While the BC Alliance for Arts + Culture keeps a close eye on news, opinion and research relevant to the province of British Columbia, it's also important to look to other provinces and territories for the last developments in national arts and culture. Here are a couple of news items from Alberta.
Business for the Arts, Canada’s only national charitable organization with a mandate to strengthen the arts and culture sectors across Canada by building partnerships between the private and cultural sectors, announced September 12, that its artsVest program has expanded to reach the entire province of Alberta.
artsVest is Business for the Arts’ national flagship program that works directly with small to mid-sized arts organizations looking to procure sponsorships and build sustainable partnerships with the business community. The program consists of in-depth training in corporate sponsorship, from one-on-one, group and peer-to-peer learning to online educational tools and mentorship pairing. The participants successful in securing sponsorships are awarded with matching funds at the end of the program, up to a certain dollar amount.
“The Government of Alberta is proud to support Business for the Arts and the artsVest program, and I am very pleased to see the program expand across Alberta,” said Ricardo Miranda, Alberta’s Minister of Culture and Tourism. “Arts and culture are extremely important to Albertans, and we welcome any opportunity to support artists and arts organizations. I wish Business for the Arts continued success with the artsVest program and look forward to it helping more arts organizations engage and forge partnerships with Alberta’s business community.”
Meanwhile, in the province's largest city, a coalition of arts organizations called Creative Calgary is calling on city council to allocate 0.7 percent, or $20 million, of its operating budget to the arts – a jump from the current 0.3 percent.
“You could say it’s more than doubling what they currently spend, or you could say it’s actually funding what they should have been funding for the past two decades,” says Creative Calgary board member Irfan Rawji.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi responded that, while he supports a non-specific increase in arts funding, “I don’t think that should be based on how much other people spend, or arbitrary numbers.”
The ask comes ahead of a civic election to take place October 16.