ARTS GROUPS LEFT WITH ‘GROUNDED PARANOIA’ OVER POSSIBLE FUNDING CUTS AFTER GRANT CHANGES

Alberta Foundation for the Arts changes grant funding from yearly to quarterly before UCP fall budget

As the Alberta government mulls its financial situation prior to an anticipated fall budget, at least one provincial body is taking pre-emptive steps to ensure it can deal with potential cuts.

Left in the lurch: arts organizations.

Until recently, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts doled out operating grants on a yearly basis. It’s money that is meant to be reliable and to allow the day-to-day functions of running a gallery or theatre to move forward.

In June, the foundation notified arts groups those payments would come in quarterly chunks, instead of one lump sum, because there was uncertainty around the upcoming budget from Premier Jason Kenney and his recently elected United Conservative Party government.

“What worries me is what happens if the government decides to massively cut the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and we’ve only received half of our operating grants,” said Mark Hopkins, co-artistic director of Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre in Calgary.

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