At least one local organization is benefiting from the province’s $25-million investment in the arts sector.
The Mariposa Folk Foundation is among 140 organizations receiving money from the one-time investment “to help artists and arts organizations survive the COVID-19 pandemic, remain solvent and prepare for a time when they can fully reopen their facilities, resume full programming and welcome back their visitors and audiences,” the province stated in a news release.
It’s not yet known how much Mariposa will receive, but any amount will be helpful, said president Pam Carter.
“The funding is integral to the survival of presenters and arts organizations at this time,” she said. “We’re into a full year of the pandemic.”
The Mariposa Folk Festival was cancelled last year, and this year’s event has also been called off because of the pandemic. Organizers are looking at ways to provide some kind of programming this year, “and this kind of money will be really important,” Carter said.
“As we change what we’re presenting for yet another year, we can look at other ways to put something out there. If we can do something that’s live, we’ll definitely look at it. That’s an area where this funding could help,” she said.
It’s not only the festival that could benefit.
“It’s very important to the artists and the collateral industries,” Carter said, referring to others who play a part in the event, including production crews and those who rent out tents, tables and chairs.
Most of all, she said, “it allows us to stay financially viable, working toward time when we can meet again.”
Carter is hopeful the foundation will be eligible for federal funding, too. Ottawa has announced it will provide $181.5 million for the live arts and music sectors in 2021-22.
“It would be extremely helpful,” she said, adding the foundation is “grateful to all levels of government for their support during this COVID time.”
“It demonstrates all levels of governments’ commitment to our industry.”