Two Budgets: Looking at the Bright Side
The heritage community had been greatly anticipating the release of the provincial and federal budgets (February 20 and 28, respectively), as they were widely expected to contain some good news for the sector.
But, despite two Standing Committees highlighting the heritage sector with clear recommendations for increased support, the budgets did not deliver as expected.
While this is disappointing, there were some key gains.
The provincial budget sets aside $50 million in funding to First Peoples’ Cultural Council to support the revitalization of Indigenous languages. We applaud the province’s leadership in recognizing the importance of Indigenous languages and what that means to the heritage of Indigenous peoples.
As anticipated, the BC Arts Council budget will benefit from a multi-year funding increase. While it is not yet known how the funds will be allocated, we urge BCAC to improve stability for BCMA and the museum sector with increased access to funds.
The National Trust for Canada characterizes the 2018 Federal Budget as a “missed opportunity”. Among other topics, the budget is silent on renewed funding for Parks Canada’s National Cost-Sharing Program for Heritage Places, which appears to be falling back to the previous $1 million per year (from $20M), leaving National Historic Sites, lighthouses, and railway stations at risk.
Yes, there are many missed opportunities, but it is important to recognize some of the hidden gains.
First, we applaud BC’s heritage sector for ‘stepping up to the plate’ in raising awareness of the issues. Across the country, BC has been particularly visible and we thank everyone who spoke with and wrote emails to their MLAs and MPs.
Second, heritage is now on the agenda. As mentioned, two Standing Committees have recognized the need in the heritage sector by developing clear recommendations for solutions. This is something to celebrate.
We may not have reaped the benefit of the recommendations yet, but Heritage BC will continue to work with our members and provincial and national partners to keep the recommendations at the forefront and to realize their implementation.
Selected Grant Deadlines
Columbia Basin Trust: Heritage, Museum and Archive Grants; deadline March 9, 2018 (link)
Columbia Basin Trust: Built Heritage Grants; deadline March 16, 2108 (link)
Community Gaming Grants: INTAKE PERIODS HAVE CHANGED (link)
Heritage Legacy Fund: intake and deadline dates to be announced (link)
Discover other funding opportunities on our website.