Funding for arts and cultural development in Whistler got a big boost last week with the Community Foundation of Whistler announcing a donation of $65,000 to create an Arts and Culture Legacy Fund.
The CFOW will make an annual grant from the investment earnings of the fund to the Whistler Arts Council. The Arts Council will then decide, through its advisory committee, how to allocate the grant. It could be used for general operations of the Arts Council or to provide bursaries to other qualifying non-profit arts organizations for suitable programs and activities.
The new fund, one of 23 managed by the CFOW, was created with $40,000 donated by the Whistler-Blackcomb Foundation, from its annual golf tournament, and $25,000 from the Whistler Centre for Business and the Arts. The Whistler Centre for Business and the Arts is a charitable education and arts society that was active during the 1990s.
And the $65,000 used to create the Arts and Culture Legacy Fund may be just the beginning. Funds raised for the Arts and Culture Legacy Fund will qualify for matched endowment funding up to a maximum of $100,000 from each of the federal and provincial governments. Anne Popma, chair of the Whistler Arts Council board and former president of the Whistler Centre for Business and the Arts, said: "We are hoping to raise another $35,000 by the end of November to make the most of this years matching opportunities. However, the opportunities do not stop at the end of the year. We will continue working towards future growth of the fund, and encourage the community to participate in our goal of having a million dollar fund by 2010. This would truly be a wonderful legacy of cultural opportunities provided by the Games."
The annual investment earnings on a million-dollar Arts and Culture Legacy Fund would provide a substantial, sustainable source of funding for the arts in the Sea to Sky corridor.
A formal process for grant applications and criteria will be announced by the Whistler Arts Council in the new year.
Founded in 1999, the Community Foundation of Whistler currently manages 23 funds which total over $2.12 million. The investment earnings on funds donated by residents, businesses and other charities are directed to projects that help improve the quality of community life in the Sea to Sky corridor.