Cultural camp volunteers have been busy making animal masks for the camp, scheduled to run from Aug. 12 to 15 and from Aug. 19 to 22. (Jensen Edwards/Grand Forks Gazette)

UPDATED: Arts council folds amid financial questions, postponed 2018 culture camp set for August

$8k in grants was paid for a 2018 culture camp that got postponed. Organizers moved it to Aug. 2019

UPDATE – Aug. 1, 2019: Organizers for the Indigenous cultural camp originally scheduled for 2018 have confirmed with the Gazette that the camp will go ahead in 2019. The camp will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Aug. 12 to 15 and from Aug. 19 to 22. They say that the $8,000 spent last year as part of a provincial grant for the event will go towards paying for the camp coordinator, for supplies and for an honorarium for elders who will participate in the teachings at the camp.

Arts organizations across the region will no longer have easy access to event and project grants through a local society, after the Boundary District Arts Council officially folded on June 30. Member organizations voted unanimously to dissolve the society amid questions around the past board’s handling of the organization’s finances.

After an entirely new board took over last November, they realized that $8,000 of a provincial grant intended for an Indigenous culture camp was payed out to a previous director and family member, but no receipt evidence of the original expenditures were provided. However, organizers of the camp told the Gazette on Aug. 1 that they fully intend to run the event this month with the money spent last year.

The memos on three cheques written in 2018 indicate that the payments were for “cultural camp,” “cultural camp facilities” and “cultural camp supplies.” Documents suggest that the camp was to happen in July or August 2018. Organizers told the Gazette Aug. 1 that due to the flood and smoke pollution last summer, the camp was postponed.

But without being able to account for the $8,000 for 2018, BDAC’s final directors said, the organization would have been unable to apply for future grants from the province. Therefore, said Deb Baker, a member of the organization’s board when BDAC folded, it was in the membership’s interest to dissolve the society and have an entirely separate organization start fresh under a new name, with new governance structures and a board with a clean slate.

The remaining cash in the organization’s bank account was meant to be dispersed between its members, among them Gallery 2, the Christina Lake Arts and Artisans Society, fire dancers Lumosity and other arts groups in the region. The Gazette has yet to confirm with member organizations regarding cash disbursements.

The original print version of this story falsely stated that Deb Baker was BDAC’s president when it folded. She was not, but rather was occupying a director-at-large position. The original July 17 print version of this story did have confirmation from the Indigenous cultural camp as to the fate of the cancelled event. Since publication, organizers confirmed that the camp will run in August 2019 and will use the $8,000 paid last year to acquire supplies, pay for a coordinator and go towards honoraria for participating elders.

Just Posted

Casey Affleck’s movie Light of My Life features Southern Interior of B.C.

Film features Academy Award and Emmy Award winners

Forest fires spotted near Greenwood and Christina Lake

Aircraft and ground crews attacked both fires on Thursday

Residents petition for pre-flood value buyout, say Grand Forks case could set B.C. precedent

A petition will be presented to the B.C. Minister of Public Safety next week

Sisters trot across Canada for guide dogs

The Keca sisters passed through the Boundary earlier this week

Cannabis category added to Grand Forks Fall Fair

Mayor to be among judges evaluating look, smell and ‘burnability’

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Most Read