Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic “and the need for physical distancing has had a significant impact on everyone, including those in the arts sector,” BC’s Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Lisa Beare announced Friday the government is doling out $3 million to help support various arts and culture groups in the province.
“Arts organizations right away responded to the orders, direction, and recommendations from the provincial health officer, showing great leadership by cancelling events, performances, and festivals to protect people’s health,” said Beare. “We understand this has had a significant impact on artists, their families, and arts organizations.”
As such, the province has developed a $3 million Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement, which will be administered by the BC Arts Council. Operating and eligible project clients will receive a supplement of up to $15,000 in early April to help them pay their bills.
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Starting next month, “the BC Arts Council will provide operating clients a 50% advance on 2020-21 funding to help with their cash flow,” said Beare. “We are also extending application deadlines, relaxing reporting requirements, and allowing organizations to use funding to cover immediate needs like rent and utilities.”
Beare said this move is a “first, but very necessary,” step.
“These measures are what we can do right away within the existing BC Arts Council budget to help arts organizations during the pandemic,” she said. “We will have more to announce regarding additional supports for the sector in the weeks ahead.”