Supporting Interior Arts Organizations to Keep Their Lights on

Supporting Interior Arts Organizations to Keep Their Lights on

Posted on March 5, 2021 at 11:31 am by Bill Roberts
BC, Community, Provincial

In the Interior, 97 arts and culture organizations have received $2.3 million through the B.C. government’s StrongerBC plan for economic recovery. This includes $73,400 awarded to Theatre BC in Kamloops, as well as $20,817 to Theytus Books in Penticton, $15,000 to the Arts Council of the North Okanagan in Vernon, and $12,000 to the Arts Council for the South Shuswap in Blind Bay.

“Arts and culture organizations have been working hard to adjust their businesses while adhering to provincial health orders,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “Our government values the arts as part of our economic recovery, and we’re here to help them weather the storm. I know this funding comes at a critical time and will help sustain the sector until we can all gather to enjoy arts and culture again.”

As part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, the BC Arts Council provided the Expanded Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement to organizations that receive annual operating funding or project grants. Organizations can use the funds to pay for operating costs, like rent and utilities, paying artists and protecting or restoring jobs, such as theatre technicians, production designers or arts administrators.

For example, the Vernon Public Art Gallery is using its supplement to keep its doors open to the public and employ its regular staff by offsetting the gallery’s lost revenue. The Tiny Lights Festival in Ymir does not just run a festival, it is also the primary program provider for youth in the community. The festival is using its supplement to continue to support artists in innovative ways and keep its core team going to provide arts programming.

To make sure organizations got access to funding as soon as possible, the BC Arts Council started rolling out funding in November 2020. The funding is now fully allocated. In total, the Province is providing $15.7 million in supplements to 556 arts and culture organizations in communities throughout B.C.


Bob D’Eith, Parliamentary Secretary for Arts and Film

“By supporting the organizations who employ and support artists and arts and culture workers, we are making the sector more resilient and, in turn, keeping our communities vibrant. We know there’s more to do, and I look forward to working directly with the sector to chart our path to recovery.”

Brittny Anderson, MLA for Nelson-Creston –

“Arts and culture are incredibly important to enrich people’s lives. It is how we tell our stories, reflect on society and celebrate. I’m thrilled that the Creston Valley Arts Council with the Yaqan Nukiy Heritage Society are creating a documentary that showcases the stories and teachings of Robert Louie Sr., the last fluent speaker of the Lower Kootenay Band dialect, as an act of reconciliation. The Tiny Lights festival in Ymir is going to continue supporting musicians, artists and cultural practitioners in new ways to create and collaborate while developing their artistic practice. Those are just two of the many great projects that people in the Interior will be able to enjoy with the BC Arts Council’s support.”

Carla Stephenson, executive director, Tiny Lights Festival

“We are so relieved and grateful to receive a supplement from the BC Arts Council. This much-needed funding is allowing us to keep the heat on, the internet flowing fast and our internal team light burning bright. This allows us the opportunity to continue to support B.C. artists and audiences this year.”

Dauna Kennedy, executive director, Vernon Public Art Gallery

“As an organization that welcomes the public into our gallery, the closure challenged us to be creative and find innovative ways to serve the community. During these uncertain times, the funding from the BC Arts Council is helping us to expand our reach into the homes of people who are unable to visit in person while providing the necessary funding to keep the gallery open with health and safety protocols in place.”