Northern arts, culture and support during COVID-19

People throughout the north can continue to enjoy arts and culture thanks to targeted relief for artists and organizations from the BC Arts Council.

“We are thankful to the BC Arts Council for listening to the needs of artists and arts and culture organizations like us. Their support helps us support artists who depend on us to get through the challenges ahead," said Donna Kane, executive director, Peace Liard Regional Arts Council.

Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, agrees.

“Arts and culture bring people together and have the ability to help us heal during the pandemic. By supporting artists and arts organizations, we are ensuring that the culture sector can come back strong in the future," she said. 

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After advancing 50% of operating funding immediately in April, the BC Arts Council is distributing the remaining 50% to organizations this July. Combined, organizations throughout the province will receive more than $15 million total to help give them certainty and flexibility as they budget for the year. Many of the recipients, like the Peace Liard Regional Arts Council, are finding new ways to reach audiences during the pandemic. The regional arts council provided local artists with grants to create videos demonstrating techniques such as portrait painting or songwriting.

The virtual opening of its Regional Juried Art Exhibit was viewed by nearly 400 people in the North. The council is now looking to include a virtual component to future exhibits. The BC Arts Council also launched a microgrant pilot program to support artists to continue to make art and develop their practice during the pandemic. The program was possible thanks to a donation from the Yosef Wosk Family Foundation. Until June 30, 2020, artists and cultural practitioners can apply for up to $1,500 to help adapt to changes in the sector. For example, artists can use the grant to learn video editing or livestream a performance.

“We’ve provided support to organizations and now we’re focusing on the heart of our sector – individual artists,” said Susan Jackson, chair of the BC Arts Council.

“These new microgrants will help artists and cultural practitioners adapt existing projects or aspects of their practice to meet new challenges. The grants are designed to respond quickly, to support artists with immediate creative development opportunities.” These actions build on the Province’s ongoing support for the arts and culture sector.

In March, the BC Arts Council launched its $3-million Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement, as well as advancing 50% of operating funding to organizations and changing program requirements in response to COVID-19. 

Apply now for a BC Arts Council microgrant: https://www.bcartscouncil.ca/program/microgrant-program/

Watch the Peace Liard’s arts demonstration videos or check out the juried art exhibit online:
https://www.peaceliardarts.org/projects/video-grant-projects/
https://www.peaceliardarts.org/2020-regional-juried-art-exhibit-adjudication-gallery/

For a full list of BC Arts Council Grant recipients, visit: https://www.bcartscouncil.ca/funding/recipients/

Follow #ShowcaseBC on Twitter or check out B.C. creative content on Showcase BC: https://showcasebc.ca

Find out about provincial supports for people and businesses: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support

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