Two non-profit cultural associations on the Sunshine Coast receive grants

Two southern Sunshine Coast nonprofits — Deer Crossing The Art Farm in Gibsons and the Roberts Creek Community Association — will use part of the $151,202 in grants announced Thursday.

New arts funding announced this week by the BC government will benefit four organizations on the Sunshine Coast that are taking steps to welcome new audiences and expand their capacity.

Two southern Sunshine Coast nonprofits — Deer Crossing The Art Farm in Gibsons and the Roberts Creek Community Association — will use part of the $151,202 in grants announced Thursday by Nicholas Simons, MP for Powell River-Sunshine Coast.

Two Powell River organizations — the Powell River Council for Arts and Culture and the Powell River Film Society — are also recipients.

“People on the Sunshine Coast are proud of our local arts and culture scene and want to see it continue to thrive,” Simons said. “These grants will help preserve and enhance our arts spaces, so we can enjoy them for years to come.”

Provincially, the BC government has committed $4 million in grants this year to 84 arts and culture organizations through its Arts Infrastructure Program. The program provides grants to arts and culture organizations to develop and enhance spaces that support BC arts and culture practitioners.

Deer Crossing The Art Farm executive director Chad Hershler said $70,000 earmarked for the Art Farm will improve the accessibility of its five-acre facility, allowing for more collaborative projects involving people with mobility impairments and disabilities. dementia.

“We also collaborated with elders and knowledge carriers,” Herschler said. “As these projects unfold and we invite collaborators into our space, we recognize that we need to make improvements to really make it as safe and efficient a space as possible.”

Plans are underway to improve pathways, lighting, ramps and outdoor patios to allow wheelchair access.

Among other ongoing projects, the Art Farm is currently collaborating with The Good Samaritan Society Christenson Village and Douglas College to organize pop-up studios for people with dementia to share their stories and engage with the community.

“We sincerely try to lean as much as possible toward genuine collaboration,” Hershler said. “And we know that’s inevitably a bit more complicated process. That means things can take a bit longer for languages ​​to be translated in the different worlds we inhabit.”

The Roberts Creek Community Association received $37,257 to upgrade the sound system and lighting, supplementing the newly renovated Roberts Creek Hall with portable equipment to enhance community celebrations and rental opportunities.

“This will allow us to fund the purchase of LED light fixtures that are less of a fire hazard and can be programmed and controlled from the ground,” said Sarah Bradley, president of the Roberts Creek Community Association. Audio equipment was ordered locally from MELOmania, a music store and school located in the Creek Mall.

Roberts Creek Hall was built in 1934 through volunteer labor and fundraising.

“We’re really, really focused on making it last another 100 years,” Bradley said, “and being able to have dances, Santa in the Creek and Creek Daze, and all that community-building stuff that’s going on. spend there, while supporting small vendors like Curry in the Creek who works in the kitchen there.

Karen Spicer, vice president of the association, said the room was booked 90% of the time before the pandemic.

“Roberts Creek Community Association’s free outdoor musical series, Slow Sundays, draws dozens of locals and tourists every Sunday afternoon from June through September,” Spicer said. “This series serves as a cultural and economic lifeline for many local artists. Many of these artists, especially emerging artists, depend on live performances to grow their art, generate fans, and earn income.”

The audio-visual equipment will complete a major kitchen and bathroom modernization project in the Hall, including the installation of a full commercial kitchen, a gender-neutral bathroom and other additions.

According to an official press release, 50% of grants from the BC government’s latest arts infrastructure funding round went to organizations in rural or remote communities or those “community-led or rooted in communities.” indigenous and deserving of equity”.

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