Provincial grant program targets artists

Initiative meant to help applicants adapt during pandemic

A new provincial grant program will help artists receive more support to assist with challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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,” stated BC minister of tourism, arts, culture and sport Melanie Mark in a media release. “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.”

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Many artists have been unable to work or worked less due to the temporary closures of venues and restricted audience sizes, according to the release. The province 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 new program, people can apply for up to $12,000 to learn new skills or adapt their practices. Artists can apply for a grant to modify 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, such as mentorship or training.

“Artists have been hit hard by the pandemic,” stated Bob D’Eith, parliamentary secretary for arts and film. “We need to support them now to make sure they can inspire and entertain us later.”

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 February 16, 2021. BC Arts Council will adjudicate and award the grants in early spring 2021.

According to Statistics Canada, unemployment in arts and culture is higher than average and has not recovered at the pace of other BC industries. A 2006 study showed for every dollar invested through the BC Arts Council, arts and cultural organizations generate $1.57 in gross domestic product.

To apply for the Pivot for Individuals program, go to bcartscouncil.ca/program/project-assistance-pivot-for-individuals.

 
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