People attend the Chilliwack Independent Film Festival on Nov. 24, 2019. The Chilliwack Film Society, which launched the Chilliwack Independent Film Festival (CIFF) in 2017, received a $5,000 government arts grant from the BC Arts Council. (Submitted)

Chilliwack Film Society, local artist benefit from $1.19 million in provincial arts funding

BC Arts Council grants handed out to visual artist Krista Kilvert and Chilliwack Film Society

A local film society and one Chilliwack artist will be benefitting from more than $1 million in arts-and-culture funding from the provincial government.

The Chilliwack Film Society is one of the 72 community arts festivals across B.C. that is getting support from the BC Arts Council’s $1.19 million in funding, while Krista Kilvert is one of 46 visual artists receiving a grant.

The announcement came on Friday, April 9, leading up to Creative Industries Week (April 12 to 16).

“While festivals and cultural celebrations will be shared through different platforms this summer, we’re committed to investing in these events because they’re important for our mental health and sense of community pride,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.

The Chilliwack Film Society, which launched the Chilliwack Independent Film Festival (CIFF) in 2017, is using its $5,000 grant to curate a panel on improving diversity in the B.C. film industry and better provide a platform for diverse voices. Thanks to the grant, the festival is able to pivot its programming and offer screenings virtually.

“We’re incredibly thankful to the B.C. government for continuing to support festivals like ours, especially as we’ve had to adapt and find creative ways to reach audiences during the pandemic,” said Taras Groves, director of the Chilliwack Film Society. “It means so much to know the province supports us and independent arts as a whole. With its help, we can return to in-person events when it’s safe to do so.”

READ MORE: Chilliwack film fest screenings will be at home instead of in theatre this year

Kelli Paddon, MLA for Chilliwack-Kent, said CIFF is always a “highlight” every November.

“We know it has been difficult for festivals like these to find ways to pivot and adapt, and it’s great that we can offer support to the dedicated folks bringing independent films and content to people in our community,” Paddon said.

Kilvert is a Chilliwack mixed-media artist who received a grant for $6,350. It will go toward the creation of a new piece of artwork that will be integrated into her upcoming exhibition, Behind Closed Doors, at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre in the fall of this year.

The exhibition will be focused on creating public awareness about the prevalence and magnitude of domestic violence, Kilvert said.

“The additional piece will be a visual narrative about the impact that coronavirus closures and stay-at-home measures have had on victims of domestic violence and their children,” she said.

READ MORE: Krista Kilvert hopes solo show ‘Relic’ will stimulate thought about environment

Mixed media artist Krista Kilvert is seen beside her piece ‘Cultivating Data’ on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. She was one of 46 visual artists who received a government arts grant from the BC Arts Council. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

The government funding is being doled out through three grant programs:

• Community Arts Festivals: 72 grants to arts and culture and Indigenous organizations to pay artists to participate in local arts festivals.

• Visual Artists: 46 grants to support professional visual artists in creating new work.

• Co-op Placements: 20 grants to help organizations hire co-op students to gain experience in the arts and culture sector.

These grants are administered by the BC Arts Council, an agency of the provincial government which administers grant funding for arts and culture throughout B.C. The B.C. government’s investments in the BC Arts Council have brought its budget to a record high of $35.6 million in 2020/2021, distributing more than 1,600 grants and helping more arts and culture organizations than ever before.

In addition to regular grants, the B.C. government distributed $35 million from StrongerBC through the BC Arts Council to help artists and arts and culture organizations keep their lights on and adapt to the challenges of the pandemic.

To see a full list of grant recipients, visit:


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