Message from the Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture to the British Columbia arts and culture sector regarding COVID-19.
I want to start by thanking you for your leadership in this unprecedented situation. I know you are all working in extremely difficult and quickly-changing circumstances. The impacts of COVID-19 to the arts and culture sector will be significant and are already being felt.
During these trying times, I want to reassure you that the entire provincial government is working around the clock to protect people’s health and to mitigate impacts to people’s livelihoods. The priority continues to be on delaying, containing and preparing the province to minimize serious illness and economic disruption.
I’ve been in regular contact with arts and culture leaders and my federal counterparts to ensure they are aware of what is happening here in B.C. The federal government has assured us that there will be support for British Columbians who have been impacted by COVID-19.
We are also working on ways to support businesses and organizations affected the most by the restrictions on travel and gatherings. I am speaking with my Cabinet colleagues daily so they are well informed of impacts to people and businesses in the arts and culture sector.
I know artists and arts and culture organizations are already feeling the impact of cancellations and postponements. These are especially difficult circumstances for independent artists as well as organizations who depend on ticket sales. We are working with the federal government on plans to help support you while these restrictions are in place. But we are also looking ahead to when COVID-19 has passed, so that you can be ready to reopen your doors and share your incredible talents with people at a time when they may need it most. The latest information specific to the arts and culture sector is available through the BC Arts Council.
The government’s priority continues to be on delaying, containing and preparing the province to minimize serious illness and economic disruption. We must all do our part to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and I ask that you all follow the advice of the provincial health officer.
Finally, I want to take a moment to acknowledge that this is a stressful time for everyone. I encourage you all to take care of yourselves, your families and your friends during the difficult days ahead.
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, responsible for Sport