ProArt Newsletter June 26, 2013


The Arts Summit 2013 was held June 21 and 22 at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre in Vancouver.  Peter Sandmark, Ivan Habel and Jason Dubois, from ProArt, attended. The two day conference worked towards a cultural policy framework for BC, anticipating a year-long process that will reconvene in 2014 with a draft document for discussion and adoption. About 150 people attended, listening to many presentations, notably from New Brunswick music professor Richard Hornsby, who spoke about his experience as one of the architects of New Brunswick’s Cultural Policy, and Richard Evans, former co-director of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Advancement Program, and Vice President of the National Arts Stabilization Fund, who spoke about a new era for the arts, leaving behind the old one structured for growth, where the new era is structured for resilience, as arts organisations need to be adaptive to operating in complex systems, with partnerships, and community engagement.  More info on the summit can be found at
The new Minister for Community, Sport and Cultural Development is Liberal MLA Coralee Oakes, elected in the Cariboo North riding.  Oakes has served as Executive Director of the Quesnel & District Chamber of Commerce since 1999,  and served also as a representative on the provincial Small Business Roundtable and Minister’s Council on Tourism.  Minister Oakes is a past-president of the British Columbia Chamber Executives.  ProArt welcomed the new Minister in a June 14th letter, writing that ProArt “…looks forward to working with you and the government in continuing to secure a strong and stable future for the arts sector, so that we can continue to play our role in building and strengthening social development across all of BC.”
On June 18th, at PoArt’s Annual General Meeting a new Executive was elected: Ivan Habel (BelfryTheatre), Helen Marzolf (Open Space), Patrick Corrigan (Pacific Opera Victoria),  Brian Richmond (Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre), Matthew Payne (Theatre SKAM), and Jason Dubois (Dance Victoria). The new Executive will be meeting July 5th to set priorities.  Please email suggestions and comments to Peter Sandmark,
Vancouver based Touchstone Theatre is seeking a new General Manager to start in September, 2013, with a deadline for applications this Friday, June 28.  For full details see below:


Touchstone Theatre is looking to hire a General Manager. Reporting to the Board of Directors and working closely with the Artistic Director and support staff, the General Manager plays a key role in the administrative and managerial direction of the company. Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Fundraising, including cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individuals, corporations, foundations
  • Marketing Touchstone’s shows, season and for-profit training programme
  • Supervising show-related departments including Box Office, Production and Volunteer Co-ordination
  • Negotiating with and contracting the self-employed personnel of the organization
  • With the Artistic Director, ensuring compliance with collective agreements
  • Hiring and supervising all part-time, full-time and seasonal employees in consultation with the

    Artistic Director.
    The ideal candidate will be independent, resourceful, and passionate about theatre, with the following skills:

    • University degree in arts administration or commensurate experience
    • Strong management experience in office systems, budgeting and finance
    • Excellent communication skills (both written and oral)
    • Familiarity with the Vancouver and Canadian performing arts community and the Canadian Theatre Agreement
    • Ability to multi-task and work independently, without direct supervision
    • Enthusiasm for a collaborative work environment and partnership-building

      – Developing and managing the budget and cash flow of the organisation

      – Together with Artistic Director, applying for Municipal, Provincial and Federal grants

      For over 35 years Touchstone Theatre has been a mainstay of theatrical innovation and excellence on the West Coast. The company’s all-Canadian mandate has helped launch and develop some of the country’s most important playwrights and actors, and its substantial body of work has garnered over 60 local and national awards. Now in its fourth decade of production Touchstone remains a lightning rod of theatrical activity. Its purely Canadian focus makes it unique in its region, and its reputation for excellence has earned the respect of audience, critics and colleagues.


      Deadline for applications: Friday June 28, 2013

      Start Date: early September, 2013
      Salary commensurate with experience
      Please submit a letter of application and a resume to:


The next meeting for the ProArt member organizations has been scheduled for Tuesday, April 9th, at 4 pm, to be held at OPEN SPACE, 510 Fort Street.
Victoria Foundation contacted ProArt about ArtsVest, an arts sponsorship initiative with matching federal funding. Ivan Habel and Peter Sandmark attended an information meeting on March 15, and the program should be coming to Victoria, with help from BC Arts Council and admin support from the CRD, supporting sponsorship training workshops.  More to come.  INFO:  www.artsvest.comPROART SENDS LETTER OF THANKS TO GOVT FOR INCREASED BC ARTS FUNDING

