Prince George votes 2,593 to 37: Retraction of Gaming funds is a Bad Decision

Prince George sends a message to BC Liberals over Gaming cuts to arts

Over the course of a theatrical run, Theatre North West in Prince George asked audience members to vote on whether they thought the BC Liberals’ retraction of Gaming funds promised to charities was a good or bad decision. The landslide results were as above (one wonders who the 37 were). Read the article in the Prince George Citizen.  From the article: “TNW already had their funding slashed once this year in the gaming funds storm, but it was restored when threats of a legal challenge caused the government to rethink cancelling the three-year contracts they forged with some charities. TNW was one of them.”

“We all have a job to do, we just want to get on with it,” said Ted Price, TNW’s artistic director. “The arts, culture and not-for-profit sector is a huge employer – bigger, now, in B.C., than even forestry. We don’t want that lost over what is really a small amount of money when compared to the other envelopes of money the government has in play.”

Also discussed in the article is the BC Association for Charitable Gaming’s planned legal challenge to the government, according to President Susan Marsden. “They (lawyers) have already gotten beyond the point of thinking we have a case. We do have a case. We are two to three weeks away from making an announcement about the legal action we may be pursuing. We have already started fundraising, not using gaming funds, for that potential legal action. The action will be on behalf of all gaming fund recipients in the province. We are just putting together the core group for that.”

Smaller groups are hit much harder by these developments than larger groups with other sources of operating funding. And it’s the smaller groups who often play a disproportionately large role in the community, leverage the most volunteers and create far more employment per dollar.

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