The Kimberley Arts Council – Centre 64 is getting $31,000 by way of a supplemental award through the Expanded Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement program, which is a one-time funding program for arts and culture organizations that have been impacted by the pandemic.
“Typically within any kind of arts community, arts and funding opportunities are an integral part to our being,” explained Arts Council president Lennan Delaney. “So, fortunately we had a lot of partnerships and a lot of stakeholders that want to see arts for the community of Kimberley and so, it’s not necessarily new engagements to get grants, rather than we’re just leaning on some of these partnerships and stakeholders to ensure the success of Centre 64 during these difficult times.”
This award was made available as part of the government’s StrongerBC: BC Economic Recovery Plan, with the relief funding being delivered by the BC Arts Council.
“The government of B.C. and British Columbia Arts Council, we have grown to know them in our past and they have been very helpful in various ways over the years,” Delaney said.
Throughout the pandemic, “modified operations” has been the name of the game, according to Delaney, adding it requires a certain amount of money to flow into Centre 64 in order to keep its doors open.
This comes from live music performances, festivals, artist galleries, summer camps, workshops and the various other programming they would typically host in a normal year.
“If we don’t have them, ultimately we’re in a place that says we’re risking a net deficit due to the pandemic,” Delaney said. “We’re risking the administrators that are on salary, we want to be able to retain them. These are all the things that the dollars or the grants or the allowances these are the things that allow us to sustain ourselves.”
This funding also affords the Arts Council better preparedness for long-term recovery. Any grants or funding they receive, in this case through the provincial government and its agency the BC Arts Council, buys them a little more time and helps to create a buffer which they can use to be able to explore creative ways to rebuild revenues and establish a more developed online presence.
“It allows us to pivot and consider what we could be doing differently during this time,” Delaney said. “How to access new revenue streams by online galleries, online performances, these are all things that are really important.”
Moving into a more online model still has costs, Delaney said, which aren’t always obviously apparent. There are fees for live-stream performances and recordings, for example. And when people are taking in these new forms of entertainment from the comfort of their own home, they’re usually paying a fraction of the price they would had they purchasing a ticket to go in person.
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“Those in-person costs, you imagine a ticket for live music, what we’re providing online as far as workshops and entertainment is a portion of the price, but there’s still costs associated,” Delaney said. “So that’s where grants and opportunities both on a municipal level, on the city level, on the provincial level, even on the federal level, that’s what’s keeping us afloat right now.”
Some of the funding they’ve received has allowed for the continuation of live music and Delaney said there will be a lot more online events. Afterwards, they should be recorded, meaning people can go back and listen to them on the Centre 64 website https://kimberleyarts.com/ for free, though there is a donation option.
There are also online galleries and art nights on the website as well.
Delaney said he and the rest of the Kimberley Arts Council are really grateful to the BC Arts Council and all funders who’ve come forward to support the arts.
“Oftentimes within arts and culture it can be a philosophical discussion around whether or not it’s an asset or if it’s just kind of an accent to a greater need that sometimes doesn’t get the funding that it’s deserving of,” he said. “It’s just really nice to see that there’s funding out that some people who care about seeing us through during a difficult time and then the behind the scenes stuff that people don’t really see.”