The BC Arts Council acknowledges the profound moment we are currently experiencing; as we collectively navigate the impacts of COVID-19, we are being called upon to also acknowledge and dismantle the racism, violence, and inequities that exist in our society and our sector. We also acknowledge that inaction from any of us is a form of complicity.
The BC Arts Council is committed to confronting the systemic racism that Black, racialized, and Indigenous members of our communities face. As the Government’s key development and funding agency for the arts, the BC Arts Council’s strategic plan clearly identifies Indigenous Arts & Culture and Equity, Diversity & Access as priorities.
Taking our lead from Indigenous artists, organizations, and communities, and respecting the principle of self-determination, we are committed to decolonization and reconciliation.
We have committed to improving access to our programs and building principles of equity and diversity throughout the organization at every level to better support meaningful and genuine forms of engagement, through collaboration and co-creation with underserved communities.
To address and end racism means that those in positions of privilege must listen, reflect, and take appropriate action. To end and address racism demands leadership from those in leadership positions.
This includes implementing actions such as targeted programs and the allocation of appropriate resources.
We must improve how we listen to and serve equity-seeking communities. We must continue our work to create funding strategies to better serve historically underfunded groups.
We must make our processes more accessible, our programs more responsive to the diversity of this province, and our work more reflective of the realities of contemporary B.C.
We will listen. We will reflect. We will learn from those who are leading the way in the sector and work in partnership to make the necessary change.
We will be publicly accountable. Later this year, we will report on our progress in meeting our priorities for equity, diversity, access and Indigenous arts and culture, and the work we have left to do. As we report on our work, we welcome your feedback on what we’ve achieved and what we can do better.