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Helping arts and culture organizations recover

Helping arts and culture organizations recover

December 2, 2020 1:05 pm


Artists and organizations are getting more to help them through the pandemic, with increased funding and extended deadlines to apply for arts and culture recovery supports.

“We recognize the extreme challenges that the arts and culture sector is facing right now as we all do our part to contain COVID-19 and stay home,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “Arts and culture organizations asked for our help and we’ve responded. This targeted funding reinforces our government’s commitment to help people working in this sector to weather the storm and get ready to welcome audiences once again when it’s safe to do so.”

As part of the Stronger BC for Everyone: B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan, the Province is providing $21 million for arts and culture through the BC Arts Council:

  • $16 million to expand the Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement
  • $5 million for the new Pivot Program to help organizations adapt

The supplement helps existing BC Arts Council clients pay for operating costs like rent and utilities, and rehire people who work in the sector, such as artists, theatre technicians, production designers or arts administrators. Supporting vital arts organizations in B.C. communities supports artists, helps families access the arts and encourages more cultural activities. Arts and culture organizations are already starting to receive their supplements and the BC Arts Council has extended the deadline to Jan. 29, 2021.

The new Pivot Program helps arts and cultural organizations adapt to new realities resulting from the pandemic. Organizations can apply for assistance to modify their business model and practices, or get support for operational changes, such as going carbon neutral or buying better equipment for livestreaming events. This program will help B.C. organizations plan for the future so the arts can stay resilient and recover strong. Applications are open until Jan. 4, 2021.

Stronger BC outlines the B.C. government’s latest steps to help people, businesses and communities recover and come out of COVID-19 stronger and better prepared.


Susan Jackson, chair, BC Arts Council –

“The B.C. government’s investment recognizes the value of arts and culture in creating and maintaining healthy and resilient communities. We know many organizations and artists will need to adapt and transform their working practices and the BC Arts Council is committed to supporting them as they work through this challenging time. This funding will be key to the recovery of B.C.’s arts and culture sector.”

Nika Collison, executive director and curator, Haida Gwaii Museum –

“Haawa – thank you to the Province for recognizing the critical contributions art and culture make to the health of our society. These emergency funds have been essential in keeping our museum’s doors open, maintaining employment and supporting artists. The support of the provincial government is crucial to arts and culture organizations as we navigate, adapt and transform. By working together, we will stay strong.”

Claire Sakaki, executive director, Bard on the Beach –

“We are facing an uncertain future. We really appreciate the Province listening to us in these challenging times. These programs, together with the government’s broader supports, will help us sustain vital arts programming that serves our community and provide much-needed employment to our artists – the backbone of our sector.”

Quick Facts:

Since the start of the pandemic, the B.C. government has extended application deadlines, adjusted reporting requirements and provided the following relief and recovery support for arts and culture organizations:

  • $15 million in accelerated 2020-21 operating funding to BC Arts Council clients to help with their cash flow.
  • $3-million Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement to BC Arts Council operating and project clients.
  • The BC Arts Council’s new $2-million Arts Infrastructure program, to help improve spaces for artists and cultural activities.
  • $200,000 to the Vancouver Foundation through the BC Arts Council to support its Community Response Fund.
  • $123,000 to the BC Museums Association for micro grants to small- and medium-sized museums to help them meet their immediate needs.

Learn More:

Apply for the Expanded Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement:

Apply for the Pivot Program:

Stronger BC: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/

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