ProArt Executive Director sent letters thanking the government for the increase to Bill Bennett, Christy Clark, and Gillian Wood, Director of the BC Arts Council.  On Jan 31 the BC government had announced increased funding for the BC Arts Council, bringing their budget up from $16.8 million to $24 million, in line with ProArt’s recommendations to increase it to $32 million.
ProArt Exec. Director, Peter Sandmark, attended the Legislature on Feb 19, for the presentation of BUDGET 2013, invited by MLA Carole James.  Sandmark and ProArt President, Ivan Habel, had met with James at the end of January to discuss the NDP’s arts policy.  ProArt sent a letter of thanks on Feb 22 to Finance Minister de Jong regarding the increase to BC Arts Council.
ProArt sent a letter to the Mayor on March 19, confirming ProArt’s opposition to any increase in property tax for non-profit arts organizations that own their buildings.  This letter followed up on a Jan 21 meeting Helen Marzolf and Peter Sandmark had with Dean Fortin.
In preparation for the Provincial election ProArt has added an Election Toolkit on its website, with some useful links, one that helps find the email addresses for MLAs, helping people write and  express their support for the arts.  Please check it out at:
The BC government created two new arts funding programs for the current fiscal year, the $500,000 BC Creative Communities Program (BCCC) of one-time-only grants for creative activities in communities, including festivals and special exhibitions, and the $1 million BC Creative Spaces Program (BCCS), for one-time-only capital grants.  Deadline for both programs is Feb 15, 2013.  Please find details here: VICTORIA ARTS & CULTURE ECONOMIC SURVEY – FEB 22 DEADLINE
The 2012 Greater Victoria Arts and Culture Sector Economic Activity Research Project.  First conducted in 2010, the study aims for higher participation in 2013 to better capture the economic importance of the arts & culture sector, which will aid advocacy efforts to increase provincial arts funding.  The survey seeks input from artists, and arts organizations.  The study will preserve data confidentiality. With your revenues and expenditures at hand, the survey should take about 30 minutes to complete.  Participation is very important to the success of the study.  Please forward the link to others who might be interested.   To participate, please double click on the link below. Organized by the Victoria Foundation, the CRD Arts Development Service, the ProArt Alliance of Greater Victoria, Tourism Victoria and the Greater Victoria Development Agency. Apologies for any cross posting. Deadline is February 22nd, 2013.
The Arts Coalition of BC will meet on Feb 18 in Vancouver, to discuss planning for an Arts Summit, June 21, 22 in Vancouver, aiming towards a cultural policy that could be proposed to the next provincial government. ProArt ED, Peter Sandmark will attend.
The Provincial government will present the 2013-2014 budget on Tuesday February 19th.  ProArt President, Ivan Habel, and Peter Sandmark, Executive Director, will be in attendance and will be able to report on it afterwards.
On Jan 31, at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Bill Bennett announced “BC Creative Futures”, a three-part strategy for the province’s creative sector, increasing funding for the BC Arts Council from $16.8 million to $24 million for 2013-2014.   In the next fiscal year, the BC Arts Council and the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development (MCSCD) will deliver $6.25-million of new and expanded existing programs to support the strategy, notably several youth oriented programs such as: Creative Youth Initiatives – $2 million, After School Sport and Arts Initiative – $1 million, Artists in Education Program – $1 million, Co-op Placement Program – $1 million, Scholarship Program – $750,000, and Artists in the Classroom Program – $500,000.  There will also be $2 million for the BC Arts Council’s general budget.  Full info can be found on the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development website:

 The next ProArt members’ meeting will be Wednesday, January 16th, at 3 pm until 4pm, in Studio 3 at Dance Victoria, 2750 Quadra.  Agenda and the minutes from the last meeting will be sent separately.
We strongly urge all arts groups to participate in the Economic Activity Study, developed  jointly by the CRD, the Victoria Foundation, Tourism Victoria, the Greater Victoria Development Agency, and ProArt.  Not only should arts organizations participate, but we also ask you to forward the link to INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS TOO, as the more artists participate the better the study will show the value of arts to the Greater Victoria community.  So,  please take part in the study, by clicking on the link below and filling out the survey. (For more detail please see the CRD message below).

To participate, please double click on the link below.

