Assembly of BC Arts Councils announces new name, new mandate

The Assembly of BC Arts Councils, the apolitical advocate for arts groups in BC,  assists our local arts council  by providing modest funding for Arts and Culture Week events every year, and by hosting an annual conference for arts councils providing training in arts programming and organizational management. Today (March 17) the Assembly of BC Arts councils announced it is changing its name to Arts BC,  and in the process has expanded its mandate.  Here’s the Arts BC press release:

Advocacy, resources and community. These three words encompass a new mandate and a strengthened commitment from ArtsBC to support the arts and culture sector in British Columbia.

Building on its history as an apolitical advocate, the Assembly of BC Arts Councils has not only changed its name to ArtsBC, but has expanded its mandate to reach more cultural groups, individual artists, business associations and stakeholders with a vested interest in the health of arts and culture in BC, as well as the economic impact of the sector.

 “For more than 30 years, the Assembly has been a voice for cultural organizations, focusing on a membership driven by community arts councils around BC,” says Joan Richoz, President. “It was time for some introspection about our role, and after a thoughtful planning process, the future for the Assembly became clear. We need to reach out to everyone in the province who plays a role in arts and culture, and work together to build upon our collective strengths.”

Along with the new name — ArtsBC — comes a new brand, a new website with greater functionality, and the establishment of connections through social media channels. As well, membership will expand to include associate members such as business improvement associations, individuals and students, in addition to arts organizations.

“Our members have access to a number of benefits, but more importantly, will have the opportunity to connect with each other and collaborate,” says ArtsBC President, Joan Richoz.

A stronger direction for ArtsBC means focussing on core services, and the organization is committed to “ARC”: advocacy, resources and community. ArtsBC will continue to advocate on behalf of BC’s arts and cultural sector; its most recent advocacy efforts resulted in the Spirit Festivals Program, distributing more than $1 million to BC’s arts and cultural sector. Forty-nine Spirit Festivals were held around the province through February.

Resources are a key component of the reborn organization, and ArtsBC will provide education and training opportunities, as well collect and collate research and publications on behalf of and for its members.

Community building will take place virtually through new online channels, as well as in person at the annual conference, which takes place each spring. The 2011 conference is scheduled for April 29 to May 1 in Richmond, BC.

 “We recognize that the cultural sector in BC has had challenges, but with challenges comes opportunity,” says President, Joan Richoz. “ArtsBC is an opportunity for people and organizations across the province to come together in support of arts and culture.”

Visit their new website for information on resources and advocacy for arts councils, and community links: