The City of Quesnel and the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) have committed $37,000 in the 2018 North Cariboo Recreation and Parks budget to support the work of the Quesnel and District Community Arts Council.
This annual funding allocation will enable the Arts Council to expand its efforts to promote, educate, communicate, and advocate for arts, heritage and culture in the Quesnel area.
The funding is part of a reallocation of resources in the North Cariboo Recreation and Parks budget to better support grassroots development of arts and culture in the community.
“The Arts Council has done excellent work in the community, but the absence of consistent, reliable funding has limited its ability to have as much impact as it would like,” says Mayor Bob Simpson, co-chair of the North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee (NCJPC).
“This funding will empower them to develop the arts in Quesnel at a grassroots level and can be used to leverage additional funding opportunities that aren’t available to the City and CRD.”
The City and CRD set aside funds in 2017 to update the feasibility study for a new performing arts theatre.
The request for proposals for the project closed on Nov. 22.
City and CRD staff, along with a representative of the Arts Council, are in the process of reviewing the proposals. It is expected that a contract will be awarded before the end of the year and public and stakeholder consultation will begin early in 2018.
“The previous feasibility study contains useful information, but it is outdated and needs to be updated to reflect current realities, community needs, and partnership opportunities,” explains Jerry Bruce, CRD Area B Director and NCJPC co-chair.
“I think it is important that we take the time to revisit the assumptions in this study and make certain that we move forward with a project that is well informed and reflects the needs of the community today.”
Says Quesnel and District Community Arts Council president Colleen Brines: “The funding provided by the City and CRD will strengthen the Arts Council and our member organizations and help us achieve our goal of promoting, educating, and advocating the arts.
“This funding, combined with the commitment to advance the Performing Arts Theatre concept, is very positive.”
She adds the Arts Council is looking forward to working with the consultant hired to update the Performing Arts Centre Feasibility Plan.