NDAC secures finances for future festivals with core funding

A good basis for the city’s international mural festival has been secured for the next five years.

The Nelson and District Arts Council (NDAC) has requested and received a $25,000 funding guarantee from the City of Nelson to continue the International Mural Festival in 2023, as well as continued funding of the same annual amount until 2027.

Although in 2022 the NDAC was able to increase nearly 10 times the funding provided by the City of Nelson – to around $242,000 in revenue – the city’s share was essential seed capital, a said NDAC executive director Sydney Black.

“Most of the additional funding secured was a result of fundamental support from the City of Nelson,” she told the city council Sept. 6 during its regular business meeting at City Hall. “If this fundamental support were to disappear, the festival would not be able to operate fully, because a large part of the funding obtained depends on the financial support of the municipality.”

Over the past five years, the NDAC has made an annual request to the city for $25,000, but has also been successful in leveraging these funds for additional funding, from $73,000 in the first year to nearly $217,000 this year.

Black said the NDAC has hosted the Nelson International Mural Festival for the past five years (2018-2022) and plans to continue to do so every year for the foreseeable future.

This year, the festival was able to return to an in-person public event after two years of virtual celebrations in the wake of the pandemic, with hundreds attending a number of events and workshops.

The 2022 festival included the addition of eight downtown murals.

NDAC funding requests for 2018-2022 were funded through the Downtown Reserve account, where the money will continue to come from.

Festival 2022

The 2022 festival has proven to be bigger and more impactful than ever, Black wrote in a letter to the city.

“Our community has shown a huge appetite for public gatherings and we were honored to host our first in-person festival after two years of virtual celebrations due to the pandemic,” she wrote.

The festival received substantial additional funding this year as a result of the unique opportunity provided by the recovery programming of festivals, fairs and events across the province.

This meant the 2022 festival was able to support five full-time (seasonal) staff and 12 local contractors, paying professional salaries to eight muralists and 50 performances.

“The majority of our supplies are sourced locally, as are our equipment rentals,” Black said. “Our street party drew over 2,500 attendees throughout the weekend and we were able to create a safe space for community connection.”

Access was the focus of the festival this year, and the NDAC was the first festival in the region to host live American Sign Language interpreters so that all members of the community could participate in the event. .

The NDAC also has a partnership with Cycling Without Age who offered wall rickshaw tours over the weekend for people with mobility issues.

In 2022, eight more murals were added to the list of 38 already run by the Mural Festival/NDAC.

“The creation of the murals was hugely significant this year as locals and tourists alike continue to be eager to find ways to interact with arts, culture and heritage,” Black said. “Murals continue to provide opportunities for humans to interact with diverse cultures, as well as the ability to connect with regional Indigenous nations on the unceded territories we all live, work and create on, increasing un-ceded relationships. only between the NDAC and the Nations, but also the city of Nelson.

Source: NDAC Letter to City Council, September 6

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