ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT

                                           Date: March 26, 1997
                                           Dept. File No.  AN
                                           C.C. File No. 2052-1

   TO:       Vancouver City Council

   FROM:     Director, Office of Cultural Affairs

   SUBJECT:  1997 Cultural Grants: Operating and Project Grant 


        THAT Council approve 77 Operating Grants totalling $1,239,900 and
        27 Project Grants totalling $63,500, as listed in Appendix A, for a
        total of $1,303,400 including conditions on grants, where noted.
        Source of funds to be the 1997 Cultural Grants budget.


        The General Manager of Community Services submits the foregoing for
        Council's CONSIDERATION.


   City Council confirmed the criteria used in assessing Cultural Grant
   applications on February 3, 1987, and approved the current Cultural
   Grant categories (Operating, Project, Grants Equal to Rent and Incentive
   grants) on December 14, 1989.

   On November 22, 1994, City Council approved a new two-step grant
   approval process whereby staff recommendations not in dispute are
   approved first (and are the subject of this report), while applications
   being reconsidered are given a second review and are presented for
   Council approval at a later date.

   Approval of grant recommendations requires eight affirmative votes.


   As listed alphabetically in Appendix A, staff recommend approval of 104
   Operating and Project Grants totalling $1,303,400, out of 134 requests
   received, leaving a balance of $38,960.

   Not included in Appendix A are four Project Grant applicants requesting
   reconsideration, as indicated in Appendix B. Their applications will be
   considered by Council on May 8th. 

   Appendix C provides a summary of all 1997 Operating and Project grant
   recommendations by activity (those considered in this report as well as
   those that will be reconsidered later), compared to grants in the
   previous year.

   In addition, a package of the front pages of all the applications, with
   staff comments, was sent to each member of City Council in advance.


   This report recommends 1997 Cultural Grant allocations in the Operating
   and Project categories for all applications not  referred to the
   reconsideration process.


   In approving the 1997 Cultural Grants budget ceiling on March 13, 1997,
   Council allocated $1,277,360 for Operating Grants and $65,000 for
   Project Grants, for a total of $1,342,360. For this year, 134 Operating
   and Project grant requests amounting to $1,760,550 were received, not
   including Science World, which will be reported on at the City Services
   and Budgets Committee of April 10th.

   Staff initially recommended approval of 77 Operating grants and 27
   Project grants, for a total $1,303,400, leaving an unallocated balance
   of $37,460 in Operating and $1,500 in Projects, for a total of $38,960. 
   Applicants were notified of these recommendations, and four Project
   Grant applicants, none of which have been recommended for funding, have
   requested reconsideration (See Appendix B).



   This report presents staff recommendations for the 130 applicants that
   have not requested reconsideration (see Appendix A). In addition, any
   grant recommendations in this report not approved by Council will be
   referred to the reconsideration process, so that applicants may have the
   opportunity to speak to Council's concerns.


   The recommendations in this report have been made in the context of the
   increased financial pressures on Vancouver's non-profit arts
   organizations, partly reflected by the declining number of Cultural
   Grant applicants in recent years.  Staff have tried to maximize the
   effectiveness of City support by considering each applicant's
   contribution to the community, as well as by assessing basic
   eligibility, organizational competence, financial status, and program

   This review has resulted in recommendations for increases to
   organizations that are artistically viable, accessible, active in
   Vancouver, and working to strengthen the cultural community as a whole.
   It has also resulted in some decreases and fewer grants overall than in
   previous years. As in the past, a number of grant recommendations to
   smaller, developing organizations have been made, focusing on support
   for innovation and distinctiveness, including the cultural activity of
   diverse communities.

   A summary of the number of grants recommended and not recommended,
   compared to those in previous years is provided in Table I, following.

                                    TABLE I

                          OVERVIEW OF RECOMMENDATIONS
                         Operating and Project Grants

                                No. of      No.of       No.of
                                Groups     Groups      Groups
                                  1997       1996        1995

   TOTAL                           134        143         146

   Not recommended                  30         23          30
   Recommended:                    104        120         116

       Decreased grants              8          8          12
       Grants held at same level    67         62          44
       Increased grants             20         34          44
       New grants                    9         16          16  

   Additional Items
   Children's Festival:

   As indicated in Appendix A, staff are currently recommending a decrease
   of $3,600 in the Operating grant to the Children's Festival, which
   receives no other form of assistance. This is based on the proportional
   decrease to major cultural organizations proposed in the 1997 Funding
   Ceilings report, but not finalized pending Council's consideration of
   Science World's grant on April 10.

   The grant recommendation for the Festival is being presented now to
   avoid any further delay in providing funds, given the lack of advance
   grants this year.  If subsequent decisions affect the Festival's
   proportional reduction, a further recommendation will be presented for 
   Council's consideration. Final decisions on the other major
   organizations affected by the budget reduction target, which receive
   rental or "Other" grants,  will be made after Council considers Science
   World's grant. 

   Vancouver East Cultural Centre:

   In November 1996 Council approved an emergency grant of $17,085 to the
   VECC to ensure continued operation of the theatre. Staff will be
   reporting back to Council in May in detail on the considerable progress
   made in improved fiscal an managerial controls.

   In brief, the society has stabilized its cash flow and  implemented
   current and stringent accounting procedures and policies including a
   monthly external review by a volunteer financial adviser. Current
   audited financial statements are on file with City Clerk's.

   Other notable improvements:

       130,000 in new funds and in-kind support have been secured towards
        the debt-reduction plan and improved operating    support, which
        has enabled: (1) reduction of accounts  payable by 50% and a
        debt-reduction plan by remaining   creditors, and (2) completion of
        much of VECC's capital improvement project, including new sound,
        lights and     seating;
       a full season of rentals and co-productions has been booked; 
       marketing and therefore ticket sales are much improved; and
       residency relationships with local arts organizations have been


   This report, and the reconsideration report to be considered on May 8th,
   are the main reports on Operating and Project grants scheduled for 1997. 
   A limited number of Project grants will be reviewed, if appropriate,
   throughout the year. Reports on the other Cultural Grant programs are
   scheduled for later in the year, including 1997/98 Grants Equal to Rent
   in July.

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