Local arts, culture and heritage groups looking for that extra financial boost next year can apply for up to $1,000 in funding from the Whistler Arts Council (WAC) thanks to their annual Member Group Grants.
The grants are open to all arts council members and are intended to assist local groups and organizations get one step closer to their programming and project goals.
“The whole point is for us to enable to help other groups do some of their own programming and facilitate that in the community by giving them a bit of assistance,” said WAC executive director Doti Niedermayer. “When we look around and go ‘Look there’s an amazing group that does this job so much better than we do, let’s help them do that job,’ we want that arts discipline or area get developed and it’s being developed by a group of people who are really passionate about that arts discipline and are really qualified experts.”
The grants come out of the WAC’s annual budget and range from $400 to $1,000 for projects that will take place in the 2014 calendar year. The total amount of grants awarded will be $2,500. Niedermayer recognized the grants were a small contribution, but said they should help local grassroots organizations attract funding from outside sources as well.
“What we’re hoping is it gives them a leg up to do some programming and it also helps to leverage their ability to get other money elsewhere,” she said. “When you get municipal or provincial support for your projects, it’s easier to leverage and get federal support or sponsorships.”
Both The Whistler Film Festival and The Whistler Readers and Writers Festival have received member grants in years past, and Neidermayer said that money has helped those events attract other funding and grow into signature events in the resort. It’s also helped support smaller community organizations, she said, where several hundred dollars can make all of the difference.
“I think we’ve really helped sustain some of the smaller (groups) like the (Whistler) Children’s Chorus and the (Whistler) Quilt Guild by giving them a bit of money to keep having experts come in and give workshops,” she said. “Even a little bit of cash can be the difference between having an event and not having an event or program.”
Potential projects to be selected for funding include professional development workshops, assistance with programming and productions, art exhibitions, the purchase of sheet music and other project-related costs such as venue and equipment rentals or artist, director and facilitator fees.
Priority will be given to established non-profit organizations, but unincorporated groups are also encouraged to apply.
Applications are available at www.artswhistler.com and are due by Sept. 18.