$2.6 Million in Provincial Funding for Youth & Early Arts Career Initiatives

Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Coralee Oakes announced today the launch of two new government-funded BC Arts Council programs focused on providing opportunities for youth to take part in the arts and on early career initiatives in the creative sector.

These programs, Creative Youth Initiatives and Early Career Development, are part of the BC Creative Futures program, the BC government's strategy announced in January, 2013 to foster success in British Columbia's creative economy. BC Creative Futures promotes youth engagement with the arts to help prepare young British Columbians for careers in the arts and creative industries.

Creative Youth Initiatives ($2 million) will provide funding to arts and culture organizations in communities throughout the province to offer activities that help youth experience and participate in the arts. The following three programs make up Creative Youth Initiatives: 

  • BC Arts Council (BCAC) Youth Engagement Pilot Program - $1.6 million

Cultural organizations can apply for funding to provide opportunities to create art work for, by and with young people. Eligible applicants include recent recipients of BCAC grants, as well as incorporated arts and culture organizations mandated to provide quality arts experiences for children and youth. Click here for Youth Engagement Pilot Program application deadlines and more information. 

  • Community Presenter Youth Engagement Pilot Program - $200,000

Youth will enjoy greater access to the arts through this program to help cultural organizations remove barriers to participation. The BC Touring Council, a non-profit that helps arts and culture organizations present professional arts performances in their communities, will implement the program in partnership with BCAC. Application deadline: February 28, 2014.  Click here for more information. 

  • Aboriginal Youth Engaged in the Arts - $200,000

Aboriginal youth and artists interact through workshops, mentorships and youth engagement projects. First Peoples' Cultural Council, a provincial Crown corporation mandated to assist First Nations in revitalizing their languages, arts and cultures, will implement the program in partnership with the BC Arts Council. Click here for information on Aboriginal Youth Engaged in the Arts (website indicates more info will be available online on Tuesday, December 10).

Early Career Development Program ($600,000) focuses on career opportunities for recent graduates and young professionals seeking employment in the arts. Professionals under age 30 or with less than five years' experience can apply for assistance to build careers in the arts or arts administration. The program includes opportunities for residencies, internships or mentorships. Application deadline: January 20, 2014.  Click here for more information on the Early Career Development Program.


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