Northern artists, organizations pivot through the pandemic
Northern artists and arts and culture organizations are getting support to adapt to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“People in the arts have used their ingenuity to find new ways to keep creating despite the pandemic,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “Artists are so vital to our social and cultural fabric. These grants are empowering artists and organizations throughout B.C. to adapt their platforms so they can continue inspiring us.”
Faced with temporary closures of venues and restricted audience sizes, artists and organizations have found ways to keep creating and reaching their audiences. To support these necessary pivots, the B.C. government is providing more than $194,000 in grants to seven artists and organizations across the North.
For example, the Haida Heritage Centre in Skidegate got a grant to support its transition from a tourist-based business model to a community arts and culture business model. Northern artist Tina Robinson also got a grant to work with a Chilkat weaver mentor to learn new weaving techniques.
These grants to support arts and culture organizations’ recovery are made possible in part through $5.3 million from StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan. The BC Arts Council administered the grants, which are now fully distributed. More than 135 artists and 155 organizations throughout B.C. have received a total of $6.6 million to support their adaptations.
Bob D’Eith, Parliamentary Secretary for Arts and Film –
“We know artists and arts and culture organizations have struggled this past year because they can’t welcome live audiences. We’ve worked closely with the sector to understand their needs and support them to pivot. It’s encouraging to see these projects take shape and to hear these stories of resilience.”
Jen Rice, MLA for North Coast –
“Arts and culture, especially here in the North, are critically important to support. This targeted funding helps artists and organizations adapt so we all can continue to enjoy ats and culture, now and in the future.”
Dana Moraes, executive director, Haida Heritage Centre –
“In partnership with the Haida Gwaii Museum, we are working towards opening to the public in 2021, with a focus on our community through arts and culture programming. We are grateful to the BC Arts Council for supporting this transition.”
Tina Robinson, Chilkat weaver –
“This pandemic has given me time to concentrate on my practice, evolve new techniques and deepen previous skills in traditional Chilkat weaving with my mentor Pearl Innis. With this grant, I have been able to progress my practice and learn new skills while working one-on-one with my mentor. This would not be possible without the support of the Province and the BC Arts Council.”
- Through StrongerBC, the B.C. government has provided $35 million in targeted recovery funding to the arts and culture sector through the BC Arts Council.
- From April 2020 to March 2021, the BC Arts Council distributed more than 3,000 grants provincewide – the most grants the council has ever distributed.
- Thanks to investments from the B.C. government, the BC Arts Council’s budget for 2021-22 is $39.6 million, a record high.
To see the full list of Pivot grant recipients: https://www.bcartscouncil.ca/funding/recipients/
Follow BC Arts Council on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BCArtsCouncil
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A backgrounder follows.