Kootenay arts & culture has its say in BC budget consultation
In early August 2023, the British Columbia government received recommendations for its next provincial budget, including how it should approach arts and culture. Thank you to all the Kootenay-based arts and culture organizations that took part!
The Province’s Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services released the report after holding a public consultation on the provincial budget, which included hearing 375 presentations and receiving 387 written submissions, including those from our own region.
At the West Kootenay Regional Arts Council, we were eager to take part. Advocacy like this is essential as we strive to support a thriving arts, culture and heritage sector and act as a catalyst to build capacity throughout the creative ecology.
Overall, the committee heard the need for increased funding to the BC Arts Council, additional investment in rural arts, and support for the arts to further Indigenous reconciliation.
Here are a few of the thoughts submitted by us and other Kootenay organizations:
- West Kootenay Regional Arts Council: Funding for Indigenous arts, culture and heritage must be sustainable and reflect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
- Capitol Theatre Restoration Society: The arts have a significant economic impact by stimulating tourism, attracting investment and generating employment opportunities.
- Key City Theatre: Eligibility for funding should be expanded, and funds increased to allow more arts and culture organizations to access funding.
- Capitol Theatre Restoration Society and Key City Theatre: Stable operating funding for rural cultural and arts organizations is vital to fulfill BC’s mandate toward truth and reconciliation, as it enables outreach and engagement efforts to build relationships with Indigenous peoples, supports collaboration on Indigenous-led projects, and facilitates the development of relevant programming in collaboration with Indigenous communities.
- Nelson and District Arts Council: There should be increased funding for the BC Arts Council, and rural artists and arts organizations need more opportunities to access this funding.
- Revelstoke Heritage Railway Society: Museums play multiple roles: as a core element of the educational system, a support for truth and reconciliation, a place for families to connect and enjoy themselves, and a key element in tourism infrastructure.
Read the full report here, with arts and culture appearing on page 19.