People and communities get inspired, connected through the arts

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More people will have the opportunity to enjoy B.C.’s community festivals and visual artists, thanks to an increase in BC Arts Council grants.

“Arts and culture connect, challenge and inspire us. They make our communities vibrant and resilient, creating great places to live and raise families,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Through our increased investment in the BC Arts Council, we are working to enrich our neighbourhoods, improve peoples’ lives and attract even more visitors to B.C.”

More than $1.5 million in provincial funding will be distributed through 191 grants in the latest round of funding administered by the BC Arts Council. This includes 102 grants to support community festivals (up from 77 last year). As well, there was an increase in grants to individual artists through the Visual Arts Awards program.

The announcement took place in Oak Bay, in honour of former mayor Nils Jensen — a champion for the arts before his recent death. The Mayors’ Arts Legacy Fund supports many arts related events in Oak Bay throughout the year.

“This is great news. I applaud the government’s continual support for artists in this province,” said Kevin Murdoch, mayor of Oak Bay. “In Oak Bay, we take great pride in the artistic excellence present in our community. It is good to know that this increased investment in the BC Arts Council will help open more doors to greater participation in the arts throughout B.C.”

The BC Arts Council, an agency of the provincial government, provides grant funding for arts and culture throughout the province. Funding by the council is administered through a peer review adjudication process. Grant recipients represent a diverse group of artists and arts organizations, including Indigenous groups, scholarship students and community arts councils.

“We are pleased to be able to increase the number of awards distributed to artists and cultural organizations in this round of latest grants,” said Susan Jackson, chair of the BC Arts Council. “These grants are opening up new opportunities for B.C. artists and contributing to their success in today’s creative sector.”

Quick Facts:

  • Budget 2019 invests an additional $15 million over the next three years to BC Arts Council, bringing its annual budget to $34 million in 2019-20.
  • Budget 2019 invests an additional $5 million annually into the council, bringing its total budget to $34 million in 2019-20, up from $24 million in 2017-18 and $29 million in 2018-19. The council had previously not had an increase in its budget since 2013.
  • Grants in this latest round of funding were awarded under three main programs:
    • Community Festivals: supporting B.C.’s community-based arts and cultural organizations to produce a local community arts festival.
    • Visual Arts Awards: supporting professional visual artists, craft artists and independent critics and curators to create specific projects or new works.
    • Youth Engagement Program: supporting innovative and inspiring approaches to engage British Columbia’s young people in professional arts and cultural programming offered through arts organizations.

Learn More:

For a full list of BC Arts Council Grant recipients, visit:

For more information about the BC Arts Council and to apply for grants, visit: