We recently saw an announcement
which might be of benefit to your organization. In case you missed it, The
Government of Canada has committed the
Government of Canada committed $15 million ($4 million in Ontario alone) to
help support the safe reopening of arts, culture, heritage, and sport sectors through
the “Making Cultural Spaces Safe During COVID-19 Initiative”.
This project-based funding is
for initiatives that upgrade space to permit safe reopening while following
relevant public health guidelines related to COVID-19.
There are two tiers of
projects: Grants up to $150,000; and Contributions up to $300,000
It should be noted that Projects
must be substantially completely by March 31, 2022
For so many of us, the past 18 months has included great
hardship. The stress of imperfect information, the rollercoaster ride of the
pandemic waves, the inability to spend in person time with friends and family
and, for many, severe financial hardship.Just as we seem to be getting past the worst of it and we are starting
to reopen, there is hope. As of this writing, 88% of eligible Canadians have
received at least their first dose of an approved vaccine. For me personally, I
have had the great fortune to join the OAF just as the darkest Covid-19 days
seem to be behind us.
In the past few weeks, I have had the wonderful opportunity
of attending a few arts events. While
gaining admittance was reminiscent of boarding an airplane, and the capacities
were dramatically reduced, it was delightful to be able participate in person
rather than on a screen. I have been awed by the ability of these groups to
pick up where they left off – seemingly without any impact from the long break.
While we can see the light at the end of the tunnel getting
brighter, there is still much to deal with. We don’t know quite what a “new
normal” might look like and there is a lot of lost ground to try and cover. In
times like these, art, is all its forms, is more important than ever. We need
to life our spirits, expand our horizons, and come together again as family,
friends, neighbours and as communities. We have a lot of work to do! I’m
pleased to be able to play a role in this community and I look forward to
working with you.
Recovering from the pandemic
February 17, 2021
Hard to believe, we can actually turn our thoughts to these four words…..”Recovering from the pandemic”.
The environment for arts and culture remains grim and cloudy, the level of federal support through income support programs has allowed many arts organizations to sustain their core operations and keep key staff with them. Often that means people are multi-tasking in their jobs, but I’ve learned that goes with the trade – arts managers typically do a little of everything. It has allowed the sector to pause and think – how will we return to performing – be it virtual, be it outdoors and importantly how will it look when performance venues can re-open. There is a strong role for provincial arts and culture support to take shape, and we hope the government will do this in the next year.
I came across an interesting post from Ludwig van Toronto – “ How Do We Help Cultural Industries Recover From the Pandemic?” It is a short but inspiring read, on some of the positive thinking going on, and how arts and culture are actively re-imagining their world. We will continue to monitor the sector, what’s happening at government levels and maintain dialogue with arts organizations – partnering, sharing current ‘best practices’ is more important than ever.