Displays and programming have continued at the Vernon Public Art Gallery despite pandemic restrictions. (Lianne Viau file photo)

Support keeps North Okanagan art groups’ lights on

Despite pandemic restrictions, art gallery and others sustaining the storm

Restrictions have failed to curb creativity among local arts organizations weathering the storm.

To help arts and culture organizations adjust their businesses while adhering to provincial health orders, the BC Arts Council expanded resilience supplements to help pay for operating costs, like rent and utilities, paying artists and protecting or restoring jobs, such as theatre technicians, production designers or arts administrators.

For example, the Vernon Public Art Gallery is using its supplement to keep its doors open to the public and employ its regular staff by offsetting the gallery’s lost revenue.

“As an organization that welcomes the public into our gallery, the closure challenged us to be creative and find innovative ways to serve the community,” executive director Dauna Kennedy said. “During these uncertain times, the funding from the BC Arts Council is helping us to expand our reach into the homes of people who are unable to visit in person while providing the necessary funding to keep the gallery open with health and safety protocols in place.”

READ MORE: Travelling art kit a hit in North Okanagan schools

Other local 2020 grants recipients include:

  • Enderby and District Arts Council =
  • Okanagan Symphony Society
  • Caravan Farm Theatre
  • Greater Vernon Museum and Archives
  • Arts Council of the North Okanagan
  • Caetani Cultural Centre Society
  • Caravan Farm Theatre
  • Greater Vernon Museum and Archives
  • Historic O’Keefe Ranch
  • Lake Country Art Gallery
  • Monashee Arts Council
  • OACME
  • Sqilxw Apna
  • Runaway Moon Theatre Arts Society (Grindrod)
  • Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre Society

Scholarships worth $6,000 were awarded to Marie Belanger and Sierra Shaw.

A $1,500 microgrant was also awarded to Amanda Shatzko, who helped develop the Isolate and Create website in April 2020.

“Our government values the arts as part of our economic recovery, and we’re here to help them weather the storm,” said Melanie Mark, minister of tourism, arts, culture and sport. “I know this funding comes at a critical time and will help sustain the sector until we can all gather to enjoy arts and culture again.”

READ MORE: WATCH: Young talent on display in Vernon Music School’s virtual orchestra


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