As you are probably aware, the Review of Community Gaming Grants in BC has been announced and is underway.
We urge our members and supporters to send in written submissions and/or sign up to make oral presentations to the Chair of the review, Skip Triplett.
The deadline for submissions has not yet been announced, nor has the schedule for oral presentations at the time of this writing. This should not been seen as an excuse for delay in making your submission.
The Alliance's submission, which we share here as a template or guideline to be used at your discretion, is a broad one, and attempts to make some general recommendations as summarized below.
Whatever changes and recommendations are made should follow the spirit and social contract with British Columbians, that a significant portion of revenues from government gaming, be allocated to the charitable and non-profit sector.
Our overarching recommendation is that the government of the Province of British Columbia recognizes the original and inherent right that non-profits have to gaming receipts:
- We recommend that out of the total amount allocated for gaming grants, a known set percentage be earmarked specifically for Arts and Cultural organizations and programs;
- We recommend that a stable formula for allocation of funds, that makes sense today, be adopted and that the spirit of the 1999 Memorandum of Agreement with the BCACG be respected;
- We strongly urge that eligibility criteria be re-expanded to include those organizations previously eligible, specifically professional and adult-based organizations and programs;
- We support the practice of multi-year funding which reduces the workload for staff as well as providing necessary stability and capacity to non-profits and charities so they may effectively plan and function;
- We recommend that the current staff and administrators that allocate gaming grants be at an arms-length relationship to government and that models such as exist in Alberta, Ontario, and other provinces be explored;
- We suggest that the process of developing and adjudicating grants be informed by the expertise of those working in the sector and that models of advisory peer panels be explored;
- We support a more streamlined application and reporting process for gaming grants.
In drafting your own submission consider the Alberta Gaming Review document of 2003 (Alberta remits $323 million to charitable purposes of its gaming revenues). Note how they referenced the terms of the Criminal Code and the legalization of gambling for charitable purposes.
Review all their recommendations, as this may give a sense of how Mr. Triplett will approach the review.
It is hoped that submissions from our members and other arts and cultural organizations will allow the chair to understand the diversity of organizations and programs that have received funding through Gaming grants in the past as well as presently.
Tell your own story about the work you do and the contribution your organization and programs make to your community.
Please study the Terms of Reference for the review carefully and try to keep to addressing these areas in your submission.
Keep it as simple as possible.
Amir Ali Alibhai
Alliance for Arts and Culture