Valley reaps artsVest windfall

Business for the Arts, is contributing $27,800 in matching funds to help arts and culture in the Cowichan Valley.

The Valley’s windfall is as follows: $7,500 for the Cowichan Valley Arts Council, $5,000 for the Cowichan Symphony Society, $2,800 for the South Island Musical Theatre Society, $2,500 for the Visions Art Tour Society, plus $2,000 each for the Arts Council of Ladysmith and District, the Chemainus Crofton Community Schools Association, the Duncan-Cowichan Festival Society and the Kaatza Art Group, with $1,000 going to the Cowichan Intercultural Festival of Film and Art Society, and $500 each to the Art House Collective and Creative Folk of Cowichan Lake. Ted Rhodes of the Cowichan Symphony Society said he’s delighted to see this financial assistance for his group, which has struggled in recent years as audiences for symphony performances fall off and costs increase.

“And this is only a beginning,” he said. “They’ve promised us $5,000. We’re hoping that will turn into $10,000.”

As for artsVest itself, the prospects are great, according to Nichole Anderson, president and CEO of Business for the Arts.

“We are thrilled to welcome 82 arts, culture and heritage organizations to the artsVest program in five regions in B.C.,” she said. “We look forward to celebrating the program’s community impact and the successful partnerships between arts, culture and heritage organizations and local businesses in the coming year.” The countrywide goals of arts-Vest are to leverage public sector dollars to build partnerships with the arts community; stimulate new business investment in the arts; train arts and cultural organizations to approach the business sector with a partnership plan; activate municipal cultural plans and build local cultural assets; and showcase what is possible when business invests in the arts.