 The CRD Arts Advisory Council’s report on the distribution of CRD Arts funding is now public. It is interesting to note that the Council also undertook to evaluate the gap between current funding and the needs of the community, finding there is a need for another $135,700.  This supports the essence of ProArt proposals to the Arts Advisory Council of the need for more funding.
Peter Sandmark
Executive Director
ProArt Alliance of Greater Victoria
Greater Victoria Arts-Culture Economic Activity Study

The Victoria Foundation, the CRD Arts Development Service, the ProArt Alliance of Greater Victoria, Tourism Victoria and the Greater Victoria Development Agency seek your assistance by participating in the 2012 Greater Victoria Arts and Culture Sector Economic Activity Research Project.  In a similar study conducted in 2010, 98 individuals and organizations provided key revenue and expenditure figures to inform the study.  This time we are hoping for even higher participation so we can fully capture the economic importance of the sector to aid in advocacy efforts to restore provincial arts funding.

The survey asks artists, arts & culture businesses, and arts & culture organizations to report their revenues and expenses (by key category), for either the 2012 calendar year (for individuals) or fiscal year (for businesses and organizations).  This data will be separated from your identification information by Dr. Brock Smith of the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business, to preserve its confidentiality.  It will then be combined with the information provided by numerous others and reported only in aggregate.  Further details about the study are provided in the attached overview.

If your key revenues and expenditures are available in your financial statements, we anticipate that the survey will take about 30 minutes to complete. We would like to have responses completed by February 22nd, 2013.

Your participation is very important to the success of the study and in generating the evidence needed to attract arts and culture funding. A number of organizations are helping to circulate this survey in order to reach as many artists and organizations as possible. Please forward the link to others who might be interested. We apologize for any cross posting.

To participate, please double click on the link below.

Thank you.

James Lam, Manager
CRD Arts Development Service


ProArt Newsletter, Nov 30, 2012

At the October 5th members’ meeting, ProArt welcomed two new member
organizations, Puente Theatre and Theatre Inconnu, as well as two
returning member organizations, Cinevic and Kaleidoscope.

ProArt invited members and other arts groups receiving CRD operating
funding to come to a roundtable on Oct 17 about funding challenges.
Representatives from 15 organizations attended, 10 ProArt members and
5 non-member organizations.  A consensus emerged that flat funding
from the CRD combined with rising costs meant arts groups were falling
behind, and that there is a need for increased CRD arts funding.

ProArt Executive Director, Peter Sandmark, and POV Executive Director
Patrick Corrigan presented a Brief on behalf of ProArt, recommending
increasing BC Arts Council and Gaming funding.  The presentation went
well, and got a positive reception from the committee.  Unfortunately
the Finance committee did not make any recommendations for arts and
culture in its report.  This is disappointing since 16 arts groups
made presentations, and there were consistent calls for increasing the
BC Arts Council and Gaming funding.  Next steps will involve asking
each political party about their plans to increase arts funding in the
lead up to the provincial election.

ProArt ED, Peter Sandmark, participated in Arts Day on the Hill, along
with hundreds of other arts organizations’ representatives on October
22nd and 23rd, promoting arts funding.  As part of a team of arts reps
Sandmark met with 4 different MPs, including Conservatives John Duncan
and Ron Cannan, NDP MP Jasbir Sandhu and Liberal Hedy Fry. A record
number of 115 meetings were scheduled with MPs, Ministers, Senators
and senior officials from all parties. Key meetings included Foreign
Affairs Minister John Baird, Labour Minister Lisa Raitt, Parliamentary
Secretary to the Minister of Heritage Paul Calandra, Official
Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair, Liberal Leader Bob Rae, Liberal
leadership candidates Justin Trudeau and Marc Garneau, and senior
officials at the Department of Finance. (More

The ProArt marketing committee members met on Nov 6, and discussed the
recent success of the Artsmash event, and ways the committee could
help in crafting messaging that would support other advocacy work of
ProArt, particularly strategies for the provincial election, and for
increasing CRD funding.

The Executive met to review recent advocacy work, the summary of the
Oct 17 Roundtable on funding challenges, to plan for meeting with CRD
representatives, and received a half year budget report.

On Saturday November 10th, ProArt hosted a meeting at the AGGV, with
representatives of the CRD Arts Advisory Council:  Patrick Fleck,
Chair of the Council, three other members, and James Lam, Manager of
the CRD Arts Development office.  ProArt was represented by its
Executive, and two organizations that are not members of ProArt were
invited to attend, the CACGV and the Victoria Operatic Society.

The discussion confirmed the consensus from the Oct 17 meeting, that
CRD arts funding is essential, but has been flat, that costs are
rising and an increase in CRD funding is needed.   Steps on how an
increase could be achieved were discussed including raising the
amounts from so-called “Group 2” municipalities such as Highlands,
Metchosin, and Sydney, each contributing between $1000 and $5000. Also
strategies were discussed regarding bringing in municipalities that
are NOT contributing to the CRD Arts Development funding at all, such
as North Saanich, Central Saanich, Langford, Colwood and Sooke.
ProArt Executive Director, Peter Sandmark later attended the CRD Arts
Committee meeting on Nov 14th, and heard about efforts there to change
the bylaw governing how municipalities contribute to the arts funding.
ProArt will continue working towards increased funding.

