The diverse arts and cultural communities that are scattered across the province of British Columbia will soon benefit from a new strategic plan. (Black Press files)

New plan to benefit B.C.’s arts communities announced

Fort St. James may benefit from potential grants

Whether you are a major advocate for the arts or you occasionally find yourself interacting with the numerous artistic mediums at your disposal, there is no denying that art permeates almost all of our daily lives.

In a recent announcement made by the BC Arts Council, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, the diverse arts and cultural communities that are scattered across the province of British Columbia will soon benefit from a new strategic plan.

According to a news release issued by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and the BC Arts Council, a unique plan has been created to highlight the council’s commitments to further enhance and support arts and cultural development throughout the province.

“The strategy offers renewed vision, values and strategic direction for the BC Arts Council,” said Lisa Beare, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “This plan will strengthen opportunities for British Columbians all across the province, to participate and thrive in the creative economy today and in the future.”

The new strategic plan, titled “New Foundations” outlines the British Columbia Arts Council’s ultimate goals over the next five years, with the plan laying out the framework from 2018 until 2022 and the actions that the BC Arts Council will take to achieve those goals.

By working and collaborating with arts and culture organizations around B.C., the new strategic plan is reportedly aimed at improving the actual delivery of arts to the public, while also providing culture supports throughout the province.

Some of the key objectives detailed in the news release include a focus on improving the sustainability and creative development of the arts, as well as shining a spotlight on Indigenous arts and culture to enhance overall engagement in those areas.

Furthermore, the new strategic plan also highlights increasing equity, diversity and access to the arts across the province as a key objective. Likewise, the expansion of regional arts and community arts is listed as another top priority for the BC Arts Council over the next five years.

“The BC Arts Council has heard a clear message that artists and cultural organizations are seeking new approaches to support sustainability and resiliency in B.C.’s arts and culture sector,” said Susan Jackson, the chair of the BC Arts Council. “This strategic plan reflects the council’s strong commitment to renewal, artistic expression, equity and access, so that all people in British Columbia can participate in the arts and celebrate culture.”

The BC Arts Council — founded in 1995 — is listed as an independent agency that is dedicated to supporting arts in British Columbia. It is the leading agency for arts funding and development in the province.

This new strategic plan was the developed following a series of consultations with artists, cultural organizations and communities around the province over the past three years, per the news release.

Per information provided in the news release, any community funding provided by the council is done through a peer-review adjudication process. According to the BC Arts Council, any grant recipient is to represent the diverse group of artists and arts organizations from every region of the province, including Indigenous groups, scholarship students and community arts councils, such as the Community Arts Council of Fort St. James and the Pope Mountain Arts centre in the community.

This is the third unique strategic plan that has been released by by the BC Arts Council since 2009. In addition, the 2018 budget for B.C. states that the Province has increased its support of the BC Arts Council by $15 million over the next three years.

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