The Trail and District Arts Council was one of more than 500 arts and culture organizations across the province to get a boost from the BC Arts Council last week.
The Trail council received $31,000 through the Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement, which is a one-time funding stream for respective organizations impacted by the pandemic.
“We have been closed since November and we were only able to make a few 50-person shows happen this fall before the second wave of COVID,” Nadine Tremblay, the council’s executive director, told the Trail Times.
“This money will help get us through this time, keep staff and continue to put money into the pockets of artists so that the overall sector can recover and then we can have shows and events again one day soon. I so look forward to welcoming audiences into the space, and to have local renters in and touring acts from across the country,” she said.
“I have missed it so much and livestreaming just isn’t the same, though it is better than nothing. Thanks to those who have been supporting those online events.”
Funding for the supplements is through StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan. Combined with the $21 million already announced in September 2020, this brings the total amount of targeted recovery funding for the arts and culture sector to $35 million.
The government has also doubled arts infrastructure funding this year, with $2 million distributed to 50 arts and culture organizations in January 2021.
“I know how difficult this past year has been for artists, without being able to connect with people in our communities,” said Minister Melanie Mark. “Our government is working with arts leaders and the Office of the Provincial Health Officer to plan a safe return, because we know how important art is for our mental health and well-being.”
The BC Arts Council will administer both the supplement and the arts infrastructure grants. Organizations will start to receive their supplements in the coming weeks. This announcement is part of B.C.’s $10-billion COVID-19 response, which includes StrongerBC – a plan to help protect people’s health and livelihoods, while supporting businesses and communities.
“We invested in the BC Arts Council, bringing its budget to a record high, and when the pandemic hit, we were the first province to provide targeted funding to the arts,” said Bob D’Eith, Parliamentary Secretary for Arts and Film. “I’m so proud we are able to provide even more support to help arts and culture groups get through the next few months. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the sector.”