03/27/2017 18:00 EDT | Updated 03/28/2018 01:12 EDT

artsVest set to help P.E.I. arts organizations find new funding

A new program, artsVest is set to help about 40 P.E.I. arts organization with training and funding over the next two years with the goal to help build partnerships with the Island's business sector. 

It's the first time the program, operated through the charitable organization called Business for the Art, will be available on P.E.I.  

Claire Hefferon, the artsVest national program director at Business for the Arts, says the program is for small and mid-size arts organizations to help them build partnerships with the private sector.

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'This is a way to get a new revenue stream in'

Training is provided throughout the 10 months beginning with a live workshop, then mentorship is provided through online mentorship channels, along with the opportunity to take part in a matching fund incentive.

"So while they are going through all this training to learn how to build partnerships with the private sector and get sponsorship for their organization they also have a matching fund incentive," said Hefferon.

Hefferon said the program is an underutilized revenue stream for arts organizations, adding many rely on funds earned through ticket sales or government grants.

"This is a way to get a new revenue stream in. It's very flexible revenue stream and it builds partnerships in the community and allows everybody to benefit from the partnership."

Investment impact

The funding, $203,000 over two years, is provided by the province and federal department of Canadian Heritage.

Hefferon said with arts management professionals taking part in the training, there will be a lot of spinoffs with 150 or more people building the capacity in the organizations.

"Then there is the investment impact. We have $63,000 per year that will go directly to the arts organizations for those matching funds. So when you add that on the sponsorship they get from businesses, that'll be about $125,000 per year in investment impact for the program."

The Hefferon described it as a win-win situation for both the arts and private sector with involvement from both sides.

Information sessions are being held April 24 and April 25 in Charlottetown and Summerside for those interested in applying for funding. Registration details are available on the organization's website. 

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