The Bulkley Valley Community Arts Council (BVCAC) is a long standing democratic organization constituted to increase awareness of and access to the arts for residents of the Bulkley Valley. Established in 1980, the BVCAC serves the area from Houston to Hazelton, along the Highway 16 corridor, and the towns of Houston, Telkwa, Smithers, and Moricetown. The population in this area stands at approximately 22,000.
The BVCAC is pleased that through its member groups, it is able to broadly serve the arts community. The Arts Council is not a group dedicated to any specific style of artistic endeavor nor to any specific artistic constituency. The Arts Council supports and encourages the arts in all fields, regardless of age, religion, sex or ethnic origin.
The Arts Council receives its money through fundraising, membership fees, and government grants. An important part of this is the grant it receives from the Town of Smithers, which qualifies the Arts Council to receive a matching grant from the provincial government.
Most of the Arts Council budget is used for "start up" costs for new members, community art projects costs and awards and granting programs. Applications from groups are carefully evaluated with an eye to need, community benefit, degree of activity, and other criteria set forth in our policies. Further, the Arts Council provides seed money and limited deficit interest free financing for arts presentations by non-profit groups, allowing them to undertake projects of greater risk than they could otherwise manage.
The Arts Council expedites capital arts projects. For example, the Council was an instrumental agent in expediting the Community Piano project, in which many community groups worked together to purchase a high quality portable electronic piano. It is now offered at low rental rates to arts groups in the community, and is managed by an Arts Council member. A bass guitar has now been added to the rental program.
The Council provides subsidized liability insurance for its members.
The Arts Council has an ongoing award program for graduating high school students going on to advanced post-secondary study in the arts.
The BVCAC acts as a mediator and coordinator among arts groups; through centralizing such things as events scheduling, the Arts Council helps to ensure that no group will invest in a project that fails because of scheduling conflicts.
The Council occasionally gives special grants to individuals or groups who require small amounts of money for special arts-related education opportunities or presentations. Such grants are always small and carefully applied with an eye to providing permanent benefit to the community.
The BVCAC acts as a clearing house for arts-related information from outside the community. As the first point of contact for outside arts agencies, (schools, performing groups, juried arts shows, funding organizations), the Arts Council is able to collect and disseminate this information through the arts community where it can do the most good.
The BVCAC stands as a group dedicated to furthering the arts in the community, and by making the most of its small budget, it significantly enhances the cultural life of the community.
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