Province supports artists and art groups with grants

Money for the arts

The province is helping artists through the pandemic with an influx of cash.

More than 30 artists and arts and culture organizations in the Interior will share nearly $782,000 in grants to adapt to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic restictions.

"People in the arts have used their ingenuity to find new ways to keep creating despite the pandemic," said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. "Artists are so vital to our social and cultural fabric. These grants are empowering artists and organizations throughout B.C. to adapt their platforms so they can continue inspiring us."

Faced with temporary closures of venues and restricted audience sizes, artists and organizations have found ways to keep creating and reaching their audiences, and the grant money will help foster that ingenuity.

The Oxygen Art Centre in Nelson received a grant to produce a series of demonstration videos and two online workshops for youth to teach them about contemporary art practices and concepts.

The project will offer Kootenay youth the opportunity to learn artistic techniques, art history and critical theory.

Blackfoot filmmaker Damien Eagle Bear, living in Penticton, also got a grant to collaborate with emerging Indigenous writers developing screenwriting skills.

"We appreciate this support from the Province so much right now. It's a vote of confidence that we can find ways to pivot and that the government is helping us maintain our operations. We look forward to being able to continue arts education for youth virtually,” Eagle Bear said.

These grants to support arts and culture organizations' recovery are made possible in part through $5.3 million from StrongerBC: BC's Economic Recovery Plan. The BC Arts Council administered the grants, which are now fully distributed. More than 135 artists and 155 organizations throughout B.C. have received $6.6 million to support their adaptations.

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