The Columbia Valley Arts Council will receive regional funding for the first time, after Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) directors from the Upper Columbia Valley agreed to financially support the group during the most recent Columbia Valley services committee meeting.
The arts council attended the February Columbia Valley services committee meeting, asking for $15,000 in funding through the Columbia Valley economic development services area.
Then, at the Thursday, March 3th committee meeting, the five RDEK directors from the valley decided to give the group $10,000 for the year.
“This funding is not attached to a specific project. Rather, it would be considered core funding,” RDEK Area F director Wendy Booth told The Echo. “Columbia Valley Arts host activities and programs for residents and guests from all parts of the valley, so I feel that some funding should come from the valley as a whole.”
Previously, all municipal funding for Columbia Valley Arts had come solely from the District of Invermere, which is still contributing funding on its own again this year.
“They (Columbia Valley Arts) do provide service to more than just Invermere, so it seems fair that the whole valley contributes some funding to them,” said Invermere mayor Gerry Taft.
“This is the first time that they have requested funding from the Columbia Valley economic development service. This is a new service that was put in place in 2015,” added Booth.
The Echo attempted to reach Columbia Valley Arts executive director Jami Scheffer for comment, but was unable to reach her prior to press deadline.