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Supporting northern arts organizations to keep their lights on…

SMITHERS, BC: In the North, 21 arts and culture organizations have received $400,000 through the B.C. government’s StrongerBC plan for economic recovery.

“Arts and culture organizations have been working hard to adjust their businesses while adhering to provincial health orders,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “Our government values the arts as part of our economic recovery, and we’re here to help them weather the storm. I know this funding comes at a critical time and will help sustain the sector until we can all gather to enjoy arts and culture again.”

As part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, the BC Arts Council provided the Expanded Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement to organizations that receive annual operating funding or project grants. Organizations can use the funds to pay for operating costs, like rent and utilities, paying artists and protecting or restoring jobs, such as theatre technicians, production designers or arts administrators.

For example, the Bulkley Valley Museum in Smithers is using its supplement to help offset lost revenues. It is also helping the museum extend the employment contract of a staff member in order to continue adapting programming to be COVID-19 safe and transitioning programming to digital. Sunset Theatre in Wells is using its supplement to plan its recovery when the theatre can open its doors again.

To make sure organizations got access to funding as soon as possible, the BC Arts Council started rolling out funding in November 2020. The funding is now fully allocated. In total, the Province is providing $15.7 million in supplements to 556 arts and culture organizations in communities throughout B.C.

Written and released by BC Government

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