Calgary

Calgary arts organizations receive $2M injection from city council

City council has voted to give 10 Calgary arts organizations a one-time injection of $2 million.

Money is bridge financing to help organizations weather tough economic times

Arts organizations in Calgary received a $2 million funding boost from city council on Monday to help get them through the economic downturn. (Brian Harder)

City council has voted to give 10 Calgary arts organizations a one-time injection of $2 million.

The money is designed to help them get through the economic downturn.

Many arts organizations — including Theatre Calgary and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra — have seen their fundraising and tickets sales drop substantially in the past couple of years, largely due to the economic downturn.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said this bridge funding will ensure the organizations can survive until their revenues recover.

City officials will also be looking at the amount of money set aside for arts organizations annually, and whether it is adequate.

"So I think council made exactly the right decision today," said Nenshi.

"Really the bridge funding is about getting people through this, while we think about whether we need to increase the funding in the long-term.

"If they come with a request for another $1 million or $2 million annually, that's something council could consider. It's a big number, but it's not a giant number in council's budget."

With files from James Young