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Two Richmond arts organizations get B.C. funding

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 3:22 PDT, Thu May 5, 2022

Two arts organizations in Richmond are receiving provincial funding through the Arts Infrastructure Program: the Canadian YC Chinese Orchestra Association is receiving $39,097 and Gateway Theatre Society is receiving $12,171.

The program provides grants to arts and cultural organizations to develop and enhance spaces that support B.C.’s arts and cultural practitioners. Eligible activities include planning and consultation as well as capital improvements, such as improving safety features, increasing accessibility, or buying specialized equipment.

“When arts and culture organizations like Canadian YC Chinese Orchestra Association and Gateway Theatre Society continue to flourish, people in Richmond will continue to thrive,” says Richmond South Centre MLA Henry Yao. “The arts plays a vital role in maintaining a person’s mental health, cultural connection, and overall wellbeing. I am thrilled to see this funding go towards supporting exactly that.”

Across B.C., 84 organizations are receiving a total of $4 million. Established in 2020, the Arts Infrastructure Program was introduced with a base budget of $2 million. 

To meet demand, the province committed an additional $2 million in one-time funding, which doubled available grants to $4 million in 2021. This increase supported 97 projects in the first round of funding that was distributed in fall 2021. To date, 191 arts organizations have received grants through the Arts Infrastructure Program.

“Richmond Gateway Theatre Society and the Canadian YC Chinese Orchestra Association have come through these difficult years and are onto their next step of artistic and technological advancement to further promote arts and culture in Richmond,” says Richmond–Steveston MLA Kelly Greene.

In April, the BC Arts Council introduced its Extending Foundations: Action Plan 2022-2024 which marked a shift in focus in the way the council provides funding to respond to calls to action for reconciliation, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.

In alignment with these commitments, 50 per cent of grants in this recent round of funding were distributed to organizations from rural or remote communities or those led by or rooted in Indigenous and equity-deserving communities. 

“During the challenges of this pandemic, I know that many of us found comfort and joy in arts and culture,” adds Richmond–Queensborough MLA Aman Singh.

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