City announces arts grant program - ACCOB will determine the artistic merit of all the applications.

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

January 9th, 2017



We now know just how much the city is prepared to share the role of handing out grants to the arts community.

Burlington is launching the Burlington Arts and Culture Fund (BACF), an annual program that provides grants to local artists, multicultural groups and arts and culture organizations to foster creativity and enrich how Burlington residents experience and engage with arts and culture.

An individual grant cannot be for more than $5000. The city has allocated a total of $50,000 annually to the project.

The city's cultural planner is all the arts community has at this point. There is some cultural mapping being done - which is useful in itself but won't do all that much to build the tremendous potential culture has in this city. Angela Papariza will use her well developed culture background and training to work with people like Trevor Copp - not likely to see much more in 2014.

Angela Paparizo was a recreational planner who became a cultural planner and is now the go to person on the cultural file as Manager, Arts and Culture. Trevor Copp one of the movers and shakers within the arts and cultural community was the artist who took the issue of local artists having to travel to Toronto to earn a living.

Applications will be accepted until Feb. 28, 2018 and will fund projects from April 2018 to April 2019.

Successful grant applicants will be announced at the end of March 2018.

The maximum amount award amount is $5,000; the city has discretion with regard to the amount.

Once an agreement is signed 80 per cent of the grant will be paid out. The remaining 20 per cent will be paid when a Final Report is sent in.

Grants will be evaluated in part by a peer assessment jury for artistic merit and by city staff for program merit and strategic initiative, citywide and community impact and economic impact. A committee of local arts and cultural professionals and the Arts and Culture Council of Burlington (ACCOB), supported by city staff, have worked together to develop this arts and culture support program.

The good news here is that ACCOB gets to choose who will sit on the peer review committee.

Whatever the grant application – it has to comply with the Strategic Plan. One could win a big lunch bet on just how many arts types even know the city has a Strategic Plan never mind what it is supposed to do.

The BACF is using a point system to rank the applications. ACCOB will determine 30% of the point with the city determining the other 70%.

The administrative load is a little daunting. If one looked at the amount of paper work the city is going to have to work through and the time city staff spend on determining who gets a grant – it is probably higher than the grant itself. Welcome to the world of municipal government.

The Artists Collective was very clear - they want the Patks and Recreation people out of the culture business. They want people with training on something other than a trampoline, preferably with degrees in the arts and practical experience as well.

When the arts community was getting its footing they met as a group and began a group think to come up with the direction they wanted to take with the city. There was some pretty solid thinking done.

ACCOB has done a superb job of getting the city to the point where it now has an arms-length citizen run council that can work with the city to promote the arts.

ACCOB has run two very successful fund raising events; they brought Thomson highway to the Performing Arts Centre and they set up the Christmas trees that decorated the Family room during the festive season. Those two events put more than $5000 into the coffers.

Anyone interested in learning more about this opportunity and the application process is encouraged to join staff and arts and culture professionals for an information session on: Thursday, Jan. 25, 2017, 7 to 9 p.m., City Hall, 426 Brant St. Room 247

Culture is a program that in recent years has been overseen by the Director of Planning; prior to that it was overseen by Parks and Recreation where it was never a fit.

Mary Lou Tanner, formerly the Planning Director, now the Deputy City Manager has taken the cultural file with her. In a city media release Tanner said: “This grant will provide ongoing support and encourage the development of a variety of arts and cultural activities, adding vibrancy to the city. The benefits of a program like this have endless possibilities from intercultural understanding to friendship and removing cultural barriers to neighbourhood beautification.”

ACCOB crowd

The arts community – this grew into the Arts and Culture Council of Burlington

Tim Park, President of the Board of Arts and Culture Council of Burlington believes: “This is a fantastic opportunity for local arts and cultural groups, individual artists and members of Burlington’s various cultural communities to present their talents to the residents of Burlington.

More information at

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