On November 9, Prince George & District Community Arts Council executive director Sean Farrell made a presentation to the Prince George City Council requesting a funding increase for arts and cultural groups as well as multi-year funding agreements for major cultural organizations with annual cost of living increases.
The first part of Farrell's presentation enumerated the issues facing the Arts Council and its facility, Studio 2880, including the physical wear of age, the challenge of engaging younger and diverse audiences, diminishing traffic and consumers, and the dilution of arts funding. The second part of the presentation to City Council illustrated the cases of other arts organizations within Prince George, including Theatre Northwest, Prince George Symphony Orchestra and the Coldsnap Festival.
Pursuant to this, Farrell presented a four-point request:
- That the City of Prince George increase funds allocated to social development under the priority of "Cultural Richness";
- That the City of Prince George provide five year funding agreements to major arts and culture organizations;
- That the City of Prince George provide for an annual cost of living increase of 2.5-3.0% per year in the multi-year funding agreements;
- That the City of Prince George invites the Community Arts Council to participate in the development of a master plan for Prince George cultural programs and cultural facilities.
The request received a unanimous motion of support by City Council and is to be reviewed by city staff.
"Over the past few months there has been a dedicated effort in Prince George to organize and consolidate advocacy efforts amongst our arts and culture organizations," Farrell told the Alliance. "This process has shown us that we have great strength and confidence when attempting to first understand, and then address, the issues facing our sector. I believe we have shown our local government that there is a new level of sophistication driving how we envision the role of arts and culture in community building."
The Prince George & District Community Arts Council is currently conducting a crowdfunding campaign to raise much-needed funds for Studio 2880. Learn more here.