Creative Economy a Key Contributor to Prosperity in BC

February 6, 2016

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BC – In recognition of the importance of arts and culture to the overall economy and quality of life in British Columbia, the B.C. government has announced a provincial strategy to help grow this thriving sector.

Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, outlined the three-year Creative Economy Strategy to a group of arts and culture leaders at The Post at 750, a creative cluster home to four Vancouver arts organizations.

“We are so fortunate to have a wealth of creative talent here in B.C. with more artists per capita than any other province in Canada – in one of the most rapidly growing sectors in the world,” he says. “Building B.C.’s creative economy will attract new investment, foster innovation and create jobs for British Columbians.”

As part of the strategy, the Province will be targeting $1.5 million over the next three years towards shared creative spaces. More and more, these shared spaces are proving to be catalysts for creative activity by providing sustainable facilities for organizations and individual artists. Also announced was a further $300,000 investment over two years in artsVest, a training program designed to spark new business sponsorship of arts and culture.

“The Post at 750 has been a tremendous success for the four arts organizations who call it home, as well as our ‘fifth tenant’ – the greater creative community,” says Norman Armour, artistic and executive director, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival“It’s gratifying to know that the province values the role of arts and culture in B.C.’s overall prosperity and will invest in more creative clusters.”

The development of the Creative Economy Strategy involved consultation with key stakeholders in the creative sector, and focuses on four areas for growth: leveraging talent and creative clusters, accessing new markets, maximizing investment and enriching communities.

Priorities within these four major areas include investing in Aboriginal artists, increasing the creative sector’s international presence, promoting public and private partnerships and philanthropy, and continuing to invest in hosting major festivals and events. Further details will be announced in the months ahead.

To learn more about B.C.’s Creative Economy, visit:

Quick Facts:

  • With 24,800 artists, British Columbia has more artists per capita than any other province.
  • The number of artists in British Columbia grew by 74% between 1989 and 2013.
  • The B.C. Government ran a successful four-year artsVest project between 2012 and 2015. Each matching dollar in the community generated $3.75 in additional business sponsorship.
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