A donation of $10,000 has made by Whistler Real Estate Company to the Whistler Arts Council. The donation makes Whistler Real Estate the arts council’s first corporate partner.
"Artistic development is an important part of the soul of every resort community I have ever visited," said WRE Company President Pat Kelly in a written statement.
"Being able to assist in providing the opportunities to develop an enjoyable and complementary set of arts and cultural activities and events that will be uniquely Whistler and be of benefit to both locals and visitors alike is something all of us at Whistler Real Estate are very proud of."
The sponsorship connects the Whistler Real Estate Company to the entire arts council organization and not just specific events, meaning the company’s name will be associated on all levels said Whistler Arts Council Executive Director Doti Niedermayer.
The partnership agreement, added Niedermayer, will allow the organization to focus more energy on producing "bigger and better" events as opposed to acquiring funding contributions for the events.
Niedermayer deemed corporate patronage for the arts "indispensable" in the current political and economic climate.
"Government funding gets cut every year," she said. "Without corporate sponsorship, (arts) organizations would basically die. Without corporate sponsorship there is no arts.
"In the States the corporate sponsorships are much, much higher than they are in Canada. They get bigger tax cuts. So the government actually encourages companies to sponsor the arts by giving them bigger tax breaks, where as in Canada we don’t do that and hopefully, eventually we will."
A volunteer-run organization for over two decades, the Whistler Arts Council hired its first staff member two years ago. The organization will be hosting its annual general meeting on Thursday, March 11, during which new board members will be elected by the membership to two-year terms.
"The arts really needs to position itself in Whistler for 2010," said Niedermayer. "It’s such a crucial time to get people on board who are going to drive this organization into the future. So we’re really looking for some board members that have some experience and have the passion and the vision to move forward.
"It’s a whole new era."
For more information on the Whistler Arts Council call 604-935-8419 or go to www.whistlerartscouncil.com.