RDNO to discuss increased operating grants for Vernon area not-for-profits

Grants up for discussion

Arts and culture societies in the Greater Vernon area could be getting increased funds from the Regional District of North Okanagan.

Operating grant increases will be up for discussion at the RDNO’s board meeting on Wednesday.

A staff report is recommending directors approve funding increases for the Arts Council of the North Okanagan, the Vernon Public Art Gallery, Gallery Vertigo, Allan Brooks Nature Centre, and BGC Okanagan. The report also recommends “the RDNO enter into multi-year funding agreements with all not-for-profit organizations receiving annual operating grants; and further,

“That requests exceeding the amounts within the multi-year funding agreements be referred to the subsequent agreement renewal."

RDNO says the benefit of having multi-year funding agreements is mutual. It would allow the RDNO to complete a review of the goals and budgets of organizations, and the position of RDNO grants within that plan.

“This will also provide a mechanism within which to measure success of the public investment — are the goals that were set, achieved within that planning period — allowing the RDNO to consider the next term of funding with this performance in mind.”

RDNO says entering multi-year funding agreements would benefit organizations planning and sustainability.

“Having documented and committed annual funding can better allow the organization to leverage the annual grant from other funders, or plan for changes to the organizations operations that have been built into the plan for the term,” reads the report.

RDNO already has an established multi-year funding agreement with the Arts Council of the North Okanagan, it also has an expired agreement with BGC Okanagan which could be renewed.

The Vernon Public Art Gallery, Gallery Vertigo and Allan Brooks Nature Society are all without multi-year funding agreements.

The arts council has requested an 8.3 per cent increase from its 2023 grant for a total of $267,226 in 2024. The public art gallery requested $260,000 in 2024, which would be a 12 per cent increase over 2023.

Both Gallery Vertigo and Allan Brooks Nature Centre have requested additional $10,000 to make their respective 2024 grant’s total $30,000.

An increase to the BGC’s annual funding has already been tentatively approved by the board for an additional increase of $4,400, or 5 per cent. Read the full report here.

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