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$175K - The art of cultural grants

The City of Kelowna has approved $175,000 in operating and program grants to arts, cultural and heritage organizations.

The Recreation and Cultural Services Department manages the grant program with funds received through the municipal budget each year.

Operating grants are intended to support day-to-day operations of local non-profit arts, cultural and heritage organizations while project grants support eligible expenses for festivals, events and projects with an arts, cultural and heritage focus.

Organizations are only eligible for project grants for a three year period.

Cultural Services Manager, Sandra Kochen, told council 22 applications were received for operating grants with a total request of $192,000. Only $110,000 was available to be distributed.

Kochen says 16 were awarding funding.

Of those, four organizations received $10,000 or more including the Central Okanagan Heritage Society ($12,000), Okanagan Historical Society ($10,000), Bumbershoot Childrens' Theatre ($10,000) and Viva Musica Society ($10,000).

A further $65,000 was available for project grants with the maximum funding available per group set at $10,000.

Thirteen of 17 applications were approved for funding including eight new projects.

Two events received the maximum allowable $10,000 grant including Cathedral Church of St. Michael and All Angels (Cathedral Centennial Heritage Festival) and Centre Culturel Francophone de L' Okanagan (Maple Fest 2013).

As far as the project grant program is concerned, Kochen says there was a concentrated effort from day one to ensure events did not rely on the grant program for funding, hence the three year maximum.

She adds that many of the events receiving grants are one-offs, meaning they happen just once.

"At the inception of the program a decision was made to not have applicants remain in the program for too long. We want to see the turnover," says Kochen.

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