Surrey is receiving $235,227 in the latest round of BC Arts Council grants from the provincial government.
The programs aims to create new programs that will “encourage more inclusivity and accessibility in the creative sector,” according to a government caucus media release, “including those that support emerging Indigenous artists.”
The Arts Council of Surrey will receive $33,000 in grants, the Surrey Art Gallery, $96,000, Now or Never Publishing, $29,241, Surrey Museum and Archives, $32,480, Semiahmoo Arts Society, $23,406, Selkirk Concert Society, $7,000.
Individuals receiving arts, creative writing or professional development grants are Jeff Beamish, $6,000, Agamdeep Darshi, $3,600 and Chelsea DesLauriers, $4,500.
Rachna Singh, NDP MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers, said the importance of supporting local artists and related organizations “cannot be overemphasized.
“We recognize the immense value these arts organizations bring to our community in Surrey,” she said.
Surrey-Newton NDP MLA Harry Bains said the provincial government “recognizes that all citizens benefit when our arts and culture sector has the resources it needs to thrive. I’m very happy that these grants are going to organizations that make such important contributions to the cultural life of our city.”
The provincial government’s Budget 2019 earmarked $15 million over the next three years to the BC Arts Council, which will bring its annual budget in 2019-20 to $34 million.
Last year, the Now or Never Publishing Company in Surrey received $54,582, the Surrey Art Gallery, $236,000 and Surrey Museum and Archives, $60,480. The Arts Council of Surrey received $57,000, and the Semiahmoo Arts Society received $52,647. The Selkirk Concert Society received $7,000, Jeff Beamish received $6,000, Agamdeep Darshi, $3,600, and Chelsea Deslauriers, $4,500, Simon Johnston $6,500, the Vancouver Tagore Society (Surrey) received $2,318 and Latinos in Action Vancouver Foundation (Surrey) received $3,097.
All told, Surrey BC Arts Council grants recipients in Surrey received $493,724 in 2018.