B.C. making $3 million fund available for arts groups affected by COVID-19

VICTORIA — Eligible arts organizations will receive up to $15,000 to help pay their bills during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government is setting up a $3 million fund to be administered by the BC Arts Council.

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Lisa Beare, minister of tourism, arts and culture, says the organizations have cancelled events, performances and festivals because of the pandemic.

She says eligible organizations will receive the payments early next month.

Beare says the arts council will also provide 50 per cent advances on its 2020-21 funding for arts groups next month to help with their cash flow.

The government says workers in the arts sector who have lost income because of COVID-19 are eligible to apply for a one-time payment of $1,000 under the BC Emergency Benefit for Workers.

"We will have more to announce regarding additional supports for the sector in the weeks ahead," Beare said in a news release on Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 27, 2020.

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