Vancouver city council passes new arts funding

On Jan. 20 Vancouver city council unanimously approved a motion to create an art and culture fund that will provide grants for independent artists.

At the first council meeting of the year, Vision Vancouver councillor Heather Deal proposed a motion to create a $50,000 per year fund that will provide $500, $1000, and $2000 grants to independent artists and smaller artist organizations.

During the meeting, Deal explained that Vancouver’s current grant process has a gap that independent artists fall through.

“We are not allowed to give grants out to individuals,” Deal said at the meeting. “We have to give them to not for profit societies and that creates a gap for people who aren’t necessarily organized with a group of other artists.”

This new funding looks to fill that gap, as well as support emerging artists.

“We tend to have a granting process with peer reviewed juries which look for things such as a record of support, which means they’ve done something already,” Deal said. “It makes it very difficult for new organizations or new artists or independent artists to break into that system and start to establish their record”

While this funding was a Vision Vancouver campaign promise, all of the NPA councillors, and Adriane Carr, the lone Green Party councillor, supported the proposal.

“The city has worked for many years to try and find a mechanism where we can actually aid independent artists,” said NPA councillor Elizabeth Ball.

The deadline for city staff to report back to council with details on where funding will come from is Sept. 25, 2015, Deal said.

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