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Funding available to local artists and culture groups

Even though it was “under subscribed,” City council will once again let the Cultural Development Commission advise on the allocation of up to 35 per cent of the Columbia Basin Trust’s Community Initiative funding this year.

Last year over $40,000 was distributed, helping to create a stable funding base to sustain Nelson’s arts community. The deadline for submitting project proposal applications is March 7.

“This allows the CDC to oversee a process whereby an independent jury of local arts, culture & heritage professionals adjudicate the applications, a process we consider both objective and informed,” said City councilor and CDC board member Donna Macdonald.

The pilot project in 2010 saw the CDC undertake the allotment of money to the arts, culture and heritage sector, establishing criteria to identify areas such as cultural tourism, public art and art infrastructure projects.

Using an independent jury, the CDC forwarded their recommendations to council.

The resolution in 2010 meant a maximum of $42,300 was available for allocation through the CDC.

The CDC’s decisions will once again be forwarded to City council for review. The process concludes at the Regional District of Central Kootenay board meeting when the regional district directors consider all of the recommended projects.

For more information, contact Angela Lund at the RDCK at 352-6665 or Applications can be downloaded from

For more information about the CDC’s role, contact Joy Barrett, cultural development officer, at 354-9169 or


According to letter to council from CDC chair Stephanie Fischer, the under subscribing was due to a number of factors, including: a lack of lead time between the announcement and the deadline for the applications; unclear advertising and guidelines from the RDCK; arts organizations no longer have paid staff and were unable to apply.

All applications made to the CDC — with the exception of two — were eligible for and received funding. Unallocated funding was returned to the City to be distributed to other community projects.

It is expected the CDC will be assessing the CBT funding allocation for 2011 under the policy of ensuring priority is given to those projects that “best align with the City’s sustainability and downtown waterfront master plans.”