BC Liberal Party

Your Vision for Arts + Culture

Will you advocate for an increased investment to the BC Arts Council and to maintain or increase the current funding level for arts, culture and heritage in your community?

Today’s BC Liberals recognize the importance of arts and culture in the overall economy and quality of life in BC.  We are striving to support artists and cultural workers to do what they do best – create new work, inspire audiences, and spur growth. With 24,800 artists, British Columbia has more artists per capita than any other province. 

Today’s BC Liberals support for the province’s arts and culture community has exceeded half a billion dollars – more than any other government in BC’s history.  We have provided almost $283 million for the BC Arts Council since we became government.  This year alone, we’ll provide $60 million in funding for arts and cultural organizations as well as for individual artists.  Going forward, Today’s BC Liberals will provide an additional $5 million each year to the Community Gaming Grant program, bringing the annual total to $140 million to support not-for-profit organizations.  

For the book publishing sector, we are extending the refundable income tax credit for an additional two years to 2019.  The extension of the credit continues Today’s BC Liberals’ support to the approximately 30 book publishers in British Columbia. In 2015-16, the total amount of credits assessed was $2.9 million. Since the tax credit was introduced in 2003, $26.8 million in credits for B.C. book publishers have been assessed. 

Our government has also invested $15 million in the BC Music Fund to support the growth of B.C.’s diverse music industry and we are committed to providing an additional $15 million if re-elected.

The province benefited from 81,385 culture jobs in 2014, representing 3.5% of total jobs in B.C.  Today’s BC Liberals are committed to supporting the arts and culture sector to grow that number. 


Will you take an active role on behalf of your community to lobby senior levels of government to increase levels of investment to the BC Arts Council?

Today’s BC Liberals have supported four successful artsVest B.C. program cycles between 2012 and 2016. Each provincially funded dollar is matched by federal funding, generating an average of $3.75 with additional business sponsorships that is then added into BC’s economy. Through leveraging, the provincial outlay from 2012-2015 has generated more than $1.1 million or a 475% rate of return on investment. 

Today’s BC Liberals commit to continue working with our federal partners to ensure that British Columbia’s arts community receives support from all levels of government.


If you are in favour of increased investment in arts, culture, and heritage for our province and committed to lobbying senior levels of government for increases to the BC Arts Council, would you require additional advocacy support from the BC Alliance for Arts + Culture? If so, how can we help?

We’re always pleased to consult with stakeholders such as the BC Alliance for Arts + Culture and receive additional information.  By working together, we can obtain better results.

Cultural Growth

In your view, how can our provincial government maintain or grow the cultural sector across British Columbia?

Today’s BC Liberals recognize the importance of arts and culture to the overall economy and quality of life in our province. We know the importance of a strong and diversified economy and believe that the cultural sector plays a key role. We are striving to support artists and cultural workers to do what they do best – create new work, inspire audiences, and spur growth.

To support post-secondary training in B.C.’s creative sector, the BC Liberal government provided $101.65 million towards construction of the new home for Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Emily Carr University of Art + Design has outgrown the Granville Island campus due to increased student demand and the need to accommodate current and emerging program areas. The new campus at Great Northern Way will accommodate 1,800 students and provide modern, spacious facilities that will attract national and international students. The new facility will be designed to achieve LEED Gold Certification and will comply with the Wood First Act.

Cultural + Creative Spaces

Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural and creative spaces for artists and arts organizations in British Columbia? If so, how?

Yes, Today’s BC Liberals recognize the importance of creative spaces for both artists and arts organizations. As part of the Creative Economy Strategy, we are targeting $1.5 million over three years toward the collaborative spaces program, providing $250,000 per year for three years to raise the international presence of B.C. artists and investing a further $300,000 over two years in artsVest B.C., a training program designed to spark new business sponsorship of arts and culture programming.

Additionally, the BC Liberal government recently announced that more than 220 projects in 150 communities throughout British Columbia will receive a total of $7.6 million in B.C.|Canada 150 grants. Administered by the BC Museums Association and supported by Heritage BC with funding provided by the Government of British Columbia, the B.C.|Canada 150 program was launched to mark the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation by recognizing B.C. communities and their contributions to the nation. Projects funded through the program will create meaningful legacies that honour our province’s unique and diverse histories, culture and heritage.

Cultural Tourism

How will you improve cultural tourism in your community? How do you propose to attract and retain artists and cultural workers in your community?

Tourism as a whole is a great success in British Columbia and part of our strong, diverse economy. It builds communities, promotes culture and creates jobs in every region of the province. A big piece of that is First Nations Tourism - the fastest growing segment of the market with over 300 businesses and $42M in revenue. Today’s BC Liberals want to encourage and support that growth. 

To this end, we are working closely with First Nations leaders and organizations to build needed infrastructure and train the workers needed to sustain success. As an example, one million dollars is directly contributed to the Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC annually via Destination BC – more than $8 million total. That’s just part of the $98 million annually invested in the tourism sector.

The BC Liberal Government and the Royal BC Museum have begun a conversation with Aboriginal people to identify and return ancestral remains and belongings of significance to First Nations. Today’s BC Liberals will commit an additional $2 million to the Royal BC Museum to support interested First Nations in seeking the return of their ancestral remains and belongings of cultural significance.

Key Issues

What do you feel to be the single most important issue currently relating to arts, culture and heritage in British Columbia, and what action will you take to address it?

Today’s BC Liberals recognize and value the contributions of the arts, culture and heritage sector to our strong, growing and diverse economy. We know BC has an abundance of talented and creative individuals who are looking for a partner in their provincial government.  BC’s artists deserve nothing less.