Following the most extensive review of Manitoba’s cultural policy in nearly three decades, the province is broadening the mandate of the Manitoba Arts Council (MAC) by creating a single window for access to all provincial arts funding.

“We are excited to modernize our funding model and to ensure our continued support for the arts community,” Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Cathy Cox said. “This is a straightforward, single-window approach to arts funding in Manitoba. We are working to maximize the many economic and social benefits of our vibrant arts and culture sector.”

Nearly 200 community arts organizations will benefit from this change, which will increase the Manitoba Arts Council budget to $12.7 million from $9.7 million beginning in 2020-21. The move is expected to reduce the administrative burden, streamline funding and allow programs to be more responsive to current arts practices across the province, the minister said, adding the goal is to improve service for all of the arts.

“We are honoured to work with the Manitoba government to improve the delivery of essential arts funding across the province,” said Roberta Christianson, chair, Manitoba Arts Council. “This will support a more holistic understanding of the arts in Manitoba and ensure that arts funding is aligned with the needs and practices of our vital arts community.”

Following the Culture Policy Review and a review of the MAC that examined areas of program overlap between MAC and the department, the new funding model is expected to help strengthen arts and creativity in every corner of the province, the minister said.

The MAC will now administer nine community arts funding programs that had been administered by the provincial government. These programs provide financial support to organizations that deliver arts skills development as well as arts presentations, arts festivals and Indigenous arts in urban, rural and remote areas across Manitoba.

The province will continue to support non-arts focused cultural activities including cultural industries, cultural tourism, cultural facilities, non-arts festivals and ethno-cultural programming.