The Great Thaw

It’s a strange time of year to be excited about a thaw, but that’s exactly what is on the minds and tongues of many Vancouver theatre organizations.  Some time ago, the BC government put a freeze on $159 million dollars worth of Direct Access Gaming grants in order to undertake a “comprehensive review.”

Translated this means that many arts and culture organizations that had been promised money, including those who were awaiting a second installment of a multi-year grant, were frozen out.  Money that was due to be paid out in April was still locked up last week.

But, the thaw has come so we can all breathe easy.  The money is coming.  Right?

“Like other jurisdictions around the world, our government is facing unprecedented economic times that require some difficult decisions,” a ministry representative wrote in an e-mail to the Richmond News.

Social Development Minister Rich Coleman says “cheques are being sent but he warns grant priorities may have to be overhauled — and he says some applicants won’t receive their entire request, while others may get nothing at all.” (CBC reporting via Pierre Rivard)

So we are not out of the woods yet.  And as no information has been released regarding the results of this time-consuming review, the future is precarious at best.

The question we must now ask is, what will become of Vancouver theatre if the Gaming money gets played somewhere else?

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