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Chair, Merla Beckerman's Message

Merla BeckermanOn behalf of the BC Arts Council, I want to say how fortunate we are to have such a dynamic, innovative and rich arts and cultural community in British Columbia. Our province has the highest number of artists per capita in Canada. These talented individuals and non-profit organizations create, develop, produce and showcase creativity and artistic practice in all disciplines. The arts enrich our daily lives and contribute to the vibrancy and health of our communities.

The BC Arts Council is an agency of the Province of British Columbia, established in 1995 through the Arts Council Act. With funding provided by the Province, Council plays an important role in the arts sector by providing neutral and transparent administration of grant funds. In 2013-14, the Province of British Columbia increased the BC Arts Council’s annual funding to $24 million, the highest budget in Council’s history. The Council is grateful to the Province for the annual funding that contributes to the long-term viability of the arts.

Since 2001, Council has distributed over $210 million supporting thousands of artists and arts and cultural organizations in communities throughout British Columbia. This funding supports Council’s mission is to engage all British Columbians in a healthy arts and cultural community that is recognized for its excellence. With strategic direction from an appointed 15-member board, representative of the regions and the artistic communities of British Columbia, Council is a powerful voice for the arts sector – connecting artists and arts organizations across disciplines and throughout communities in every region of the province.

Arts and culture are at the core of the Creative Economy. The BC Arts Council welcomes the announcement of a Creative Economy strategy and will continue to work with our government and community partners to support the stability and innovative nature of the arts community through the goals of the 2014-18 Strategic Plan.

As a Council we are privileged to work with British Columbia’s talented arts and cultural community, as well as community leaders who are committed to supporting and advancing the arts in British Columbia and showcasing our artists nationally and internationally. Together we can ensure arts are – and will remain – a strong core of our communities.