04/16/2020 MLA Update – Support for the Arts

Artists bring vibrancy, joy, and culture to New Westminster. They help us feel connected – their work can have a huge impact on our Mental Health. Our community is home to hundreds of talented artists who fill our city with colour and wonder. From city murals to Farmer’s Market gems; from local musicians to the New Media Gallery – New West Artists reveal the beauty and meaning in our city.

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, we know that many artists are struggling – without venues to perform or spaces to sell their work. That’s why our government has taken steps to support our local arts and culture scene. If you have any questions about accessing these programs or other Provincial supports please contact my Constituency Office at 604-775-2101; or by email – Judy.Darcy.MLA@leg.bc.ca

My heart swells as I see our community come together to support each other through this difficult time. Remember to keep in touch with your neighbours, friends, and loved ones. Share stories and music. Let’s make sure we stay socially connected while we stay physically apart.

On that note, here is a wonderful cello performance by my colleague, MLA Nicholas Simmons with a special cameo from MLA Bob D’Eith – https://www.facebook.com/NicholasSimonsSunshineCoast/videos/234539071119986/

Take care,

Honourable Judy Darcy

MLA – New Westminster

Support for Local Artists:

Starting in April 2020, the BC Arts Council will provide operating clients a 50% advance on 2020-21 funding to help with their cash flow. We are also extending application deadlines, relaxing reporting requirements and allowing organizations to use funding to cover immediate needs like rent and utilities.

These actions build on our government’s COVID-19 Action Plan. The new BC Emergency Benefit for Workers allows people in the arts sector, who have had their income affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, to apply for a one-time payment of $1,000. Our government’s financial support plan includes several actions that arts organizations are eligible for, such as delaying tax filing and payment deadlines.

Support for the Musicians:

The B.C. government is partnering with Creative BC to launch Showcase BC. This new online hub brings a variety of live performances, entertainment and content to British Columbians, so they can stay connected while staying home.

BC Musicians will be eligible for micro grants – $500 to emerging artists and $2,000 to established artists – for livestreaming, songwriting and professional development. Creative BC will offer grants to all previously eligible Amplify BC applicants.

British Columbians can access all the grant performances for free through the Showcase BC website and get information on new livestream events by following the hashtag #ShowcaseBC on Twitter.

To bring people together, Premiere John Horgan will host a free livestream concert on Thursday, April 16th at 4:00pm featuring musicians from around British Columbia. People will be able to join in and watch the concert on Facebook, Twitter, and on Youtube.

Funding for Public Libraries to expand access at home:

Book lovers of all ages will soon have greater access to online learning and reading resources, thanks to a one-time $3-million government investment in public libraries.

Libraries can use this new funding to provide enhanced digital and connectivity services by expanding Wi-Fi capabilities, offering community digital literacy training, enhancing online library programs and purchasing technology, such as scanners, tablets, microphones, and cameras. Libraries will work together to deliver a province-wide collection of e-books, magazines, and other online services that people will be able to access with their library card.

Information for Arts and Culture Grant Recipients:

COVID-19 FAQs for Arts and Culture Grant Recipients & Applicants