The Gabriola Arts Council (GAC) is pursuing an annual Regional District tax contribution of $50,000. The council is one of the few community arts councils in British Columbia that does not receive regional district and/or municipal operating funds. GAC hopes that by securing the funding, they will be able to bring their funding in line with other arts councils in BC and continue operating successfully.
While GAC has been successful at attracting both private and public funding, many government funding agencies will only match local government funds. Without this source of support, GAC is often ineligible for specific grants and programs (and therefore unable to bring new money to the community), and unable to leverage that funding into additional financial support.
GAC is proposing an increased property tax to residents of Gabriola Island. Based on current property values (with average house price estimated at $333,000), a $50,000 allocation to GAC will cost $4.40 per $100,000 of property value. In light of this, GAC has stressed its commitment to being responsible with these funds, and ensuring that there is clear community benefit.
The process has two key steps: a petition which GAC will circulate in August requiring 800 signatures, and a referendum question on the ballot at the October 2018 election.
For more information on this campaign, click here.