ArtsNow announces first funding recipients 

Organizations in Whistler, Lillooet and Britannia Beach to benefit

Three Whistler organizations are among those receiving the first wave of funding from ArtsNow.

The arts and culture division of the province’s LegaciesNow initiative to create sustainable province-wide legacies in the years leading up to the 2010 Olympic Games, ArtsNow announced $770,000 in funding to organizations in 32 communities throughout B.C. last week.

Local funding recipients include the Whistler Museum and Archives, the Whistler Writer’s Group and the Whistler Arts Council.

The museum received $22,000 through ArtsNow’s Catalyst program for a heritage needs assessment, described by curator Kerry Clark as a project that will "review the heritage preservation needs for the Whistler valley region and develop a heritage operation for our community that is both socially and financially sustainable."

Clark said the ArtsNow funding is arriving at an "absolutely crucial time" for the museum, which has shared a semi-temporary facility with the Whistler Public Library on Main Street since 1993.

With the RMOW’s approval in 2004 of the construction of a library-only facility on the site, Clark described an 18-month timeline for the museum to determine its future.

"If we weren’t able to see the realization of this kind of project it was really questionable as to where the museum would go," Clark said. "Where we go really depends on community feedback but essentially within the next two years it will allow us to meet some of the expectations and participate in a lot of the programs associated with the upcoming (Olympic) Games.

"The timing is perfect. We have about 18 months now. We’ll begin work on this initiative immediately," Clark said.

ArtsNow director Lori Baxter described the heritage needs assessment as "an excellent example of a partnership between an arts/cultural heritage sector and a municipality," a concept she championed at an ArtsNow informational seminar in Whistler in January.

Also named for funding under the Catalyst program was the Whistler Writer’s Group (a.k.a. The Vicious Circle), which received $7,458 toward starting up a summer writer’s conference focused on mentoring and professional development.

The Whistler Arts Council received $12,000 from the ArtsNow Innovations program through a joint application with Festival Vancouver. The grant will allow acts from the summer festival to come to Whistler during the month of August; performers Arts Council event manager Kelly Clarke described as "big name, higher-end international groups we wouldn’t be able showcase normally."

Neighbouring communities receive ArtsNow funds

In addition to the Whistler recipients ArtsNow awarded funding to organizations in Lillooet and Britannia Beach.

The Lillooet Friendship Centre received $13,300 through the Innovations program for a community beautification project involving the creation and installation of stone sculptures and pebble mosaics of aboriginal and non-aboriginal designs in more than 60 sites.

The Britannia Beach Museum of Mining received $1,750 through the Innovations program toward further development of the annual Copper and Fire art exhibition.

New application forms online for next wave of funding

Baxter said the first wave of funding has been considered the "pilot project" for ArtsNow.

Application forms have been revamped for the next wave of funding applicants who will also benefit from an updated tip-sheet.

The new application forms will be available via www.2010legaciesnow.com as of April 15 for a June deadline.

Phase I of ArtsNow will invest a total of $4.25 million via the Creative Communities, Catalyst and Innovations programs.

Said Baxter: "This is a long-term strategy, a long-term program. This is just the beginning of it."

Museum, Film Festival receive Spirit of B.C. funds

The Whistler Museum and Archives and the Whistler Film Festival have both been awarded funding from the provincial government’s Spirit of B.C. Arts Fund.

The Museum will receive $4,200, which program co-ordinator Jimi Galvao said will be used toward the creation of a comprehensive exhibit on Whistler's resort development phase, including the hiring of a research Assistant and a Video Technician.

The Whistler Film Festival was also named as a recipient of Spirit of B.C. arts funding in the amount of $15,800.

The total amount granted was $799,600 – interest on the $20 million Olympic Arts Fund established by the provincial government to support arts and cultural activity leading to the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Upcoming deadlines for future Spirit of B.C. Arts funding are July 15, 2005 for the Commissioning Program and Dec. 16, 2005 for the Opportunities Program. Application information is available from the B.C. government’s cultural services branch by calling 250-356-1793.

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