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Supporting community arts festivals | BC Gov News

Supporting community arts festivals | BC Gov News

April 9, 2021 at 8:34 am  BC, News, Politics

To kick off Creative Industries Week, more than 70 community arts festivals are getting support to hold safe, entertaining activities this year.

“We know how much people look forward to the amazing cultural celebrations and music festivals that normally take place during the upcoming peak season. We’re so grateful many festival organizers have been able to pivot and use their ingenuity to adjust during the pandemic,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “While festivals and cultural celebrations will be shared through different platforms this summer, we’re committed to investing in these events because they’re important for our mental health and sense of community pride.”

The BC Arts Council is providing a total of $1.19 million through three grant programs:

  • Community Arts Festivals: 72 grants to arts and culture and Indigenous organizations to pay artists to participate in local arts festivals.
  • Visual Artists: 46 grants to support professional visual artists in creating new work.
  • Co-Op Placements: 20 grants to help organizations hire co-op students to gain experience in the arts and culture sector.

The Chilliwack Film Society is using its grant to curate a panel on improving diversity in the B.C. film industry and better provide a platform for diverse voices. Thanks to the grant, the festival is able to pivot its programming and offer screenings virtually. The Malaspina Arts Society is using its grant to the host the 2021 What the Plus (+) Festival featuring an art exhibition by local LGBTQ2S+ artists, as well as online activities, such as workshops, artists’ talks and more.

These grants are administered by the BC Arts Council. The B.C. government made investments in the BC Arts Council to bring its budget to a record high, helping more arts and culture organizations than ever before.


Bob D’Eith, Parliamentary Secretary for Arts and Film –

“Thanks to our government’s significant investments in the BC Arts Council, we’re able to support these festivals throughout the province that make our communities vibrant. I encourage everyone to check out how their local festivals are adapting. Organizers and participants put so much work into making these events happen so I hope people can join in.”

Kelli Paddon, MLA for Chilliwack-Kent –

“The Chilliwack Independent Film Festival is always a highlight during the winter in Chilliwack. We know that has been difficult for festivals like these to find ways to pivot and adapt, and it’s great that we can offer support to the dedicated folks bringing independent films and content to people in our community.”

Taras Groves, director, Chilliwack Film Society –

“We’re incredibly thankful to the B.C. government for continuing to support festivals like ours, especially as we’ve had to adapt and find creative ways to reach audiences during the pandemic. It means so much to know the Province supports us and independent arts as a whole. With its help, we can return to in-person events when it’s safe to do so.”

Lorna Downie, president of Malaspina Art Society

“We’re so grateful to the Province for its recognition that arts and culture are integral to a healthy province, and for providing record-high funding for grants. This grant, along with funding from StongerBC, helps us to offer diverse programming and support arts workers at What the Plus (+) Festival this year.”

Quick Facts:

  • The BC Arts Council, an agency of the provincial government, administers grant funding for arts and culture throughout B.C.
  • The B.C. government’s investments in the BC Arts Council have brought its budget to a record high of $35.6 million in 2020-21, distributing more than 1,600 grants.
  • In addition to regular grants, the B.C. government distributed $35 million from StrongerBC through the BC Arts Council to help artists and arts and culture organizations keep their lights on and adapt to the challenges of the pandemic.
  • Creative Industries Week is April 12-16, 2021.

Learn More:

To see a full list of grant recipients, visit: https://www.bcartscouncil.ca/funding/recipients/

Follow the BC Arts Council on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BCArtsCouncil
Or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BritishColumbiaArtsCouncil

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