The recently formed Arts Coalition of BC met via teleconference call
on Nov 19 and discussed working towards an arts policy for BC, looking
at a recent paper on the creative industries, and aiming to
collaborate with them in developing a broad arts and cultural policy
that could be proposed to the next provincial government.

ProArt wishes all its members a happy holiday, and plans to hold the
next members’ meeting at 3 pm, on Wednesday, January 16th, in the
Dance Victoria Studio 3, 2750 Quadra Street.


ProArt Newsletter October 4, 2012

1) ProArt members meeting Friday, October 5th, 4 pm at the Belfry. Please note that membership invoices have been sent out, and you should have received them by now.

2) New website for ProArt. While containing the same basic info as the old website, the new design will allow us to regularly post items on the main page. Please check it out at:

3) The Local Advocacy committee has been organizing for an arts funding roundtable involving the CRD, and this will be discussed at the members meeting. The Membership committee recently worked on a draft for an educational membership category and this will be presented to the members meeting.

4) ProArt will be presenting a BRIEF to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services on October 18. Members of the Provincial Advocacy committee have been providing feedback on the brief, but we seek input from ProArt members. Please take a look at a DRAFT of our presentation below and feel free to email comments or questions, or bring comments to the members’ meeting. This rough DRAFT presents key ideas, but we would encourage members to send in ANECDOTES or EXAMPLES from your own organizations and experience that show the value of art to society! We will discuss it further at the members’ meeting. Thank you!

Peter Sandmark, ProArt Executive Dirctor

Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services

To be Presented for the ProArt Alliance
By Peter Sandmark, ProArt Executive Director and Ivan Habel, ProArt President and General Manager, Belfry Theatre

October 18, 2012

We are here on behalf of our 17 ProArt member organizations located in the Greater Victoria area: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Ballet Victoria, Belfry Theatre, Blue Bridge Theatre, Dance Victoria, Intrepid Theatre, Kaleidoscope, MediaNet, Open Space, The Other Guys Theatre, Pacific Opera Victoria, Story Theatre, Theatre SKAM ,Victoria Film Festival, Victoria Conservatory of Music, Victoria Jazz Society, and the Victoria Symphony. (WILL ADD NEW MEMBERS HERE)

We represent professional arts organizations in Victoria, and are here today to speak about the positive contributions of art and culture to society, and how arts funding is one of the best investments that the government of British Columbia can make. Increasing the province’s investment in the arts will produce significant economic and social returns.

Funding for the arts leverages economic benefits

According to the Victoria Foundation’s most recent Vital Signs report, in 2010-2011 municipal, provincial and federal government agencies invested $5,392,612 in 32 arts organizations in Greater Victoria. The 2010 Greater Victoria Arts and Culture Sector Economic Activity Study estimated that the total arts sector economic activity was an estimated $169.7 million for Greater Victoria. That means that for every $1 invested by all levels of governments $31 of economic activity was leveraged!

Culture creates jobs

The BC government’s Budget Consultations 2013 paper asks “How do we create the jobs future generations will depend on?” The arts create jobs, as well as generating consumer spending and tax revenue that comes back to the government. The total economic activity generated by the Greater Victoria arts and culture sector of $169.7 million supported the equivalent of more than 5440 person years of employment, and generated $21 million in property tax revenue. The study is based on a conservative extrapolation and still demonstrates the important contribution the arts make to the general economy in indirect and induced spending

Creative cities attract companies

“The arts inspire innovation by leading us to open our minds and think in new ways about our lives – including the work we do, the way we work, and the customers we serve.” James McNerney, Jr., Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Boeing Company.

Government investment in the arts is more than returned by tax revenues generated. In addition to creating an important number of jobs the arts sector increases the attractiveness of our cities as destinations for companies, especially the creative industries, that will be central to tomorrow’s economy. If we want BC to attract international investment in creative industries – especially high-tech – BC communities should be attractive places to live for the creative work forces those companies need. The arts contribute to quality of life, making our cities attractive places to live.

A significant part of the Canadian economy

In Canada, overall federal and provincial funding for the arts, heritage and cultural industries adds up to approximately $7.2 billion per year. The arts, entertainment, information and cultural industries together represent a significant economic sector, contributing over $57 billion per year, which represents 4.5% of the national GDP, larger than agriculture, forestry and fishing combined! The investment by various levels of government is multiplied eight times in the overall economic size of the arts and cultural industries as a portion of Canada’s GDP!

