Arty Awards funding at an all-time low in Abbotsford

Organizers of the Abbotsford Arts Council's annual program are worried about its future

  • Apr. 1, 2015 6:00 a.m.
Members of the Bollywood Hungama Dance Academy were the opening performers at the 10th annual Arty Awards last year at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium.

Members of the Bollywood Hungama Dance Academy were the opening performers at the 10th annual Arty Awards last year at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium.

Cash donations for the Abbotsford Arts Council’s (AAC) annual Arty Awards are at an all-time low, and the organization is worried about being able to continue the program in the future.

The Arty Awards, taking place this year on April 11 at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium, pays tribute to local artists and arts advocates in the area.

AAC executive director Gail Gromaski said it costs about $15,000 to host the event each year, including the value of in-kind donations. Of this, $7,000 is covered by BC Gaming.

She said the goal this year was to raise $5,000 in cash sponsorships, as well as a few items of “significant value” to auction.

As of Wednesday, AAC had met its goal for the silent auction but had raised only $1,175 in cash, Gromaski said.

She said it’s important to keep the Arty Awards going to thank individuals and groups who make “such selfless contributions to the community through their artistic practice and activities.”

“The Arty Awards are very meaningful to those who are honoured and to the arts community in general as they bring artists of all art forms under one roof in celebration,” she said.

The AAC partners with local businesses to produce the awards celebration, which includes a catered reception, silent auction, awards ceremony and entertainment by local performing artists.

The AAC is a registered charity providing resources and promotion to artists and arts organizations. It depends on cash and in-kind contributions, as well as funding from BC Gaming, to cover the costs of the Arty Awards, Gromaski said.

In turn, donors receive a variety of promotional benefits, as well as a tax receipt upon request.

Those interested in donating to the event can do so online at abbotsfordartscouncil.org, by phone at 604-852-9358, or by mail to the Abbotsford Arts Council, P.O. Box 336, Abbotsford, BC, V2T 6Z6.

Event tickets are available online at artyawards2015.eventbrite.ca or at the Kariton Art Gallery, 2387 Ware St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The 11th Annual Arty Awards is an alcohol-free event in support of the BC Teen Challenge Women’s Centre.

For more information, visit abbotsfordartscouncil.org.