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Changes to Arts funding via community grants in Sooke — 7 Comments

  1. Thank you Britt for compiling all this !! It is a crucial issue. And I was anxious to read Caryl Wilford’s reply but could not find it.

  2. Caryl, thank you for an informative, well conceived and passionate response that clearly indicates how local grants provided to the SCAC go back into our community in a number of ways – a win-win for all. Astute communities and cities alike have done in-depth analysis and reporting on the benefits arts groups generate on local business and it is very significant. The non-monetary gifts that the arts provide to it’s audiences are also key, as they open peoples’ minds, create new brain pathways, encourage problem-solving skills and indicate a society’s level of enrichment, amongst other things. Having donated thousands of volunteer hours myself over the years, it’s easy to imagine the many passionate, creative (and unsung) people whose cumulative input into the arts is massive in our community; A contribution that should be worthy of gratitude and respect from local businesses, government and patrons alike. Albert Einstein said “imagination is more important than knowledge” – he ought to know. Like the bumper sticker says, Art is not a Luxury! Hopefully our municipal government will continue to be savvy and gracious in funding local arts organizations like SCAC.

  3. While I can appreciate the challenges to administer and grant public monies. I am especially disappointed that the adjudication committee did not support the Sooke Community Arts Council. The small amount they have requested as noted above is MATCHED by the BC Arts Council. So in effect we are getting double the money to enhance our community via the arts. This is an important investment in our community for our local population and also for bringing tourists and community together via programming. It is a real shame that the importance of this work has not been recognized. I am not associated with this group but have enjoyed much of their programming, I support the regranting as it is essential to foster the development of art programs, art events, and activities that enhance our quality of life. What a short sighted move and loss for us all.

  4. If the municipality won’t directly fund the SCAC, could they indirectly manage donations, so that the matching grant could still be accessed? I’d happily add an optional fee to my property tax that gets doubled by the province and sent to the Sooke Community Arts Council for all their good work.

    Was the committee aware of the matching grant before making this recommendation? It seems a little daft that a community like Sooke would not support the Arts through a formal association of some kind (especially when it opens up matching grants from other levels of government).

    The “future economy”, which we are transitioning to right now is the “creative economy”. Sooke is well positioned to be a creative center of excellence – and it really is. To derail that strikes me as seriously lacking foresight.

  5. Funding of this type to such local, enterprising organizations should be increased, not decreased, in order to better the local economy and create more opportunities for residents who don’t want to commute into Victoria for work but would rather bike or walk to work.

    The issue is not just the spending of taxpayer’s money. Certainly, that activity should always be of concern and be subject to annual review and be looked at closely. However, the larger issue is the political will to seek additional sources of funding for Sooke. Taxpayer receipts is but one method to get “cash in the door” but there are others. One such method is to strategize and apply for a variety of Federal and Provincial grants funding; another is to approach foundations and family offices for specific projects. Another is the issuance of municipal bonds.

    Instead of fighting over the crumbs, Sooke’s organizations, government and residents should be strategizing and working together to make the pie bigger. By doing so the slices will be bigger. The answer is to increase the revenue side, not the cost side.

  6. It seems that Sooke’s Council instead chose to spend this money in Victoria — they are giving a small fortune to the new economic development association there, which is part of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce. Why should the people of Sooke be paying for that? How will it benefit them? I’d rather see the money go to the fine arts!

    Seemms the Council voted on this issue this week. This is probably where the Fine Arts Society money went.

    See http://www.timescolonist.com/business/region-wide-economic-development-gathers-steam-1.2123584

    Times Colonist article above….