February 03, 2015 - 7:26 PM
KELOWNA - If there was an elephant in the room, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addressed it directly.
“A lot of times people think ‘there goes the city spending money on culture’ without having the complete picture of what creative culture does for our community,” said the Mayor, as council received a report outlining $180,000 in grants to an array of local arts and cultural organizations. “Arts and culture are an economic generator.”
Cultural services manager Sandra Kochan told council Kelowna taxpayers backstop some local cultural groups in three ways; through professional arts operating grants, operating grants and individual project grants.
This year the cultural services department recommended the same professional arts grant as last year for the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art ($25,000) Okanagan Sypmphony Society ($55,000) and Kelowna Ballet Society ($30,000).
Kochan is recommending the city spend another $179,000 on 15 operating grants totaling $109,000 and $70,000 for another 15 project grants.
The recipients are as diverse as the Cool Arts Society ($2,000 project grant for strategic planning) to the Ponderosa Spinners and Weavers ($1,000 operating grant to foster the fibre arts) to the Okanagan Pride Society ($8,000 project grant for Pride Festival in the Park).
Festivals Kelowna, another city initiative backed with taxpayer’s money, is considered separately in the city’s overall budget. The festival budget this year is $256,000, a $7,500 increase from last year.
Kochan told council the grants and recipients were recommended by the Central Okanagan Foundation which conducts a rigorous due diligence on program applicants on behalf of the city.
Council approved the grant requests for the professional arts grants and will consider the balance of the grants at a later date.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015