Vernon Public Art Gallery executive director Dauna Kennedy and board member Kyle Britton accept a $43,400 grant from the BC Arts Council one-time StrongerBC fund amid the COVID-19 pandemic April 9, 2021. (VPAG)

Vernon Public Art Gallery executive director Dauna Kennedy and board member Kyle Britton accept a $43,400 grant from the BC Arts Council one-time StrongerBC fund amid the COVID-19 pandemic April 9, 2021. (VPAG)

$43K boost for Vernon gallery

Province backs local art gallery with one-time pandemic grant

A government grant will keep the Vernon Public Art Gallery’s programming coming amid the pandemic.

VPAG was named one of 588 arts and culture organizations and was granted $43,400 as part of the BC Arts Council’s $14-million one-time supplement through StrongerBC.

The funds will allow for the gallery to keep its staff and doors open to the public while creating digital programming for those who may be isolated.

“The importance of mental health has been highlighted through the pandemic indicating the increased need for creative and social outlets,” VPAG executive director Dauna Kennedy said. “At the VPAG we strive to make visual culture accessible to all, either in person or virtually during this time of isolation.”

Since the pandemic’s start, the art gallery has been determined to continue to exhibit art and pivoted its programming online. More than 6,800 participants have engaged with its online programming since April 2020.

New this year, the gallery is presenting virtual artist talks, free of charge, with artists from around the world to complement its exhibition on view: The Okanagan Print Triennial 2021.

Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu said she’s excited to see the government support the local art gallery.

“The arts, in all forms, are truly a defining feature of cultures and communities,” she said. “If we want to see our vibrant arts community continue to thrive after the COVID-19 pandemic is over, its important that we support them through this difficult time.”

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Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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