Arts Council Wood Buffalo Gains Charitable Status

The Arts Council Wood Buffalo is gaining charitable status.

This has been in the works for around two years with the organization working with Canada Revenue Agency, Corporate Registry Alberta, and more to help approve the change.

Executive Director Liana Wheeldon tells Mix News this will give them more sustainability.

“If our organization is sustainable that means we are here to serve the arts community in stronger ways then we already do and we’ll be here for the long-term.”

The status opens up different avenues for funding opportunities.

Previously, the ACWB would rely on the municipality and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts to keep the organization afloat financially.

“We don’t have a lot of fundraising or sponsorship opportunities because there’s limited payback for the people that would be providing those funds, so this way, being able to provide a charitable receipt makes it more compelling for foundations, for instance, to support us,” added Wheeldon.

Meanwhile, the ACWB’s charitable status along with growing support across the community look like good signs for the arts in Wood Buffalo.

Keyano College is currently looking to create an art centre after asking Wood Buffalo council to consider setting aside $15 million in next year’s budget. The funds would also be used to maintain ongoing art operations at the school and for the proposed international art gallery and existing theatre.

“We talk a lot about this being a boomtown versus a hometown but I believe the opposite – I absolutely love it here, I’ve lived here since 2009 and the opportunities I’ve experienced as an artist and an arts administrator have been amazing,” said Wheeldon.

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