Ballet BC Dancers Gilbert Small and Emily Chessa in rehearsal for Romeo+Juliet. The performance was slated for mid-March in Victoria, but was cancelled due to the COVID-19-related ban on gatherings, at the time, of 250 or more people. New provincial relief money announced Friday aims to relieve some of the financial burden being felt by professional artists and arts organizations. Photos by Michael Slobodian

Province announces $3M in funding for arts groups hit by COVID-19 crisis

BC Arts Council to administer support for both organizations and individual artists

The provincial government has announced a new $3-million fund for artists and arts and cultural organizations impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

The bail-out, the Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement, was announced Friday by tourism arts and culture minister Lisa Beare.

Beare said the supplement, to be administered by the BC Arts Council, will provide “operating and eligible project clients” up to $15,000 in early April “to help them pay their bills.”

“Starting in April 2020, the BC Arts Council will provide operating clients a 50 per cent advance on 2020-21 funding to help with their cash flow,” Beare said.

READ ALSO: Music industry feeling the effects of COVID-19 pandemic

READ ALSO: Victoria Quarantunes playlist encourages support for struggling artists

“We are also extending application deadlines, relaxing reporting requirements and allowing organizations to use funding to cover immediate needs like rent and utilities.”

Beare added that the new BC Emergency Benefit for Workers will allow individuals in the arts sector who have had their income affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, to apply for a one-time payment of $1,000.

“Our government’s financial support plan includes several actions that arts organizations are eligible for, such as delaying tax filing and payment deadlines,” she noted.

Describing the move as a “first and necessary step,” Beare said the measures represent what can be done immediately within the existing BC Arts Council budget to help organizations during the pandemic, and promised that more regarding additional supports for the arts sector will be announced in the weeks ahead.

“COVID-19 and the need for physical distancing has had a significant impact on everyone, including those in the arts sector,” Beare noted.

“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,” she said.

“We understand this has had a significant impact on artists, their families and arts organizations.”



editor@mondaymag.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Arts and EntertainmentCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jen Hodge conducts an online concert during the pandemic after returning to B.C. from New York City. Photo courtesy Claudia Nobauer
Canada Recovery Benefit won’t replace the magic of live performance, musicians say

Cash will help, but its the audience connection that most performers miss — and crave

Mary Fox’s new book My Life as a Potter is available at bookstores nationwide. (Cole Schisler photo)
My Life as a Potter raises funds for Mary Fox Legacy Project

Acclaimed Vancouver Island potter’s story raising money for developing artists

Premier John Horgan and Rob Douglas, BC NDP candidate for Cowichan Valley, meet with Cowichan First Nation elders, as they demonstrate spearfishing along the river. (Submitted)
Horgan acknowledges A&E sector hit hard by COVID-19, but showing signs of recovery

Hollywood North doing better than Hollywood South, Horgan says

Can you spot all 12 Days of Christmas displays at the Butchart Gardens? Jen Blyth photo.
The magic of Christmas returns to the Butchart Gardens

Some events cancelled due to COVID-10 but 12 Days of Christmas will brighten the season

Gatineau artist Michèle Provost visits the Malaspina Galleries during her artist residency on Gabriola Island. (Photo supplied)
Gatineau artist the first to take part in new Gabriola Island artist residency

Michèle Provost to create art book reflecting on the positives of aging

Legendary Vancouver-based blues and jazz guitarist and vocalist Jim Byrnes will perform live at the Tidemark Theatre in a concert that will also be streamed. Contributed photo
Legendary blues musician and actor Jim Byrnes hits the Island

Playing Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre for a hybrid live/online show

Dinner shows in the Playbill Dining Room are keeping the Chemainus Theatre going during the pandemic. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Dinner events satisfying for the Chemainus Theatre and patrons

Small groups enjoy entertainment and the food in the Playbill Dining Room

Kent Laforme looks through the sound tunnel, or visual portal, carved inside the 25,000-pound marble sculpture that could be installed at Cattle Point. (Screen Shot, Oakbay.ca video)
Kent Laforme looks through the sound tunnel, or visual portal, carved inside the 25,000-pound marble sculpture that could be installed at Cattle Point. (Screen Shot, Oakbay.ca video)
Stone Takaya sculpture could soon ‘howl’ at Cattle Point

Oak Bay inviting public suggestions for 25,000-pound marble sculpture

The Sid Williams Theatre marquee is once again proudly displaying upcoming events. Photo supplied
Courtenay’s Sid Williams Theatre reopening in a limited capacity

Theatre has been closed since March due to COVID-19

Nanaimo-based ceramic artist Joe Lyons is presenting his first solo exhibition, ‘Poppin Bottles Soda Distraction,’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts from Oct. 26 to Nov. 12. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-based ceramic artist showcases variety of bottles in first solo show

Joe Lyons presents ‘Poppin Bottles Soda Distraction’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts

Toronto poet Robert Priest is presenting an online reading on Oct. 24. (Photo courtesy Allen Booth)
Nanaimo spoken word society presents online reading by prolific Toronto poet

Robert Priest to dip into 40-year catalogue for upcoming Zoom reading

Most Read