Laird Rankin, Chair of the Winnipeg Arts Council (CBC)
Ever wonder why some artists get funding and others don't? Those artists who don't, probably wonder the same thing. Well, now there is a new program in Winnipeg that will help artists learn the ins and outs of proposal writing among other things.
ArtsVest is a grant program designed to help bring together Winnipeg's cultural organizations with small and medium-sized businesses. One of the goals of ArtsVest is to broaden the business base of support to the arts.
"There are lots of companies in the city that do not support the arts, but if approached with a proper presentation, might come through," said Laird Rankin, chair of the Winnipeg Arts Council at the launch of the program Monday morning at the West End Cultural Centre.
The program will inject 300-thousand dollars over a two-year period in matching funds into the arts community. In Winnipeg the program will be delivered by the Winnipeg Arts Council with funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Winnpeg Foundation. The program is administered by Business for the Arts, a national association of business leaders who support the arts.
ArtsVest is aimed at smaller grassroots arts organizations that don't have the tools or the skills to go knock on that door. It'll offer arts groups the training they need to attract funders. Organizations will learn about proposal writing, pitching and developing relationships with businesses that wouldn't normally fund the arts.
"The reality is that our creative strength that built our community is also a very important part of our future. Businesses rely on creative minds. They rely on the strength of the arts and culture community," said Dave Angus, president of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.
Angus calls Winnipeg "the most creative centre in Canada" and emphasizes the business community knows it must invest in arts and culture.