BC’s Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Coralee Oake announced earlier this week that the B.C. government is investing $300,000 over two years in artsVest, a non-profit program helping small and mid-sized arts organizations help themselves through effective private sector fundraising.
Organized by Toronto-based Business for the Arts (BftA), Canada’s only national association of business leaders in support of the arts, artsVest provides training workshops and incentive funds. Workshops teach relationship-building and fundraising with the private sector. Incentive funds match money raised by participating arts groups.
In 2012, BftA expanded artsVest across Canada, including a Vancouver launch last June, supported by $150,000 from the B.C. government and $200,000 from the Government of Canada. ArtsVest Vancouver proved very successful, with 48 arts and culture organizations sharing $275,000 in matching incentive grants.
“Our Government is committed to building a country in which all citizens have the chance to participate in our cultural and economic life,” stated The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, MP (Port Moody – Westwood – Port Coquitlam) and Minister Responsible for BC. “We are proud to support artsVest and appreciate how the work of this important organization contributes to this goal. ArtsVest’s continued leadership and further expansion into British Columbia is one of the best ways to help and support Canada’s remarkably strong and diverse creative economy.”
This year, artsVest BC is expanding operations through workshops in Campbell River (June 1), Cranbrook (June 9), Greater Victoria (June 11), Kelowna (June 13) and Castlegar (June 22). Future workshops will also be delivered for First Nations arts and cultural groups on Vancouver Island, the Okanagan and in the Columbia Valley through the First Peoples’ Cultural Council, a First Nations-run B.C. Crown Corporation.
ArtsVest BC partners contribute to incentive funds and help cover program costs. In addition to B.C. government support, the program is receiving:
- $500,000 from the Government of Canada over the next two fiscal years.
- $50,000 from the City of Kelowna.
- $50,000 from TELUS.
- $30,000 from the Columbia Basin Trust.
- $20,000 from the Capital Regional District.
Since starting in Ontario in 2002, artsVest has dispersed approximately $1.7 million in grants to over 600 arts, cultural and heritage organizations in Canada. Nearly 1,000 Canadian businesses have supported the program. Currently, artsVest operates in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Nova Scotia.
“ArtsVest offers an outstanding opportunity, particularly for small and medium-scale arts organizations striving to make the most from limited resources,” said Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Coralee Oakes. “As a successful self-help approach to sustainability, artsVest creates important benefits for the arts community, including stronger finances and closer connections to local business. The B.C. government proudly supports artsVest because the program works. With artsVest, everybody wins – arts and culture, businesses, communities and British Columbians.”