Three Richmond art organizations will receive a boost in funding from Metro Vancouver, which has doubled its arts grants this year because of COVID-19.
Of the 54 B.C. organizations benefiting from grant, the Richmond Art Gallery Association will receive $4,000 while the Richmond Arts Coalition and Richmond Gateway Theatre Society will each receive $5,000 from Metro Vancouver’s regional culture project grant program.
Funds are meant to help organizations research and produce new cultural programs, reach new audiences and cover project staffing and administrative needs, according to a Metro Vancouver statement.
The program originally offered $150,000 in grants. However, due to the impact of COVID-19 on the arts and culture sector, Metro Vancouver used a portion of its provincial Safe Restart funding to double the amount to $300,000.
“We saw record-setting demand for cultural grants in 2021, both in terms of the number of applications and how much funding was being requested,” said Sav Dhaliwal, Metro Vancouver board chair.
“Being able to award an additional $150,000 will help promote employment within creative sectors and enhance exposure to some of the most vibrant and artistic minds in our region.”
This year, Metro Vancouver received 106 applications from organizations seeking a total of $768,011 in funding.
In contrast, only 54 applications sought a total of $377,230 in funding in 2020, with 29 organizations eventually sharing $140,000 in grants.
Lisa Muri, chair of Metro Vancouver’s Regional Culture Committee, said the pandemic has had “disastrous impacts” in B.C.’s arts and culture sector.
“We are proud to support region-serving arts and cultural organizations who have shown resilience and creativity as they safely recover from such a challenging time,” said Muri.
“I am excited to see the many innovative and intriguing projects that we have supported come to fruition.”