More accessible supports coming to arts and culture sector
New arts funding will increase access and remove barriers to funding for equity-deserving arts and cultural organizations to benefit more people in B.C.’s arts sector.
On Sept. 21, the BC Arts Council (BCAC) will launch its Accelerate Program, a two-year pilot initiative offering multi-year, flexible funding up to $30,000 over two years to eligible equity-deserving arts and cultural organizations and collectives. It will cover costs associated with artistic growth, development, production or exhibition, and organizational capacity-building, expansion and operations.
“The Accelerate Program is responding to a call to action to set a new direction that will open doors for artists and cultural organizations from all walks of life and all parts of our province,” said Melanie Mark, Hli Haykwhl Ẃii Xsgaak, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “It’s a provincial priority to expand funding opportunities for organizations and collectives that have faced systemic barriers to accessing BC Arts Council funds in the past. This is part of the essential work we are doing to strengthen our commitment to reconciliation and equity for public arts funding in British Columbia.”
As part of BCAC’s work to build a more diverse and equitable funding structure to support the arts community, priority is given to artists and organizations from Indigenous communities, people of colour, deaf and disability arts groups, and communities outside of the capital region and Greater Vancouver.
“The introduction of the Accelerate Program responds directly to the feedback from the sector that emphasized more needed to be done to support Calls to Action for Reconciliation and to enhance equity, diversity and inclusion within B.C.’s art community,” said Bob D’Eith, Parliamentary Secretary for Arts and Film. “This program is one of many actions the BC Arts Council will be taking in partnership with our government to ensure B.C.’s arts and culture sectors have the funding they need to grow and develop.”
In summer 2021, D’Eith held 22 meetings with representatives from more than 200 organizations. This informed the development of BCAC’s Extending Foundations: Action Plan 2022-2024, which extends its current strategic plan and also establishes the Accelerate Program.
“The new Accelerate Program is a crucial step in the council’s strategic vision and its efforts to forge a more equitable and socially just role for public arts funding in the province,” said Sae-Hoon Stan Chung, chair, BCAC. “I am proud of this accomplishment that fulfils the commitment in our action plan to create a multi-year capacity-building program for underserved and equity-deserving organizations.”
The application intake for the Accelerate Program’s first year will open Sept. 21, with submissions due no later than Nov. 15.