B.C.'s creative industries are getting a $42-million funding injection from the B.C. government in a move that Victoria is calling the "largest-ever single investment in the creative sector."
The funding will go to the independent society Creative BC to provide grants to help finance creators and businesses when creating content.
The new funding includes:
- $22.5 million over three years for Creative BC's Amplify BC program to build the province’s music talent and help launch careers;
- $15.9 million over three years to support B.C.’s domestic motion picture productions, workforce and creators, which includes $900,000 for programs that focus on developing workers’ skills, recruiting more workers from under-represented groups, and supporting practices that are environmentally friendly;
- $3 million over three years for a new program to support innovation and growth for independent B.C.-owned interactive digital media companies; and
- $600,000 over three years for the publishing industry, as announced on April 17, 2023, to address immediate supply-chain challenges and provide additional support for a sustainable future.
"Amplify BC is a program that Creative BC manages, not a separate organization," " Gill explained to BIV in an interview. "There are a variety of grant programs. We also support Music BC."
The First People's Cultural Council's Indigenous Music Initiative is one example of a program that Amplify BC funds.
The government said in a release that the decision on the funding came after it heard from the sector that the music and publishing industries were continuing to struggle, and that the motion picture and digital media industries needed support to take advantage of opportunities.
The new money is intended to help attract business and promote more creative-sector activity in B.C.
It is also intended to strengthen the sector to better weather global shifts. Many in the sector are bracing for what could be a Hollywood writers' strike between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
The $42 million will also sustain the sector and help it compete with similar industries in other regions.
Nearly 120,000 people work in B.C.’s creative industries.