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Posted: October 17, 2013

Arts Station upgrades included in extra arts grants

Communities throughout the province, including Fernie, will benefit from a half a million dollars in B.C. government funding to help non-profit cultural organizations, First Nations and friendship centres improve local arts infrastructure, including theatres, studios and galleries, Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Coralee Oakes said today (Oct. 17).

Launched earlier this year, the arts-focused program BC Creative Spaces supported 37 projects that improved arts facilities in British Columbia communities.

Approved projects include:

* Upgrades to The Arts Station in Fernie;

* Expansion at Chemainus Valley Museum;

* Construction of a longhouse for cultural celebrations on Haida Gwaii;

* Renovations at Sunset Theatre in Wells;

* Creation of a recording studio/rehearsal space in Dunster.

New one-time funding will support similar projects. To be eligible for funding, organizations must be governed by an active board of directors or band council and be focussed on delivering arts and/or other cultural programming. Projects must develop new spaces, improve existing facilities, or purchase or upgrade specialized equipment.

For information on how to apply for funding, visit: http://www.cscd.gov.bc.ca/arts_culture/index.htm

“Communities need more than bricks and mortar to build local identity and pride. Lively arts and culture add soul and spirit to communities large and small, urban and rural throughout British Columbia. BC Creative Spaces helps local cultural organizations support a quality of life that can attract new residents and investment. First Nations can enhance opportunities to celebrate and share their unique cultural heritage,” said Minister Oakes.

* Originally intended as a one-year program funded with $1.25 million for 2012-13, BC Creative Spaces is receiving an additional $500,000 from the B.C. government for 2013-14 because of its success.

* According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, British Columbia’s arts and culture sector experienced a steady three-per-cent annual real GDP growth from 2002 to 2007.

* In the same time period, employment in the arts and culture sector grew to represent almost four per cent of the provincial workforce.

* The arts and culture sector contributed $6.344 billion to provincial GDP in 2009.

* Stakeholders in the sector include over 2,000 not-for-profit arts and cultural organizations, 87,420 cultural workers including 25,890 artists, approximately 126,000 donors and 88,000 volunteers.

* In 2013-14, the B.C. government increased funding for arts and culture to over

$60 million – about $7 million higher than last year.

* This year, the B.C. government provided BC Arts Council with a record high funding of $24 million.

Check out the provincial government’s role in supporting sport, arts and culture through the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development at: http://www.gov.bc.ca/cscd

Visit the BC Arts Council’s website at: http://www.bcartscouncil.ca

Discover more about 221A Artist Run Centre at: http://221a.ca/ .

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