Kelowna city council has agreed to divvy up $140,000 in professional operating grants between four local arts organizations—the Okanagan Symphony, Kelowna Ballet, the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art and Bumbershoot Children’s Theatre.
Council approved the annual allocation at its meeting Monday.
The city’s cultural service manager Sandra Kochen said new guidelines were approved for the annual grants last year in anticipation of new organizations entering the program. But for 2017, not substantive changes were made.
A city staff report called for the OSO to get $62,000 this year, Kelowna Ballet to get $36,000, the Alternator $26,000 and Bumbershoot $16,000. The allocations are the same as they were in 2016.
The grants provide what the city calls consistent and reliable annual support for professional, established, non-profit arts and cultural organizations in the city, groups that “deliver impactful, quality programs and services, demonstrate sustainable operations and contribute to the realization of the city’s cultural vision, principles and goals.”
In order to quality, an eligible organization must be at least five years old, have professional and artistic leadership, a proven record of delivering quality artistic programs in the community, an annual cash budget of at least $200,000 and an active board of directors. Professional artistic contributors must be compensated at standard rates.
In addition, council also approved another $179,300 in general operating and project cultural grants for another 30 groups, with $114,300 of that going to 17 cultural organizations in the form of operating grants and another $65,000 going to 13 groups as project grants.
The program grants include $10,000 in incentive grants for Canada 150 initiatives to help mark the country’s 150th anniversary this year.
Mayor Colin Basran praised the organizations getting the grants,saying in many cases they are lead by people the city is lucky yo have.
“These people could be anywhere in the world doing what they are doing here, but they have chosen to be in Kelowna,” said Basran.
He added, the work of groups like Opera Kelowna, the OSO and Ballet Kelowna also help “raise the bar” for the arts in the city.