Sixty-eight of Nova Scotia’s leading cultural organizations received a $2.9-million boost from the province today, June 16. The funding comes from the first round of grants provided through the new Operating Assistance to Cultural Organizations Program. As part of the new program, all applications were assessed by an external panel composed of people from the culture sector. “This investment will enhance the stability of Nova Scotia’s cultural community,” said Rodney MacDonald, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. “These organizations offer a wide range of cultural activities which strengthen our communities and enrich the experiences of visitors to the province.” The Operating Assistance to Cultural Organizations Program is open to non-profit arts and cultural groups that have been in operation for at least one year, and it provides support towards annual administrative and core program costs. Support is available to four categories of groups: service organizations; arts producers; festivals and presenters; and cultural facilities. The Astor Theatre in Liverpool — one of the oldest performing arts venues in the province — received $16,000 to support its operations. Astor Theatre features live performing arts, including music, dance and theatre. It also hosts the bi-annual Liverpool International Theatre Festival. “This support enables us to work with many Nova Scotian artists, and to provide them with a venue to showcase their talent to local residents and visitors,” said Chris Ball, manager of the Astor Theatre. Celebration of the Arts Society in Sydney offers a wide range of arts programming for youth and adults in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. The society received $6,000 which will help in delivering programs focused on youth and culturally diverse communities. “We are very grateful for the province’s investment, and believe it recognizes the significant contribution that we are making to our community,” said Susan Clark-Tizzard, executive director, Celebration of the Arts Society. The next deadline for applications for the Operating Assistance to Cultural Organizations program is Feb. 15, 2006. More information on the program can be found on the Tourism, Culture and Heritage website at www.gov.ns.ca/dtc/culture/ culture_funding.asp , or by calling 902-424-5793.
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