B.C. Arts Council gives grants to local groups

The B.C. Arts Council is handing out $5.7 million in grants to some 280 artists and organizations, including two in the Grand Forks area.

The Grand Forks Art Gallery Society is set to receive $16,250 while the Boundary District Arts Council (BDAC) is set to receive $6,998.

Gallery 2 Director and Curator Ted Fogg wouldn’t get into specifics but said that the art gallery society would use the funding for operating assistance for its visual arts.

“It’s for exhibition purposes, it basically all goes to artist fees, shipping, expenses and mounting the exhibitions themselves,” he said.

Fogg said that the B.C. Arts Council has been providing funding to the Grand Forks Art Gallery, a.k.a. Gallery 2, for about 26 years but had to cut funding by 20 per cent last year and said the money was crucial. “It’s very important, we hate to lose even $3,000 but that’s just the way it is,” he said.

Fogg said that with a new leader (Christy Clark) for the B.C. Liberal party, there could be some new money coming.

The city also cut about $30,000 in funding to the gallery recently, which was money that would’ve been used to pay for building services, such as janitorial and utilities, although the Grand Forks Credit Union subsequently made a donation of about $30,000.

As for the BDAC, the $6,998 it received was an operating grant and is based on population and distance from the coast.

“With this B.C. Arts Council grant, the money is for covering operating expenses, it’s not for capital development,” explained BDAC past president Ray Lafleur.

“The operating expenses in our case are very largely, grants that we then give to the 20 community groups that are part of the (BDAC).

“We’re an umbrella organization. The province set up these art councils as a way to distribute money to local groups without all of those hundreds of local groups going to the province separately,” he went on to say.

Amongst the groups that are under the “umbrella” of the BDAC, the Grand Forks Choral Society, the Grand Forks Pipes and Drums, Les Folles Jambettes and both the Boundary Spinners and Weavers and Woodworkers’ guilds.

Lafleur said that some of the money also goes into administration, such as computer costs, advertising and printing.

The B.C. Arts Council is an agency of the province of B.C.