Yukon government invests in arts organizations

The Yukon government is pleased to invest $668,000 in support of twenty-three organizations dedicated to the growth of literary, visual and performing arts in the territory.

“The Yukon government believes that strong arts programming promotes artistic growth, encourages community involvement, and contributes to the economic well-being of Yukon,” Tourism and Culture Minister Elaine Taylor said. “By providing annual operating funds, we are supporting a wide array of festivals, exhibitions, performances, and other arts activities that animate our communities throughout the year, which also provide employment and build capacity in the cultural sector.”

The Arts Operating Fund provides operational support for non-profit societies engaged in arts activities that have a territory-wide or high calibre impact. There are two components to the Fund: one provides operational support for ongoing and year round activities; the other supports ongoing annual projects. Applications are accepted once a year on February 15 and are adjudicated by the Yukon Arts Advisory Council.

With a mandate to develop and produce professional theatre with an emphasis on aboriginal artists and underrepresented voices, Gwaandak Theatre Society achieves the goals of the fund by prioritizing artists as the centre of operations; by involving communities outside of Whitehorse; and by focusing on First Nation access and involvement. The society’s plans for 2010-11 include new theatre productions, playwright mentorship, and capacity building.

“Gwaandak Theatre is thrilled with this core funding,” said the society’s co-artistic director Patti Flather. “It helps us to develop and present new works of theatre from First Nation and northern artists, offer challenging roles for theatre artists and engage audiences. Our upcoming play readings celebrating aboriginal playwrights and performers at the Old Fire Hall this summer are just one of several initiatives we’re looking forward to sharing with Yukoners and visitors.”

Statistics from the 2010 intake indicate the community impact of arts in Yukon: 732 events provided programming and entertainment to the 57,751 in attendance. These events were supported by 1,708 volunteers contributing 51,638 volunteer hours. Groups spent $976,301 on artistic expenses and $920,854 on production costs, with administration expenditures a relatively low $373,632. Support from the Yukon government helped arts organizations leverage $1,638,901 in earned revenue and fundraising.

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