The economic benefits of the arts and culture spending creates jobs in the sector and through economic spin-offs, resulting in tax revenue coming back to the government. But these consequences are only part of the benefits that the arts bring to our communities, they also provide social benefits on many levels, including educational benefits for schoolchildren, and health benefits for youth, adults and senior citizens.

Arts and culture enrich the quality of life

Arts and culture are essential elements of our communities, making them better places to live. The arts benefit our health, and our economy, contributing to human understanding, social progress and cognitive development. The arts play an important role in inspiring us, defining who we are as a society, connecting us to our own and others’ cultural heritage, and offering us transformative experiences that make us better people.

The arts are key to making British Columbia a great place to live, visit and work. The arts can play an important role in helping the government to achieve its goals, contributing to health care, education and social services. The arts should be seen as part of the recovery plan for BC!

Cuts to cultural grants in BC set back the arts infrastructure

Continual uncertainty in funding levels makes it very difficult for arts organizations to plan their programming in advance. Furthermore, arts funding has not kept pace with inflation or the growth of BC. The provincial government should make a clear, public commitment to the arts and culture sector through developing a cultural policy, moving arts funding out of the discretionary category and increasing the investment in the sector for the future.

Arts and culture are essential investments

For all of the reasons above, the arts are one of the best investments that can be made by the Province of British Columbia, they are an efficient investment. Increasing the provincial investment in the arts will produce significant economic and social returns. The BC Arts Council remains for us the best institution for disseminating arts funding, and therefore is central to our recommendations.

ProArt Recommendations for 2013-14

1) Increase the budget of BC Arts Council to $32 million, with a plan to increase their legislated appropriated investment to $40 million, over the following two-year period.

2) In accordance with options presented in Skip Triplett’s Community Gaming Grant Review Report, we propose increasing Gaming Community Grants to organizations from $134.9 million in 2011-12 to $156 million for 2013-14, keeping in mind the option to substantially increase Gaming grants in the long term.

3) Provide stable, predictable funding for the BC Arts Council and Community Gaming Grant programs so that they can offer multi-year funding to arts and cultural organizations. We recommend specifically considering a three-year budgeting model that includes the ability to carry over unspent earmarked funds and that does not penalize successful fundraising.



ProArt newsletter Aug 30th, 2012

A general ProArt members’ meeting is planned for Friday, Oct 5th, at 4
pm at the Belfry, followed by drinks.  Please RSVP to

On August 20th new ProArt Executive Director Peter Sandmark attended a
meeting of BC Arts Service Organizations in Vancouver.  At the meeting
the representatives of 11 associations  agreed to form the “Arts
Coalition of British Columbia”,  providing a unified voice for the
arts in BC.  First action of the Coalition will be a letter thanking
the BC government for the recent announcement of $6.75 million from
Legacy funds going to supplement the BC Arts Council’s budget, keeping
it at the same level as last year.  The Coalition will also ask where
an extra $6.75 million will come from next fiscal year, when the
Legacy money runs out.

Next on the Coalition’s action plan:
– presenting briefs supporting arts funding to Provincial Finance committee
– disseminating election toolkits
– asking each political party to articulate their arts policy.

CITY – On August 30th, Peter and Local Advocacy Committee chair, Helen
Marzolf, from Open Space, will present to the Victoria City Council in
support of retaining the property tax exemption for cultural
organizations, urging the city to ensure that arts groups can continue
to afford to stay in the city’s downtown.

We wish to provide the CRD with more detailed statistics regarding
audience attendance of arts and cultural activities in Victoria.  If
your organization has database info that might include postal code
info for your audiences, we could compile the data and show to what
degree our audiences come from diverse CRD municipalities.  Please
contact Peter if you keep box office data that you could share.

On September 13th, from 5 pm to 6 pm, don’t miss Artsmash at the
Belfry, 1291 Gladstone, as arts organizations present their plans for
upcoming programming!  Please RSVP to

ProArt aims to reach out to arts organizations in the region to
enlarge its membership, and better represent the arts community in
Greater Victoria. If you have suggestions of organizations that may be
interested in joining ProArt contact Peter.  The Membership committee
will be meeting on September 7th at 4 pm, if you are on the committee
you will be contacted, if you are interested in participating, let us

We want to update the ProArt website, including update the promotional
video. If your group has some new video or photo documentation of your
programming, please email Peter so he can incorporate it into a new
promo video.

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