A $12,000 grant has been denied to the local arts community.
On Monday, City Council held a council meeting discussing local issues and concerns. One such issue was the granting of an additional $12,000 in support of the Fort St. Johns local arts community.
Standing before the city council, was Sonja Butts, a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Margaret Cavers May, Chair of Peace River North Festival Association and Aleisha Hendry, Director of the Fort St. John Arts Council.
The women explained in a thorough, well organized manner, the reason behind this specific request. Some issues addressed included government cuts, the increase of commercial rental rates, the poor economic climate and a lack of results with regards to fundraising.
As a non-profit organization, the Arts Council relies heavily on volunteers and fundraising. Unfortunately, these methods of monetary income are unreliable and the council is suffering heavily.
It was evident that City Council cared deeply with regards to this issue. They often expressed great appreciation for the local arts community and discussed this issue meticulously, going over all possible situations in which the request could be granted.
Unfortunately, the request for the grant had to be denied; as such a grant was not in the city’s budget. Another major factor in this decision was the issue of fairness. City Council receives multiple requests for grants, totaling the sum of money requested to over $1,000,000. If the Arts Council was awarded their requested amount, Council would feel obliged to reward all groups who request monetary grants with their desired amount.
Rather, City Council thought a more productive solution is to work together with the Arts Council, in order to help improve their monetary situation in order to preserve the beloved arts community of Fort St. John.