Arts and culture groups on Vancouver Island will see continued support from various federal government programs with a welcome $1.67 million funding injection.
Thirty-four arts, culture and official language organizations will benefit from the funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage, including the Belfry Theatre, where the announcement was made Friday.
Other local organizations to benefit include the Dance Victoria Society, the Victoria Symphony Society, the Victoria International Chalk Art Society, the Victoria Foundation, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, La Societe des Francophones de Victoria, Theatre SKAM Association, the Victoria Film Festival and the Canadian College of Performing Arts.
The federal government has provided $1,673,338 through various programs of the Department of Canadian Heritage; including the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program ($68,500), the Canada Arts Presentation Fund ($285,000), the Canada Arts Training Fund ($600,000), the Endowment Incentives component of the Canada Cultural Investment Fund ($328,418), the Cooperation with the Community Sector component of the Development of Official Language Communities Program ($268,220) and the Museums Assistance Program ($60,000).
Oak Bay’s Canadian College of Performing Arts will receive a $600,000 injection over two years under the Canada Arts Training Fund, which represents an approximately 30 per cent increase in funding, says college director Ron Schuster.
“It puts us in a better position because we were falling behind in many areas. It will help us face some of our current challenges like trying to find and develop a new facility, to maintain our standards we need to hire the best faculty and to keep up to wage demands of our staff and faculty,” said Schuster. “It’s not quite enough to help with the facility side of things, but at least we’re in a better position to maintain a happy faculty and staff and a solid operation.”
“Without the Heritage funding I don’t know if we could have existed this long in Victoria.”
John Duncan, minister of state, chief government whip and Member of Parliament for Vancouver Island North was on hand to make the announcement on behalf of Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates that we are committed to supporting organizations that not only enrich their community’s cultural life, but also strengthen its economy,” said Duncan.