The Comox Valley Art Gallery, which receives $65,000 annually from the City of Courtenay, is requesting an additional $20,000 per year to fund the 42-year-old non-profit in the downtown core.
Addressing council Monday, CVAG executive director Sharon Karsten said the organization has grown substantially, and that funds are needed to sustain the growth.
“Without that funding, we don’t have the same leveraging power.”
In 2011, she said each dollar the City invested in CVAG leveraged a $5 return to the community. By 2106, the figure increased to $8.50.
“What does the business case tell us?” said Coun. Manno Theos, who would like to see some numbers to justify a large funding increase.
Karsten said the operation of a gallery is more of a public service than a business.
Coun. Doug Hillian feels residents are fortunate to live in a community with such a rich tapestry of art.
Mayor Larry Jangula — noting a number of looming expensive projects — said council sometimes needs to separate the needs from the wants.