Poetry Gabriola cut $20,000 by province of BC


It's official - our festival budget has been cut by $20,000 

Yes, on the day after the BC arts community received the good news that the BC gov't would be restoring a portion of funding to the BC Arts Council, Poetry Gabriola received the official word that we will lose the $20,000 community gaming funding that has supported our infrastructure for the past three years. This was hardly a surprise, as all arts funding (with the exception of some programs dedicated to youth and children) has been cut from the community gaming program (formerly Direct Access).

What we do find completely BIZARRE, however, is the fine print. There is a sub-section under the Arts & Culture granting program that distributes grants to "Fairs, Festivals, and Museums". Eligible festivals include "fall fairs, rural fairs, and cowboy days" while Ineligible festivals include "Performing arts festivals, storytelling festivals, media and visual arts festivals".

So the provincial Arts & Culture section of community gaming has systematically excised all actual artistic endeavor - performing arts, literary arts, visual and media arts festivals -  from its eligibility criteria, but is still willing to fund "cowboy days".

Anyone who knows me knows I have nothing against cowboys.  (Really. I  learned to throw a diamond hitch over a set of pack boxes when I was sixteen. In fact, some of my best friends are cowboys.)

But as one of our board directors asked after reviewing the guidelines, " So ...this government only funds festivals in which animals are harmed?"

Yeah, animals and artists.

To check out this wacko eligibility criteria, go to http://www.hsd.gov.bc.ca/gaming/grants/community-gaming.htm and click the pdf link under "eligibility criteria summary"