order to function as an organization," Albert stated in a news release.

      The Indian Summer Festival, which will receive a $35,000 grant, was one of the numerous local arts and cultural festivals and events that transitioned to online presentations to reach audiences over the past year.

      Meanwhile, the Pacific Legal Education and Outreach Society (PLEO), which operates Artists' Legal Outreach, will receive $15,000 to continue to offer resources, workshops, and clinics for low-income artists in B.C. and across Canada.

      "Many arts organizations have been thrust into legal crises as a result of the pandemic and are seeking resources and advice they can afford,” PLEO founder and legal director Martha Rans stated. “This money from the city will ensure we can continue to provide Vancouver's struggling arts and culture sector with free programs and resources they can use immediately, as we prepare to launch the country's first full-service legal clinic for the arts.”

      Details about the grants and a full list of recipients is available at the City of Vancouver website.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.