This year, the Metro Vancouver regional authority distributed $100,000 in cultural grants to 23 arts organizations in the Lower Mainland, none of them in Langley.
Councillor Charlie Fox would like to know why.
Fox raised the issue during the Township council afternoon meeting on Monday, Nov. 4.
“I see a number of communities represented, but I don’t see Langley,” Fox said.
He was reacting to a Metro board report that shows money went to a variety of arts and cultural groups such as the Port Moody Arts Centre Society, which received $7,000, the Peninsula Productions Society, which received $2,500, and the Richmond Art Gallery Society, which received $5,000.
The Metro money is handed out every year to Lower Mainland arts and culture organizations for regional projects to “support research, creation, production, dissemination, audience development, project staff and/or administrative capacity building” according to the Metro website.
It appears Langley groups may have not been aware they could apply, according to Councillor Bob Long, who is one of four Township representatives on the Metro board (the others are Mayor Jack Froese and Councillors Grant Ward and Steve Ferguson).
Long said he sent an email to two local arts groups about the grants, who didn’t seem to be aware they were eligible.
“The boat did sail past us last year,” Long said.
The deadline for applications was 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 24.
In order to qualify for a grant of up to $10,000, the Metro website says an applicant must, among other things, “promote arts and culture as its primary purpose … provide public arts programs and services on an ongoing basis within Metro Vancouver [and] be a non-profit society, registered under the BC Society Act for at least two years.”
Projects are approved based on a variety of criteria, including “experience, qualifications and proven ability to carry out projects” as well as quality of programming, artistic goals and “relevance to arts and culture within the region.”