As many of you know, the Culture Plan was imperiled by the budget cuts and the hiring freeze put forward by the City of Vancouver. We are pleased to announce that amendments to the 2009 City budget have been passed by Council during their recent deliberations that allow the Cultural Services to go ahead with certain aspects of the Culture Plan. Many thanks go out to City Council for acknowledging the extraordinary need for arts and culture during this time of economic upheaval, and to our members and supporters who wrote letters and contacted City Council about this issue. The amendments include:
1. Public Education workshops - $35,000
- This fund is used to build capacity in the creative sector for creating performance and studio spaces.
2. Build a business case for an incubation hub for the creative industries (similar to ArtScape in Toronto) - $50,000
- This fund will be used to identify opportunities and seek funding partners for a non-profit cultural space which will assist new and emerging creative professionals.
3. Funding to complete work on a new arms-length arts council - $20,000
- This will support a process which includes a Creative City workshop focused on arts councils. A wide variety of input will be sought by a third-party organizer/facilitator, and a third-party recommendation will be made to Council in June, 2009.
Total funding from the 2009 operating budget = $115,000 In addition, Council will proceed with hiring two cultural planners;
- the 'cultural concierge', who will provide a critical link between the creative sector and City Hall, and
- a planner who will focus on assisting artists and venue managers to create performance and work spaces that have been identified as key gaps in Vancouver - work which has been identified as a very high priority by a wide representation of the creative sector.
These planners are funded out of the Capital Plan, so will have no impact on the 2009 Operating Budget.