Alliance News / At Post-Budget Announcement Meeting, A Call for Visionary Advocacy

Featured In This Issue

  • At Post-Budget Announcement Meeting, A Call for Visionary Advocacy Strategy
  • Free Presentation on 2018 Gaming Grants on March 5
  • Calling All Freelancers: Urban Worker Project’s Skillshare Is Back
  • Hot Off the Blog: BC Cultures Seeks Ambassadors


At Post-Budget Announcement Meeting, A Call For Visionary Advocacy Strategy

The NDP Government’s just-announced increased investment to the BC Arts Council budget of $5 million annually over the next three years for a $15-million total investment is cause for celebration. As one participant asked at our post-budget announcement meeting yesterday: “Where’s the Champagne?”

But as others commented at the Celebrate or Demonstrate event—held in partnership with SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs, and attracting about 30 participants (including live streamers)—there’s much more advocacy work to be done by our community.

“This increase, while certainly not a doubling of the BC Arts Council budget, is a great start,” said Brenda Leadlay, executive director of the BC Alliance. “It speaks to the advocacy work we’ve done, but we must continue to work together to become an even stronger voice so that we can eventually get the increase we were promised.”

“We need a vision,” said Jessica Wadsworth, of Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists/West Chapter, adding that we must be clear how every investment dollar should be spent. Strong advocacy makes detailed demands; being vague is ineffective.

Leadlay suggested that, going forward, BC’s creative community should “strike a committee to create a visionary advocacy strategy for the arts sector.” This committee should reach across every single region of the province, both in rural and urban areas, and include underserved artists and arts organizations of every stripe, in order to itemize the ways more government investment in the arts is needed.

And this committee should “think big.”

“We should be asking for universal access to arts and culture because art is human right!” charged Kay Higgins, executive director at Unit/Pitt Projects. “We need to endorse real living wages for artists and cultural groups! We need to tell strong advocacy stories.”

Minister for Tourism, Arts & Culture Lisa Beare prepared a statement for the meeting, which Leadlay read aloud. “It is because of your years of work and dedication that budget 2018 will bring a needed and additional $5 million to the BC Arts Council Budget,” Beare, wrote. “I will continue to work hard for you, as an ally and champion of the arts, so that artists can afford to live in the communities that they work.”

By the end of the meeting, several people had agreed to join an advocacy group, which we’ve dubbed “A Committee to Develop A Visionary Advocacy Strategy.”  Please email Brenda Leadlay( to receive upcoming notices about the committee. And as Leadlay suggested at the meeting, please write your MLA (find your MLA contact information here) and copy Minister Beare, to thank them for the investment and to reiterate the importance of art in the lives of your community.


Free Presentation on 2018 Gaming Grants on March 5

Given changes to this year’s Gaming Grants, BC Alliance hosts a presentation on the Community Gaming Grants Program. Here are the details.

Community Gaming Grants Program – What’s New for 2018
Presented by: Mike Sherman, Outreach Manager, BC Gaming
Date: March 5, 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

Admission: Free (please register by emailing, with Gaming Grants as subject)
On an annual basis, the provincial government awards $140 million of gaming revenues through the Community Gaming Grants program to not-for-profit organizations. In this this two-hour presentation, Mike will provide a detailed explanation of the Community Gaming Grants Program Guidelines and answer any questions you may have about it that are specific to the arts and culture sector.

Facilitator Mike Sherman wants to hear from you in advance of this presentation. Do you have questions about the Gaming Grants that you’d like him to address? Please email them to


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