Supplemental resilience funds support local art gallery.

The Vernon Public Art Gallery recently received a $43,400.00 Grant for supplemental resilience funding to help cope with the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis from the BC Arts Council, the province of B.C.’s key development and funding agency for the arts.

On March 24, 2021, the BC Arts Council administered $14 million to 588 arts and culture organizations in a new one-time supplement through StrongerBC, part of B.C.’s $10-billion COVID-19 response.

“The importance of mental health has been highlighted through the pandemic indicating the increased need for creative and social outlets. At the VPAG we strive to make visual culture accessible to all, either in person or virtually during this time of isolation.” - Executive Director Dauna Kennedy.

With these funds, the VPAG will be able to continue to offer critical content to the community of Vernon, and the North Okanagan Region. Since the early stages of the evolving Covid-19 Pandemic, the VPAG has been determined to continue exhibiting art and pivot its programming to online formats. With the help of the BC Arts Council, the VPAG was able to keep all of their staff, keep their doors open to the public and commit to creating digital programming that allows people who may be isolated to access the benefits of the visual arts.

“The arts, in all forms, are truly a defining feature of cultures and communities. If we want to see our vibrant arts community continue to thrive after the COVID-19 pandemic is over, it’s important that we support them through this difficult time.” Said Harwinder Sandhu, MLA for Vernon – Monashee. “The Vernon Public Art Gallery connects everyone in the area to visual arts in a way that’s accessible, approachable and inclusive. It’s somewhere that we can all visit to learn, share and grow, and I’m excited that our government is supporting this fantastic space so it will be around for years to come.”

The gallery started offering virtual programming in April of 2020 and had over 6800 participants/viewers within the year. The VPAG has continued to further its reach throughout the community and even internationally. New this year, the gallery is presenting free, live, virtual artist talks with artists from around the globe in an effort to compliment the international exhibition currently on view at the VPAG: The Okanagan Print Triennial 2021. Not only can viewers communicate directly to some of the participating artists, the artists themselves have expressed excitement at the chance to connect with others in the arts community.

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