On February 4, 2016 the BC government announced a three-year strategy to help grow the province's creative economy.
As part of the Creative Economy Strategy, the Province has allocated $1.5 million over three years towards shared creative spaces. A further $300,000 investment will be made over two years in artsVest BC, a training and incentive program designed to encourage new business sponsorship of arts and culture. The artsVest BC funding will be matched federally.
As part of provincial budget consultations in the fall of 2015, Rob Gloor of the Alliance recommended investing in the infrastructure of cultural facilities. Gloor commented on the announcement, saying, "The BC Collaborative Spaces Program brings back the popular BC Creative Spaces fund with a new focus. It will provide valuable resources urgently needed for co-location projects." Gloor added that the Alliance hopes to see a further commitment of funding for major capital projects to address the significant challenges faced by many arts and culture organizations across the province.
The Creative Economy Strategy focuses on the following areas for growth:
- Leveraging talent and creative clusters
- Accessing new markets
- Maximizing investment, and
- Enriching communities
The announcement states that priorities will include investing in Aboriginal artists, increasing the creative sector’s international presence, promoting public and private partnerships and philanthropy, and continuing to invest in hosting major festivals and events. The government press release is available here. Further details will be announced in the months ahead.
According to the government announcement, the initiatives build on the Creative Futures programs, launched in 2013/14, and continue to focus primarily on artists, cultural organizations and BC communities.
Other key tactics include:
- Reviewing the Creative Futures funding and programs
- Increasing the creative sector’s international presence
- Ensuring that arts and culture contribute to destination development in BC
- Supporting artists and cultural workers to be successful in their careers
- Demonstrating the value of arts investment
- Continuing to invest in major arts and cultural festivals and events
- Launching a province-wide consultation process with indigenous artists
Information on the BC Collaborative Spaces Program, to be launched in June 2016, will be available in the coming months. Watch this blog and the weekly Alliance News for more details as they become available.