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Posted: January 12, 2021

Funds available to help artists adapt during pandemic

Professional artists and others who work in the arts can get more support to help with challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic though a new grant program.

“Together with the arts sector, we are working hard to make sure that dancers, writers, painters and other artists can continue being resilient and finding innovative ways to keep creating through COVID-19,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “We’re building on our support for arts and culture in British Columbia by helping artists adapt their work, ensuring our province has a strong creative industry to enjoy when the pandemic is over.”

Many artists have been unable to work or worked less due to the temporary closures of venues and restricted audience sizes. The B.C. government is creating a new $500,000 Pivot for Individuals program through the BC Arts Council to help professional artists, cultural workers and arts administrators adapt to these challenges.

Through the BC Arts Council’s new program, people can apply for up to $12,000 to learn new skills or adapt their practices. Artists can apply for a grant for things such as modifying a dance piece for a smaller audience or learning new skills, such as video editing. Artists are also able to apply for support for professional development, like mentorship or training.

The program is available to professional artists and cultural workers, including:

* dancers and choreographers;

* visual artists;

* writers;

* actors;

* multi-media artists; and

* arts administrators.

Applications are open until Feb. 16. The BC Arts Council will adjudicate and award the grants in early spring 2021.

“As an independent artist myself, I know how daunting it is right now. This new program will be so welcome by artists trying to maintain their practice. These grants offer financial support for professional artists who are vital to our communities and our economy,” said Pat Henman, theatre artist and BC Arts Council member.

According to Statistics Canada, unemployment in arts and culture is higher than average and has not recovered at the pace of other B.C. industries.

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