BC Arts Council includes Wildfire Dragon Festival in recent round of grants

The BC Arts Council board has approved almost $3.578 million in grants to 143 artists and arts organizations in 52 communities across British Columbia, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Ida Chong announced last week.

Included in the grant distribution is the McLure Wildfire Monument Society who will be receiving $1,750 towards their July 23, 24, 2011, Wildfire Dragon Music and Art Festival in Louis Creek.

McLure Wildfire Monument Society president Jill Hayward said, “We are very appreciative of this grant from the B.C. Arts Council.  It is heartening to know that the Council has judged our music and art festival as worthy of their support. We hope to continue our event on an annual basis; bringing B.C. Interior music and art to our community in a safe and friendly environment.”

“Arts and culture play a vital role in the lives of families and communities across British Columbia,” Chong said. “We know that the arts enhance our quality of life, the vibrancy of our communities, and are an important economic driver for this province. I am proud of the vital role the BC Arts Council plays in supporting and fostering the arts.”

“B.C. is blessed with an abundance of talented artists and arts organizations, and the BC Arts Council is pleased to be able to provide funding to support their endeavours,” said council board chair Stan Hamilton. “The arts are a powerful force that helps us to understand who we are and who we can be, and with the ongoing support of the Province, the council is able to provide this creative sector with critical financial support.”

The funding is based on recommendations made through independent peer adjudication and covers a range of programs including professional development, touring, book publishing and visual arts.

This latest round also includes awards for capacity and sustainability, community and professional arts festivals programming, and innovations and commissioning — programs funded with support from the 2010 Sports and Arts Legacy. The Legacy builds on the success of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Cultural Olympiad by providing $30 million over three years to enhance opportunities in the arts for all British Columbians.

The BC Arts Council is the key arts development and funding agency in B.C. This independent organization has a legislative mandate to fund the arts across the province and to consult with the arts and cultural community to develop cultural policy and a long-term strategy for the development of the creative sector. A full list of grant recipients has been posted on the council’s website, www.bcartscouncil.ca.