Updates from Culture & Events

City of Nanaimo // June 2021

$51,586 awarded to 13 Arts & Culture projects through Resilience Grants

The City of Nanaimo’s Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo prioritizes strengthening the cultural sector and identifies finding ways “to ensure sustainability for artists and artisans who are essential for a vibrant arts and culture scene.”

This past December, City Council approved a new one-time funding stream called the 2021 Resilience Grant to support the following:

  • new, one-time programs, events, or initiatives taking place in 2021;
  • organizational activities designed to adapt or respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, by addressing capacity issues, managing transition (including opportunities related to human resources, governance, community engagement, outreach, revenue diversification, mentorships, pursuing goals of equity, diversity, accessibility and inclusion); or
  • projects by new applicants seeking funds from the City of Nanaimo for the first time.

At the March 1 deadline, 41 applications were received—requests for funds far exceeded the amount of money available. Applications were assessed on four criteria: artistic merit, community impact, feasibility and demonstrated need. City Council approved grant recommendations on Monday evening, awarding funds to thirteen Nanaimo-based projects and each applicant was contacted directly.

Outcomes of the funding will include activities such as the creation of new original musical compositions, new dance performances online, small-scale community presentations/performances, the completion of literary manuscripts, the commissioning of new theatre work, music workshops, skill-sharing visual arts dialogues, online visual arts marketing, and the online publication of work by local writers and artists.

Congratulations to all of the successful applicants!

Read the full report to City Council (pages 140-165)

Image by Heather Kai-Smith, Huddle, 2018

Calling all artists: City seeking cultural recreation program proposals

Parks, Recreation and Culture is inviting community members to showcase their skills as an instructor in the upcoming Fall 2021 Activity Guide. Program proposals for a variety of areas, including dance, cooking, language, arts and crafts, music, outdoor recreation and more are now being accepted. Programs may be designed in any category and for any age group; however, applicants are encouraged to review the current Activity Guide in an effort to avoid duplication of program offerings.

Making an application is easy through a one-step online form. Submissions received by 4:30 pm on July 14 will be considered for the 2021 Fall Activity Guide. Winter season program proposals may be submitted up to September 30, 2021.

Click here for more information

Façade renovations complete as downtown theatre re-launches as The OV Arts Centre

After five months of construction, the City is pleased to announce that upgrades to the exterior of the theatre at 25 Victoria Road are complete. The renovations to the exterior of the theatre were part of a multi-year plan to undertake improvements at the City-owned building. The scope of work included new brickwork and new lighting, among other improvements, which will help enhance the theatre’s neighbourhood presence and make it a more welcoming and inviting venue. The Nicol Street façade of the building was restored in 2014.

The City of Nanaimo co-manages the building with the Harbour City Theatre Alliance Society, who has run the small community performing art space since 2014. In conjunction with the completion of this construction project, the Society has revealed a new brand identity and will resume activity this summer, according to COVID safety guidelines, under the name The OV Arts Centre. The shift points to a desire to serve a broader cross-section of the community and to create opportunities in an expanded range of artistic disciplines. As part of this change, Lauren Semple has taken on the role of General Manager, replacing Dean Chadwick who has retired.

Making arts and culture visible and accessible is identified as a priority in the City’s plans, and the infrastructure upgrade at The OV Arts Centre is one of the ways the City is ensuring that facilities are available for the creation, preservation and presentation of arts and culture.

Photo of OV Arts Centre at 25 Victoria Road

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