Young performers got another boost last week as the Cowichan Valley Performing Arts Foundation announced it was awarding $9,100 in bursaries to 19 talented folks.
That brings the foundation’s totals for 2016 to just over $15,700 in financial assistance awarded to 34 children and youth.
Foundation president and founding member Olivia Boudreau explained how it all works.
“There are far fewer funding opportunities for children in performing arts as compared to sports. Cutbacks in school music and arts programs have reduced the opportunities for kids even further and families have to balance numerous demands on household income, especially at this time of year,” she said when the awards were presented Dec. 19.
The Foundation aims to support Cowichan kids, 18 years and under, in all areas of the region. Since its inception, CVPAF bursaries have been awarded to a broad spectrum of performing art students.
These include preschoolers registering for introductory classes, all the way to accomplished teens, some of whom are competing at very high levels and representing Cowichan at provincial and national events.
Boudreau and the group are delighted to be able to help but pointed out that more is always needed.
“We have some remarkable and highly deserving performers in Cowichan; however, demand continues to exceed our financial resources,” said Boudreau, adding that the total amount requested for this latest round of funding was nearly $14,000.
“We are exceptionally grateful for the continued support of the Cowichan Valley Regional District, City of Duncan, Municipality of North Cowichan, the Downtown Duncan Business Improvement Association, local businesses including Peninsula Co-op and Unsworth Winery, and all of our private donors as we endeavor to grow and strengthen our organization.”
The CVPAF was formed in 2012 to give hard-pressed local families a hand up over financial barriers to their children’s participation in performing arts. The foundation helps fund activities such as lessons in music of various sorts, dance, acting, musical theatre, and band. Bursaries for travel and conference fees are also available for students wishing to further their education.