Our View: Arts group tackling crisis

Government funding for the arts, during tough economic times, is one of the first things to fall by the wayside.

Government funding for the arts, during tough economic times, is one of the first things to fall by the wayside.

The restoration of some funding for arts and culture in recent B.C. provincial budgets has helped cover shortfalls for local arts companies. But that financial support still falls well short of where it was before gaming grants – the lifeblood of many non-profit community groups – were drastically reduced in 2009 by the Liberal government.

The Victoria Foundation helped financially stabilize larger local arts organizations after the provincial cuts came. But smaller companies – those with budgets under $1 million – were left to scramble to make ends meet.

Well-known local organizations such as Intrepid Theatre, Ballet Victoria, Kaleidoscope Theatre and Theatre Inconnu, have cut expenses to the bone to keep their companies afloat. In some instances, paid staff worked for free to help bridge the funding gap.

The 11 cash-strapped organizations that recently banded together for a discussion with the Victoria Foundation, on new potential funding options, represent a wide range of artistic and cultural endeavours.

Unlike larger companies, which often attract mainstream sponsorships and audiences, these groups often take creative risks and produce harder-edged, thought-provoking material that challenges audiences.

To avoid giving a financial boost to these companies is to jeopardize valuable threads in the creative, cultural and ethnic fabric of the region’s arts community. As Intrepid general manager Ian Case indicated this week, the inability to take risks on projects out of fear that audiences – and funding sources – may not accept them, hinders their creative flexibility.

One might argue that, as in business, the market should dictate which companies survive these tough economic times.

But these local arts groups are about much more than dollars and cents. They offer all of us opportunities to learn, grow and gain new understanding of the world around us.

Just Posted

Oak Bay grants 60 days of protection for century-old mansion

J.W. Morris House slated for removal by Abstract Developments

Health Canada suspends Island pot producer’s licence following unannounced visit

Evergreen Medicinal Supply is working on “corrective action”

Victoria student out $600 for lack of e-bike insurance blames confusing rules

B.C. regulation says e-bike motors must turn off if rider stops pedalling, or bike must be insured

Flat tire, kindness of strangers, surprisingly inflate hope

Sooke mom and her daughters knocked on door of Bob and Norma Saunders seeking help

Saanich police ask for public’s help locating missing high risk youth

The 12-year-old was last seen before school on Monday morning

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Most Read