Victoria arts groups seek gift from Santa

Slow economy, taxes and fewer grants hit the bottom line

  • Dec. 20, 2011 2:00 p.m.

Several small arts groups in Greater Victoria are asking Santa to help them out this year.

The economy, the HST and the loss of provincial gaming grants are putting the squeeze on local arts funding and those feeling the pinch got together to try and come up with a solution.

“I knew the situation Intrepid was facing and I heard rumours about others facing similar situations,” said Ian Case, Intrepid Theatre general manager.

“Most organizations are reticent about saying they’re in trouble, so I got them together in a closed room, told them it was a safe place and said ‘let’s get down to brass tacks.’”

The groups involved all have annual budgets under $1 million and include Intrepid Theatre, Theatre SKAM, Puente Theatre, Kaleidoscope Theatre, Ballet Victoria, Theatre Inconnu, Suddenly Dance Theatre, Story Theatre Company, MediaNet, Blue Bridge Repertory Company and The Other Guys Theatre Company. Most of the groups have been operating in Victoria for more than 20 years and have a combined budget of more than $3.6 million spent locally every year. Together they perform for audiences of nearly 160,000 a year and provide opportunities for youth to participate in the arts as audiences, artists and volunteers.

The combined budget shortfall they are facing comes close to $280,000.

“Virtually everybody is in the same situation. Some are slightly more dire, but everybody’s hurting,” said Case.

The group decided to approach the Victoria Foundation for help, meeting with CEO Sandra Richardson to look at options.

“We decided that we would try to find a ‘challenger,’ someone who would donate $50, $75, $100,000, that they would guarantee for the fund if others would step forward and support it,” said Case.

“We do our best to be a champion for the arts sector,” said Richardson.

If $280,000 could be raised it would create stability for the 11 arts organizations, and more would help guarantee their futures.

“It’s the season of giving and if someone is willing to step forward, it will make a huge difference to these organizations. It would be great if the arts community could have a good Christmas and a happy new year to look forward to,” Case said.

 

 

Just Posted

Remember Spunky? Santa came out to Sidney to check on him

Red-tailed Hawk made headlines last year after being stolen, raised by eagles

MISSING: 59-year-old Pamela Fletcher

Fletcher was last seen in the area near Royal Jubilee Hospital on Dec. 10

Mainroad South Island reminds drivers to keep them in the loop

Call the hotlines for concerns on local provincial highways

Hockey gear stolen from visiting team in Victoria

Banff midget team reported missing equipment on Dec. 14

Custom motorcycle and wood cutter stolen from Sooke motorcycle shop

2006 Husqvarna motorcycle and 2-ton log splitter taken from outbuilding

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Woman guilty of impaired driving in death of Vancouver Island pedestrian

Man in his 70s killed in 2016 Courtenay multi-vehicle incident

Most Read