To support the recovery of B.C.’s live music sector, the provincial government last Wednesday, May 18, announced $2.5 million in funding towards Amplify BC program.
And, for the local arts and culture scene, it means more live music events, said Megan Dykeman, MLA for Langley-East.
Locally, the funding will support five music and live production companies, with Red Door Events Inc. receiving $50,000 out of the total $113,742.24 released.
Through live music operational support stream, Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival will receive $7,500 in addition to $40,000, which the society will receive through live music regular intake stream.
Through the same program, Langley’s Halide Digital will welcome $6,242.24.
Sonreign Media will receive $6,000 through the music company development operational support stream, and Bez Arts Club is expected to receive a funding of $4,000 in total via the live music operational support stream.
“Festivals and events companies have done a great job at adapting to changing restrictions over the past few years, and I know that this year, the whole community will be thrilled to be back together for more in-person performances and gatherings,” said Dykeman.
“Amplify BC recognizes the importance of these events and this funding will help artists, festivals, and production companies across the province continue to bring world-class entertainment to people here in British Columbia,” she added.
For Karen Zukas, co-founder and executive director of Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival, the funding is an essential support as it provides opportunities for musicians to connect with new audiences, helps contribute to the recovery of the music industry, and provides economic benefits and exposure to Langley community.
“CreativeBC funding has helped us to continue to bring the highest calibre of jazz music and arts programming to music lovers, while also allowing us to provide the most extensive line-up of free and headlining acts in the history of the festival,” Zukas elaborated.
While the funding is “good news” for music lovers, entertainment industry veteran Ellie King said it would do “very” little to advance the arts in general in Langley.
King, the managing artistic director at the Royal Canadian Theatre Company, feels professional theatre in Langley has been neglected for years.
“This [the funding] will change nothing as far as bringing professional theatre to Langley is concerned where we still – after all these many years – have no performing arts centre.”
King, who moved to Langley in the mid 1980s, said she has been advocating for a performing arts centre ever since.
With a lack of “fine theatre facilities,” King fears people would come to Langley and the region would never become a space for emerging theatre companies to grow.
“Music is only one discipline of many in the arts, and while it is a step in the right direction to fund music here, it does nothing at all for any of the other disciplines,” King concluded.
Announcing the funding details, Melanie Mark, minister of tourism, arts, culture and sport, said, “as we emerge from the pandemic, our government recognizes that it is essential to strengthen B.C.’s music industry and to expand opportunities for people who work in this sector.”
She added that the $2.5 million funding supplements the $22.5 million, which the government has already delivered in the past three years.
“I’m excited that our government is delivering these programs,” said Bob D’Eith, parliamentary secretary for arts and film.
“Government recognizes the many ways that people in B.C.’s creative sector contribute to the health, prosperity and resilience of our province, and we are committed to supporting their success.”
For more information about Amplify BC programs, people can visit https://www.creativebc.com/programs/amplify-bc.
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