Province doubling supports for arts and culture spaces

November 12, 2021 at 9:54 am  BC, News, Politics

Arts and culture groups throughout B.C. can look forward to new and enhanced spaces with $4 million to support the Arts Infrastructure Program.

This is the second year this funding has been made available in response to the needs of arts and culture groups. In 2020-21, the program had an initial budget of $2 million. However, an additional $2 million of one-time funding was made available, resulting in funding for 97 organizations and $4 million in support.

“Improving arts and culture spaces is a priority for our government because we know they inspire artists and enrich B.C. communities for years to come,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “We heard from the sector how important these grants were, especially during the pandemic, and we’re proud to answer that call to action by doubling the supports for these vital spaces.”

The Arts Infrastructure Program dedicates money that allows arts and cultural organizations to improve infrastructure, enhance safety features, increase accessibility, buy equipment and continue to offer virtual programming to contribute to B.C.’s economic recovery.

“During my recent conversations with the arts sector, I heard about how important arts and culture spaces are to bringing people together. These grants will help artists continue to create and will make a big impact for arts and culture organizations across our province,” said Bob D’Eith, Parliamentary Secretary for Arts and Film.

One of the 2020-21 recipients of Arts Infrastructure Program funding was the South Asian Studies Institute and Sikh Heritage Museum in Abbotsford. The museum received more than $24,000 for specialized equipment needed for its permanent, historic Komagata Maru exhibit.

The BC Arts Council, an agency of the provincial government, provides grant funding for arts and culture throughout the province. Funding administered by the council is done through a peer review adjudication process. Grant recipients represent a diverse group of artists and arts organizations, including Indigenous groups, scholarship students and community arts councils.


Sae-Hoon Stan Chung, PhD, chair, BC Arts Council –

“The Arts Infrastructure Program provides critical support for arts and culture organizations across the province to enhance their spaces, providing greater access for artists and communities. By expanding the program, we are ensuring that a wider range of needs and opportunities are addressed, whether it is through planning and developing a project, purchasing specific equipment or full-scale renovations to improve spaces in our communities.”

Satwinder Kaur Bains, PhD, director, South Asian Studies Institute, University of the Fraser Valley –

“The Arts Infrastructure Program’s increased funding this year is a testimony to the government’s response to the critically important needs of arts and culture organizations. Supports, such as those derived from grants, benefit whole communities immensely and leave legacies that are long lasting and impactful.”

Quick Facts:

  • Through the next intake of the Arts Infrastructure Program, arts and cultural organizations can receive these grants:
    • an increased limit from $75,000 to $250,000 to improve arts and culture spaces;
    • $40,000 to buy special equipment to support art programming; and
    • $25,000 to support capital planning and consultation.
  • The BC Arts Council administers the Arts Infrastructure Program and a peer committee reviews the funding applications.
  • Budget 2021 committed $6 million over three years to expand the Arts Infrastructure Program.
  • As part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, the Province provided $35 million to support arts and culture organization’s recovery through the BC Arts Council.

Learn More:

British Columbia Arts Council:

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