NEWS: BC Government Shuts Arts Out Of Gaming Funding

In a media release issued this morning (Monday, March 08 .10) by the ministry responsible for BC Gaming, the Government of British Columbia has announced measures to deny most non-youth oriented cultural programs and organizations any form of gaming funding for the foreseeable future.

The key section of the release is as follows:
“Youth arts, culture and sports groups will be eligible for grants this year, as will sports organizations serving people with disabilities. A new sub-category of grants has been created specifically for museums, fairs and festivals.
“In addition to gaming grant funding, the Province also recently announced a $60-million Sports and Arts Legacy fund as part of Budget 2010.
"School playgrounds, environmental groups, and adult arts, culture and sports organizations will remain ineligible for funding this year.”
The Alliance for Arts and Culture is in discussion this morning with members and other stakeholders and will issue a media release shortly.
The release and two background documents from the ministry are reproduced below:
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VICTORIA – The Province is allocating $120 million for gaming grants in 2010-2011, up from $113 million last year, to fund approximately 6,000 organizations that benefit communities, including those that assist public safety, youth and disabled sports, people in need, fairs, festivals, museums and community services such as preschools.
Parent Advisory Councils will receive $20 per student, a $10 increase from 2009-2010. District Parent Advisory Councils will be allocated $2,500 each, up from $1,250 last year. The Province will continue to honour multi-year gaming grant commitments. All other organizations will apply for single-year grants of up to $100,000 each throughout the year, following the regular application process. Groups designated as provincial organizations, which deliver services province-wide, will be eligible for up to $250,000.
Youth arts, culture and sports groups will be eligible for grants this year, as will sports organizations serving people with disabilities. A new sub-category of grants has been created specifically for museums, fairs and festivals. In addition to gaming grant funding, the Province also recently announced a $60-million Sports and Arts Legacy fund as part of Budget 2010.
School playgrounds, environmental groups, and adult arts, culture and sports organizations will remain ineligible for funding this year. Playground grants were provided for approximately 250 school playgrounds across British Columbia between 2007-2008 and 2008-2009.
Effective April 1, the Province will combine bingo affiliation and direct access grants into a single community gaming grant program, ensuring all organizations have fair and equitable access to gaming funding.
Last year, the Province allocated almost $113 million in base grant funding for community organizations. Additional funding was provided to cover other government priorities not traditionally funded by gaming grants. Responsibility for those programs is returning to the respective ministries this year and the combined community gaming grant program will return to the usual practice of assisting eligible organizations.
In addition to funding community gaming grants, gaming revenue provides over $1.1 billion for key provincial programs, including health care and education.
Revised applications and instructions for grants will be available by April 1, 2010, at: www.hsd.gov.bc.ca/gaming/grants/index.htm.
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BACKGROUNDER I
COMMUNITY GAMING GRANTS – 2010-2011 FUNDING
 The Province provides gaming grants to eligible non-profit organizations to support programs and services that benefit British Columbians and their communities. For 2010-2011, $120 million will be available for community gaming grants.
Funding will be targeted to groups that address public safety, health and social services, youth programs and Parent Advisory Councils.
Organizations with written three-year grant commitments will continue to receive full funding until the end of the commitment period. All other grants will be made on an annual basis.
Responsibility for funding and administration of other provincial government programs will return to their respective ministries this year. Gaming revenue provided $63 million to cover funding for these programs in 2009-2010.
Funding Decisions
For the full list of eligible 2010-2011 funding priorities, please see Table 2 in the Reference Tables for 2010-2011 Community Gaming Grants at: www.hsd.gov.bc.ca/gaming/docs/reference-tables-cgg-2010-2011.pdf.
The following will not receive funding for 2010-2011:
  • Adult arts and culture
  • Adult sports
  • Environmental
  • School playgrounds
Changes to Community Gaming Grant Sectors
The former Arts, Culture and Sports sector will be focused on youth and split into two sectors.
1. Arts and Culture, consisting of  two subcategories:
- Youth Arts and Culture
- Fairs, Festivals and Museums
 2. 2. Sports for Youth and People with a Disability will also have two sub-categories:
- Sports Programs for Youth
- Sports Programs for People with a Disability
 
No major structural changes will be made to the other sectors. The current structure of the community gaming grant sectors can be found in Table 1 at: www.hsd.gov.bc.ca/gaming/docs/reference-tables-cgg-2010-2011.pdf.
The Province will accept applications for each sector during the traditional intake periods and will ensure all applicants are assigned to the appropriate sector and sub-sector. A complete list of sectors and application and payment dates is available in Table 4 at: www.hsd.gov.bc.ca/gaming/docs/reference-tables-cgg-2010-2011.pdf.
 
