City of Powell River Council has approved a new four-year contribution agreement for qathet Art Council.
Councillors reviewed the proposal, which commences retroactively on January 1, 2022, and expires on December 31, 2025.
At the June 16 council meeting, city director of parks, recreation and culture Tara O’Donnell said she was appearing to seek approval for the contribution agreement with the art council.
She said at the February 1 committee of the whole meeting, council directed staff to develop a new contribution agreement with the art council inclusive of staff recommendations that were provided.
“Since that time, staff has worked with the art council to draft an agreement to replace the previous agreement that expired on December 31, 2021,” said O’Donnell. “The new agreement is recommended for a four-year term. This agreement would be managed by the parks, recreation and culture department.”
O’Donnell said the proposed agreement is inclusive of $15,000 in dedicated program funding, as well as an increase to the community arts and culture grant of $5,000.
She outlined that as a part of the stipulation, there will be multidisciplinary, professional art instruction for school-aged children, to be offered as once-a-week after-school programming for the duration of the school year, as well as a series of 10 week-long day camps delivered over spring break and summer vacation.
O’Donnell said the in-kind use of the art centre space would remain a separate lease agreement managed by the properties, development and communications department, as it is now.
“I’m requesting that the contribution agreement with the qathet Art Council from 2022 to 2025 as presented in my report be adopted,” said O’Donnell.
Councillor Cindy Elliott said she had been looking forward to seeing this matter on council’s agenda.
“The programming that the art council is going to be offering for children, and the security we’re able to give the art council with a multi-year agreement, is probably going to result in some excellent leveraging of funding through the gaming grants and the BC Arts Council grants,” said Elliott. “Because they can show support from the city, they are going to get better support from those other grant programs, which is going to bring money into the community.
“The shortage of after-school programming for children in our city is definitely going to be helped by this.”
Councillor CaroleAnn Leishman said this contribution agreement does give confidence to the art council.
“I actually had the pleasure of attending a BC Arts Council annual general meeting a few years back with some of the art council board members and one of the granting sessions was all about having that municipal government support provided to an arts council,” said Leishman. “Grant funders are much more likely to give more money more often if they know arts councils have support of their municipalities. This is good news and I obviously support this.”
Councillor George Doubt said this is important for the community and it makes Powell River what it is. He thanked O’Donnell for stepping up and helping this happen.
Councillor Rob Southcott said he finds himself at the art centre on a fairly regular basis for a diverse number of reasons.
“I am certainly aware of the value that the arts centre is providing and the breadth and variety of its programs,” added Southcott.
Council unanimously voted for the contribution agreement.