Four arts groups win contracts

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Four local arts groups have been awarded funds from the Oliver Community Arts Council (OCAC) to supply public arts programming in the

2013-14 season.  Contracted Service Agreements permit groups to function as an “arm” of the arts council by providing public artistic events  in accordance with the OCAC mandate.

The Oliver Sagebrushers  was awarded a contract to run two weeks of “Art and Gardening” during August 2013. The lessons will be open to both children and adults.

The South Okanagan Concert Society was granted an award to assist with their upcoming concert series: Bergmann Duo (piano), Musica Intima (vocal ensemble) , Khac Chi (bamboo instrumentalists), and Ken Lavigne (tenor).

The Sage Valley Voices Community Choir received funding for their Christmas Concerts, December 7 – 8, 2013.

The Friends of the Oliver Library successfully applied for financial assistance for their 2014 Summer Reading Program for Children, specifically, to hire a professional magician to entertain participants at one event.

The maximum amount an applicant can request is $500. The award is based on adherence to the OCAC constitutional mandate, meritorious programming, and demonstrated financial need. All applicants were successful this year, receiving full funding for the amounts they each requested.

The next round of Contracted Service Agreements (CSAs) will be evaluated next year, in June 2014 for programming from Sept 2014 – August 2015. CSA applications are always available for downloading from the OCAC website ( on the “Forms” page. Deadline: June 1 of each year.

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: