DAWSON CREEK – Two arts and culture organizations serving the constituency of Peace River South have been awarded a total of $17,476 in B.C. Arts Council grants, Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier announced today.

The B.C. Arts Council and the Government of B.C. provided grants to the Chetwynd Community Arts Council Society in the amount of $6,399 and the South Peace Community Arts Council received $11,077 to fund ongoing operations for both organizations in the current fiscal year.

The funding comes from a record-high $24 million the B.C. Arts Council received from the provincial government to support artists, arts activities and culture in the 2013-14 fiscal year.

As B.C.’s lead agency for arts funding and development, the B.C. Arts Council enlists the expertise of British Columbia’s artists to evaluate grant applications through a peer review process independent of government.

Established in 1995, the B.C. Arts Council consults with the arts and culture community to develop policies, programs and strategic priorities for the sector. Last year, the Council approved more than 1,000 grants in over 200 communities in every region of the province.

The provincial government is providing $24 million to the B.C. Arts Council this year, the highest funding level in the Council’s history. Overall, it is investing $60 million towards B.C.’s artists, arts organizations and cultural institutions during the 2014-15 fiscal year.