Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  What is the arts and culture grant service?
A.  The arts and culture grant service will provide an annual contribution towards sustainable funding for non-profit organizations and societies that own or operate community facilities and public meeting places.

Q.  What would the organizations use the funds for?
A. The money would be able to be used to assist with the protection, preservation, maintenance and promotion of the facility. Typical expenses would include insurance, utility bills, maintenance and other facility costs.

Q.  What organizations would be covered by this service?
A.  The organizations that would receive funding under this service, initially, are: • Comox Valley Art Gallery • Comox Valley Community Arts Council • Comox Valley Farmers Market • Pearl Ellis Gallery of Fine Arts Society • Sid Williams Civic Theatre Society • Cumberland Museum and Archives • Courtenay and District Museum and Palaeontology Centre • Comox Archives and Museum Society

Q.  Why are those organizations the ones to benefit from this new “sustainable funding”?  There are lots of other non-profit societies in the Comox Valley.
A. Through the analysis of past funding recipients and related research during this feasibility study, the groups named above all relate to arts and culture, have physical infrastructure that the CVRD is interested in supporting and have consistently received grant funding from the CVRD in the past.

Q.  Didn’t the CVRD provide funding for non-profit organizations and societies in the Comox Valley in the past?
A.  Yes, the CVRD provides financial support for a wide variety of organizations in the Comox Valley.  The traditional method of support has been through a “grant-in-aid” for which an organization applies each year, and – depending on budget available and number of requests – the funding may or may not be available, and may fluctuate.  The arts and culture grant establishes a consistent, five-year level of funding for various organizations which provides them, and the regional district, with greater financial stability.

Q. By giving additional public money to these organizations what control will the CVRD have a place on their respective governing bodies or committees?
A.  The CVRD would not hold a place on the organization’s governing or operating structure.  The funding is to help the organization with maintaining its facility, not for programming. 

Q.  How is the organization going to be accountable for spending the money it receives?
A.  An agreement will be drawn up between the CVRD and the organization.  That agreement will include a reporting mechanism. 

Q.  Can these organizations also still apply for a grant-in-aid?
A. The new arts and culture service is to provide operational funding to the organizations for costs related to their buildings (ie insurance, heating bills, maintenance). One of these organizations could still apply for grant-in-aid (GIA) funding for costs related to programming, rather than operations.  As with all applications for grants-in-aid, there are more requests than budget, so no organization is guaranteed funding via GIA.

Q.  How would another organization be able to be added to this service?  How do they get on that list?
A.  If new organizations are identified that appear to meet the criteria for receiving  arts and culture grant funds, then the elected officials would have to consider the request in relation to available funds and to how well the new organization fits within the service parameters.

Q. Will the CVRD have to employ additional staff or grant additional work hours in order to maintain or upkeep this new budget?

Q.  Who will pay for this service?
A.  Taxpayers in the CVRD’s electoral areas A (excluding Denman and Hornby Islands), B and C will be assessed an amount, which would be added to their property taxes.

Q.  How much would it cost?
A.  A homeowner whose property is assessed at $350,000 will see an increase of between approximately 75 cents and $2.50 in 2014 depending on which electoral area he or she is in. In subsequent years, homeowners would see an increase of less than one dollar each year, based on the preliminary financial plan. The maximum amount that could be taxed from all properties in the entire proposed service is the greater of $100,000 or 2.5 cents per $1000 of assessed value.

Q.  Why was an alternate approval process (AAP) held?
A.  When a new service is established, a bylaw must be adopted, and that requires elector approval. In this case, the board agreed to an alternative approval process to achieve elector assent for establishing the electoral areas arts and culture grant service.  Only 42 responses opposing the service were received, which was far less than the required 10 per cent (1,592) of electors in the service area, and therefore the service was able to be established.  The deadline for response to the AAP was January 16, 2014, and the board passed the bylaw establishing the service at its January 28, 2014 board meeting.