B.C. artists are featuring the vibrancy and diversity of the province’s arts and culture sector, with some groups benefiting for the first time from the latest round of BC Arts Council grants.
“B.C.’s rich cultural diversity gives people an opportunity to experience artistic traditions from all around the world and to promote inclusion and understanding in our communities,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “One of our goals in increasing BC Arts Council funding to record levels is to provide a platform for expression for artists and arts and culture organizations that were previously under-served, in order to showcase the variety of creative perspectives and voices of B.C. artists.”
The B.C. government is distributing more than $9.8 million in provincial funding through 394 grants in more than 50 communities in the latest round of funding administered by the BC Arts Council.
“The BC Arts Council’s renewed strategic vision focuses on strengthening arts and culture funding opportunities for all the people of B.C.,” said Susan Jackson, chair of the BC Arts Council. “Not only are we supporting more artists and organizations than ever before, we’re focused on making sure groups not previously funded have access to our grants.”
Part of the council’s new strategic plan to enhance arts and cultural development throughout the province is to increase equity, diversity and access. The result is more first-time recipients, such as the Royal Academy of Bhangra Society, which offers bhangra classes for all ages, genders and backgrounds, as well as creating collaborative, inclusive events that build cultural bridges in the community.
“We’re delighted to receive provincial support for our upcoming event Folk Lok Live: Borderless,” said Hardeep Singh Sahota, director of the Royal Academy of Bhangra Society. “The Folk Lok Live series is a way for us to come together and celebrate our rich culture and history by sharing our stories, dance and music. This year, we are connecting the Pakistani and Indian Punjabi community by celebrating the shared pre-partition heritage, because we strongly believe that art can be a mechanism for social change.”
The BC Arts Council, an agency of the provincial government, allocates grant funding for arts and culture throughout the province. BC Arts Council grants are administered 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.
- Budget 2019 lays out an investment of an additional $15 million over the next three years to the BC Arts Council, bringing its annual budget to a record-high of $34 million in 2019-20. This is the B.C. government’s second investment in the BC Arts Council since 2018.
- Grants in this latest round of funding were awarded under several programs, including:
- Operating Assistance: supporting dance, music, theatre, professional arts training organizations and art periodicals with base funding for better year-over-year support, including 11 new operating clients;
- Arts-Based Community Development: supporting projects that create new work, produce events or develop resource materials to support community development;
- Professional Development: supporting opportunities that require travel for arts and culture professionals or to undertake specific learning activities to advance their practice or career;
- Touring Initiatives: supporting touring activities outside the province that will lead to enhanced professional opportunities;
- Scholarship Awards: supporting B.C. residents with full-time arts training costs after they finish secondary school; and
- Professional Projects (multiple disciplines): supporting initiatives in the development, creation, production and/or live performance of classical, experimental, original, traditional and contemporary art forms from all world cultures.
For a full list of BC Arts Council grant recipients, visit: https://www.bcartscouncil.ca/funding/recipients/
For more information about the BC Arts Council and to apply for grants, visit: bcartscouncil.ca
Royal Academy of Bhangra Society: www.royalacademyofbhangra.com