Local arts get financial shot in the arm
WATERLOO REGION — A festival held once every two years — the Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area — received the most funds in the first round of investments from the new organization that aims to bring financial stability to the arts and culture sector.
The festival known as CAFKA, currently running until Oct. 2, received $10,000 from the Creative Enterprise Enabling Organization to help pay for contract staff to do fundraising.
In all, 59 organizations applied and 12 selected for investments ranging from $500 to $10,000. To qualify, the organizations had to be established and submit proposals for growing revenues or audiences.
Heather Sinclair, the enabling organization’s chief executive, said CAFKA received the most because it was the only one to match the investment.
“That’s really what it came down to — their own commitment out of their own pocket to really make it work,” Sinclair said.
The other investments include:
The New Quarterly — $6,400.
Kwartzlab — $6,000.
Arts Education Initiative — $5,000.
Kitchener Blues Festival — $5,000.
Maxwell’s Music House — $5,000.
Uptown Waterloo Comedy Festival — $3,300.
Waterloo Jazz Festival — $3,300.
Grand River Film Festival — $3,000.
Lost & Found Theatre — $2,000.
Canadian Clay and Glass — $500.
McDonald Art — $500.
Sinclair said the groups receiving funds have agreed to report within 60 days on the action taken as a result of the investments.
The Creative Enabling Organization was formed last year by the Prosperity Council of Waterloo Region, which represents 3,400 businesses. The council believes a thriving arts and culture sector is essential for attracting the talent needed for the region’s modern economy.
The enabling organization is developing a way to make effective and efficient investments in the creative sector.
“We will have an ongoing dialogue with these guys because we really want to track the investment and make sure it is working properly,” Sinclair said.
“This is the first kick at the can,” Sinclair added. “This is going to help us learn as we develop the whole investment program, which is a key pillar for the Creative Enterprise Organization — securing the funds to invest strategically back into the community to create that sustainable creative economy.”
Another key part of the creative enterprise organization is raising funds from the private sector to be invested in arts and culture in the region.
Municipal governments in this region have increased per capita arts funding by about $1 million annually and expect similar contributions to begin flowing from the corporate sector.
Another round of investments will occur during the first half of 2012 and will involve at least $50,000, if not more.
Happy to see this – and before you start bitching, did you apply?