The Whistler Arts Council and the Whistler Theatre Project collectively will receive $37,000 in funding from ArtsNow, it was announced this week.
ArtsNow is part of the 2010 LegaciesNow Society and is committed to building creative communities throughout the province.
Doti Niedermayer, executive director for the Whistler Arts Council, was excited about the $12,000 grant the council will receive. The money will be used to hire a mentor to help develop a marketing and fundraising plan.
"The mentor will be there to guide us, so we can develop a plan that works. We will be evaluating our fundraising and marketing needs," said Niedermayer. "We have determined that the areas we need to move forward on are sponsorship and corporate partnerships."
The arts council hopes the grant money can help them diversify their funding sources, moving away from government funding towards sponsorship and earned revenue.
Zaib Shaikh, artistic producer and member of the Whistler Theatre Project hopes to start a cultural evolution in Whistler. "We are keen on establishing the first theatre company in Whistler," said Shaikh. "We hope to be an intrinsic part of the cultural fabric."
Shaikh says there is a shift underway in Whistler, from being just an outdoor recreation and vacation destination. The growing popularity of the Whistler Film Festival, arts and music as well as the childrens art festival give the arts community hope that arts and culture are growing attractions for tourists.
The $25,000 grant to the Whistler Theatre Project will be put to use for a sustainability plan. Shaikh stressed the importance of keeping culture alive before and after the 2010 Olympics. The hope is to have a sustainable theatre project.
"ArtNow is a key component for our founding season, it is a great declaration of support from a great granting society," said Shaikh.
ArtsNow and the 2010 LegaciesNow Society are committed to developing an on-going legacy in sport, recreation, arts, literacy and volunteerism that will be felt long after the 2010 Games. For more information on 2010 LegaciesNow visit www.2010legaciesnow.com