News

BC Arts Service Organizations Letter

December 21, 2021Honourable John HorganPremier of British ColumbiaHonourable Melanie MarkMinistry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sport CC: Brian Jonker Executive Director, Arts and Culture, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Dear Premier Horgan and Minister…

December 21, 2021
Honourable John Horgan
Premier of British Columbia
Honourable Melanie Mark
Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sport

CC: Brian Jonker Executive Director, Arts and Culture, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture

Dear Premier Horgan and Minister Mark,

We are submitting this letter on behalf of British Columbia’s Arts Service Organizations (ASOs). As a group, we collectively represent the majority of the tens of thousands of arts, culture, heritage organizations, and music venues, hundreds of cultural businesses, consultants and independent practitioners, as well as the hundreds of thousands of professional artists, cultural practitioners, and volunteers in every corner of the province – a sector that has an annual impact of $7.9 billion on British Columbia’s gross domestic product. We want to thank you for the leadership that the Province of BC has shown in prioritizing support for arts, culture, and heritage during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your government’s support has been an essential lifeline allowing organizations and individuals to weather a series of unprecedented storms.

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STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

As contemporary arts institutions, we must recognize our capacity to provide visibility for narratives that have been erased and overturned.  In light of the recent escalation in violence against the Palestinian people, and the exposed…

As contemporary arts institutions, we must recognize our capacity to provide visibility for narratives that have been erased and overturned. 

In light of the recent escalation in violence against the Palestinian people, and the exposed ongoing oppression, displacement and apartheid of the Palestinian people, we’d like to express solidarity and support for the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, justice and representation. We condemn the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories, and the ongoing violence which continues to dispossess individuals of their agency and human rights, including access to their rightful homes, medical and cultural infrastructure, and the most basic necessities for living. The recent escalation of events has exposed the deeply rooted settler colonial violence of the occupying state which centres a zionist narrative that has, unfortunately, convinced many of its right to be supported on religious principal, yet sits in stark contrast to the moral teachings of any democracy or religion. 

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Open Letter to Premier Horgan

Over 50 employers have signed an open letter to Premier Horgan, asking the BC government to take immediate action to ensure every worker in British Columbia has access to paid sick leave — during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Dear Premier Horgan, 

We represent a diverse range of employers: large and small, for-profit and non-profit, across many sectors – from architecture firms to yoga studios. Together, we have over 4,500 employees.

We support your recent announcement to look at introducing paid sick leave, and we encourage you to take urgent, immediate action to ensure every worker in British Columbia has access to paid sick leave — during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

53% of BC workers do not get any paid sick leave at their jobs. For workers earning less than $30,000 (who are disproportionately women and people of colour) that figure rises to 89%.

We’re encouraged that the BC government agrees that nobody should have to choose between staying home when they’re sick and putting food on the table. We’re all safer from infectious disease — COVID, influenza and many others — when sick workers can stay home and help keep their coworkers and the public safe. Read More

Reframing the Arts – A Letter to Minister Guilbeault

A letter to Minister Guilbeault put together by the ASO roundtable led by Alliance for the Arts signed by 54 representatives from arts, culture and heritage organizations in BC and across Canada requesting that professional community-engaged arts be given the necessary support it deserves to play an important role in the well-being of Canadian society.

Reframing the Arts
May 7, 2021

Dear Minister Guilbeault,

We are writing today to thank you and the Government for the significant investments made in Budget 2021 for arts and culture. These investments will have a rippling effect on the sector’s recovery and provide a much-needed boost to the funding programs at Canadian Heritage.

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SEARA FUND INITIATIVE UPDATE 

An update on the SEARA Initiative Fund, an initiative started by the Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres which looks to galvanize sectoral efforts and deliver financial support to BC-based BIPOC Artists currently facing financial hardship.

The Sector Equity for Anti-Racism in the Arts (SEARA) is an initiative started by the Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres which looks to galvanize sectoral efforts and deliver financial support to BC-based BIPOC Artists currently facing financial hardship.

Summer 2020 in the wake of COVID-19, the Black Lives Matter movement, ongoing fight to uphold Indigenous rights and land recognition, prompted arts organizations across North America to publicly address systemic racism. The Sector Equity for Anti-Racism in the Arts (SEARA) is an initiative started by the Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres in response to the current precarity of financial need. PAARC, BC Arts Service Organizations, and other sector leaders called for mutual aid and accountability in the arts. To simultaneously provide COVID-19 support and point to the inadequacies of current arts-funding models, SEARA looks to galvanize sectoral efforts and deliver financial support to BC-based BIPOC Artists currently facing financial hardship. SEARA is led by a BIPOC majority steering committee in the creation and development of the fund.

To date, SEARA raised over $300K across 104 organizations, the general public, and government entities. PAARC continues to support SEARA as their financial lead in handling the outgoing transactions for the initiative while Vancity Foundation and the BC Arts Council seek to support donations and granting cheques.

SEARA FUND INITIATIVE UPDATE 

April 24th, 2021 SEARA mailed out 150 cheques for Round 1 of successful applicants. SEARA has committed to prioritizing funding for those who demonstrated the most significant health and financial challenges. Round 1 applicants reflected this criteria. They are wrapping up Round 2 and all applicants will have heard from SEARA by the end of May. 

 

Media Contact
Zandi Dandizette, President, PAARC, 778-835-9819 or info@paarc.ca

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