When I was on the board of the BC Arts Council, Chemainus Theatre was denied funding.
This was for the same reason as Musicfest because they balanced their books and heaven forbid actually made a profit!
The Arts Club Theatre in Vancouver lost hundreds of thousands of dollars on the Stanley Theatre on Granville Street. They received $100K from the BC Council so they wouldn’t go bankrupt.
BC Arts Council has a budget for all the provincial arts funding of $15 million which is the lowest per capita in Canada. Of that sum the Vancouver Art Gallery receives $1 million.
The reasoning being the majority of taxpayers in B.C. live in the Lower Mainland.
This was my supreme moment representing Vancouver Island on the board. When the board cut Chemainus Theatre funding, I resigned in protest and stated my intention to take up the matter with Comox Valley MLA Stan Hagen, who happened to be a cabinet Minister in Victoria at the time.
Within 15 minutes it was decided it was unanimous that the Chemainus Theatre should not be penalized for being successful and received $30k!
Congratulations to Musicfest for showing a profit in the arts as a business. It’s old fashioned but in my opinion it’s the way to go.
I have never applied for government funding and have always found it easier to go out in the marketplace and make the money myself.