BACKGROUNDER II
B.C. COMBINES DIRECT ACCESS AND BINGO AFFILIATION GRANTS
 
The Province provides gaming grants to eligible non-profit organizations to support programs and services that benefit British Columbians and their communities.
Effective April 1, 2010, two gaming grant programs – direct access and bingo affiliation – will merge into a single community gaming grants program. The change will ensure all organizations have fair and equitable access to gaming grant funds. In addition, the application process will be simpler and clearer.
Under the former structure, the two programs were administered separately, resulting in duplication and some groups having access to a greater pool of money than others.
 Transition Principles
Consolidating the two grant programs will not decrease any organization’s funding that is within the current funding limit of $100,000 per group or $250,000 for groups designated as provincial organizations. Decreased funding may result from an organization applying in a sector that is no longer eligible for funding or submitting an incomplete application.
The Province will honour written, multi-year commitments. Once an agreement expires, eligible groups will be moved to the community gaming grants program and may apply for single-year grants.
Until May 31, 2010, new applications will be accepted on existing forms. Revised forms for the consolidated community gaming grants will be available April 1, 2010, at www.hsd.gov.bc.ca/gaming/grants/index.htm.
Impact on Organizations
The consolidation will not affect groups that have previously received direct access grants; their application timelines and criteria will remain the same.
For organizations that previously received bingo affiliation grants:
  • The consolidation process may impact the timing of some grants.

  • Application criteria remain fundamentally the same. Organizations will fall into a new sector and payment schedule.

  • When a bingo affiliate is transitioned to the community gaming grants program, its eligibility for a grant will be considered according to the sector in which it applies.

  • Former bingo affiliates will not need to apply for a community gaming grant for at least one year. The Province will use information previously submitted by groups to distribute grants to eligible organizations in 2010-2011 and, in some cases, 2011-2012.
     
  • Organizations whose affiliation expires on or before March 31, 2011, do not need to apply for a grant until the appropriate period for their sector in fiscal 2011-2012. See application schedule available in Table 4 in the Reference Tables for 2010-2011 Community Gaming Grants at:www.hsd.gov.bc.ca/gaming/docs/reference-tables-cgg-2010-2011.pdf.
     
  • Organizations whose affiliation expires after March 31, 2011, do not need to apply for a grant until the appropriate period for their sector in fiscal 2012-2013. See application schedule available in Table 4 at: www.hsd.gov.bc.ca/gaming/docs/reference-tables-cgg-2010-2011.pdf.
     
  • If the move to the sector-based schedule leaves a group with a significant transitional funding issue, the Province may adjust the timing of the grant or provide an interim partial payment to help organizations on an individual basis.
A summary of the transition process for all groups is available in Table 3 at:www.hsd.gov.bc.ca/gaming/docs/reference-tables-cgg-2010-2011.pdf. 
Funding Limits
Under the consolidated community gaming grants program, funding limits remain the same:
  • Annual grants to a maximum of $100,000 may be approved for any combination of a community organization’s program costs and minor capital project costs.

  • Annual funding to a maximum of $250,000 may be approved for province-wide programs.
 
Parent Advisory Councils (PACs)
In the past, some PACs could apply for funding under both bingo affiliation and direct access while others could apply only for direct access grants. This resulted in differences in payment amounts and the timing of payments.
Under the community gaming grant program, all PACs that apply will receive the same amount of funding ($20 per student in 2010-2011) and will receive the funding in September.
This applies to all PACs that formerly received bingo affiliation funding, including those whose affiliations have not yet expired. 
 
Service Clubs
All service clubs will now be able to retain up to seven per cent of community gaming grants to cover their administrative costs. They may also make donations for medical equipment.
 
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