A total of $502,750 will be distributed to Surrey-based arts and culture groups via the city’s 2019 Cultural Grants program.
Of the 97 grants awarded, 11 are for capacity building, 76 are for projects and 10 for operating concerns.
An evaluation committee this year reviewed 107 grant applications – an unprecedented number, according to a report approved by Surrey city council on Jan. 30.
The 2019 bids represented “an impressive range of programs and initiatives, demonstrating the quality, diversity, and creativity of arts and cultural organizations in Surrey,” according to a post about the program at surrey.ca.
Funded projects include music, dance, theatre, literature, visual arts, and “a kaleidoscope of cultural celebrations, and represent youth, seniors, newcomers, the LGBTQ+ community, Indigenous groups, and many other unique communities that make up our city.”
Operating grants of $15,000 were given to eight organizations, including Royal Canadian Theatre Company, Semiahmoo Arts Society, Surrey Art Gallery Association, Surrey International Writers’ Conference Society, Surrey Little Theatre and Surrey Symphony Society.
For projects, $10,000 was the largest sum of money granted to any one group – 10 in total, including Surrey City Orchestra Society, South Asian Arts Society, Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration, Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival, Young Peoples Opera Society, Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association, Diwali Celebration Society, Canadian Women and Art, Beach House Theatre Society and Arts Umbrella Association.
Capacity-building grants were given to 11 groups, including top-dollar ones to Cedar Hills Caledonia Pipe Band ($2,000), Friends of the Surrey Museum and Archives Society ($2,800), Soundscape A Capella Chorus ($3,000) and Surrey Choral Arts Project Society ($3,000), among others.
This year, 22 organizations accessed the program for the first time.
Surrey’s Cultural Grants program was launched in 2013 as a way “to support a wide range of arts and cultural activity” in the city, including artistic practices (music, dance, theatre, literary, visual, media, interdisciplinary, community-based and Indigenous arts) and cultural celebrations and events that reflect Surrey’s diverse heritage and community.”
Applications for Surrey’s 2020 Cultural Grants program will be available in early fall 2019.