Arts and Culture Funding Approved to Revitalize St. Catharines PostPandemic

City of St. Catharines press release – St. Catharines City Council forges ahead in its support of the arts and culture sector by approving funding in the amount of $93,095 to 16 local artists and arts organizations through its annual St. Catharines Cultural Investment Program (SCCIP).

“This funding will provide an opportunity for local organizations to develop projects that support the sustainability of the arts and culture sector through tough times,” said Director of Community, Recreation and Culture Services Phil Cristi.

The arts and culture sector in St. Catharines has been severely affected by COVID-19. Disruption caused by the pandemic has had a significant impact on many artists’ and arts organizations’ abilities to carry out their work, especially in the audience-based performing arts sector.

Previously, at its meeting on June 3, 2020, City Council approved maintaining the 2020 SCCIP budget of $400,000, and that unspent money be used to create a temporary COVID fund for music, arts and cultural activities that support downtown revitalization and enhance public life during the recovery. It also expedited funding be provided to Sustaining Fund clients in the second round of SCCIP allocations.

With the cancellation of events, performances and production seasons in St. Catharines, revenue for the SCCIP funding did fall short of projections. However, the program was deemed necessary by the City to strengthen cultural vitality, economic prosperity and social health in St. Catharines during recovery from the pandemic.

The program was open to artists, arts organizations, artist ad hoc collectives, arts festivals, cultural organizations and other not-for-profit organizations that can engage residents at a local community level.

It aims to support arts and cultural activities in the community that foster downtown revitalization and enhance community life; projects that engage residents through performances, community art experiences, neighbourhood cultural activities, and experiences that encourage participation, creativity and innovation.

For the 2020 funding year only, this program is replacing the Arts Development Fund and the Culture Builds Community Fund. Previous recipients of this funding as well as new eligible applicants were able to apply to the program.