We have received the following e-mail from Minister Chong today, April 18.
Thank you for your recent correspondence enquiring about a reported “$3 million in unallocated arts funding.”
In 2011/12, the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development was able to meet its commitments to support artists and arts organizations through the BC Arts Council (BCAC) by providing funding of $16.831 million. After meeting those commitments, the Ministry was given access to approximately $3 million remaining to support arts and culture projects that are not generally funded by BCAC. As is often the case, the Ministry receives funding requests throughout the year and they always exceed the total amount available.
After careful review and consideration, all available 2011/12 funds have now been committed for expenditure by the end of the fiscal year, March 31, 2012. With the support of Ministry staff, we have allocated the available funds to projects throughout the province.
A complete list of the funded projects will be found in the Public Accounts of the British Columbia Legislature at: www.leg.bc.ca/cmt/39thparl/session-4/pac/index.htm. This information should be available online in early July.
The Province of British Columbia is proud to have demonstrated our commitment to the arts by providing artists, and arts and culture organizations, with more than $53 million in 2011/12, including maintaining the Council’s funding at $16.831 million. Since 2001, the Province has invested $2.6 billion in arts and culture infrastructure programs, grants to artists and arts organizations, tax credits and other supports. Recently, despite the global economic turmoil of the past few years, the Province has continued to support the arts at near historic levels, including adding $15 million to the base funding for gaming grants to raise the total to $135 million per year.
Thank you again for writing to express your interest in arts and culture in British Columbia.
Ida Chong, FCGA
Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development