ArtsNow announces $12 million for B.C. communities 

The first phase of ArtsNow will invest a total of $4.25 million in the arts community in B.C. through three separate programs.

Creative Communities will match funding for communities undertaking cultural development initiatives in association with community leaders to assess and identify a community’s cultural assets, needs and opportunities.

The Catalyst Program will fund initiatives for communities to reach artistic goals and achieve excellence by building organizational and artistic capacity and by building audience capacity.

The Innovations Program will offer funding assistance to create new opportunities for people in B.C. to engage in cultural activities.

The deadline for applications for the Catalyst and Innovations Programs has been set for Jan. 31, 2005. ArtsNow has a mandate to expend the funding by 2007.

ArtsNow’s executive director Lori Baxter said she’s hoping the programs will help foster community partnerships.

"Certainly within our guidelines and application forms we’re encouraging partnerships, and we think communities will pick up that encouragement and look at ways they can partner groups within their own community to best take advantage (of the funding)."

Baxter praised the Whistler community’s foresight with the Celebration 2010 Whistler Arts Showcase, which kicks off its third year in February 2005.

Whistler Arts Council executive director Doti Niedermayer said the funding announcement comes too late to specifically benefit the upcoming Celebration 2010, but that the Arts Council is interested in exploring other initiatives.

"Basically ArtsNow is all about capacity building and leaving long term legacies and when we were thinking about 2010 that’s what we were thinking about, building long term capacity in this community and long term legacies," Niedermayer said.

Niedermayer said the Whistler Arts Council will attempt to secure funding to build partnerships throughout the corridor with Squamish, Pemberton and First Nations. She is also interested in exploring a partnership with the Municipality to do an economic impact study of the arts on the Whistler Community, which she believes will make it easier to obtain sponsorships for arts and cultural events.

For more information on ArtsNow or to acquire downloadable funding applications go to www.2010legaciesnow.com.

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