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Warming Up The Act – BC Touring Council – Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Victoria/Chilliwack -Following a successful year-long pilot, the BC Touring Council will continue to deliver three touring and training programs for aspiring and emerging artists through the BC Arts Council.

Launched in 2015, the Aspiring & Emerging Artists Touring & Training Initiative offers opportunities for artists to engage in professional performing arts touring and presenting in B.C. Through the BC Arts Council, the Government of British Columbia is investing $200,000 in these programs for 2016-17.

The initiative includes three programs:

  • Warming Up the Act provides financial assistance to presenters to engage aspiring and emerging B.C. artists as openers for main stage performances. In 2015-16, the BC Touring Council awarded $36,295 to 10 presenting organizations that engaged 49 artists and groups. For a full list of Warming Up the Act recipients, visit:
  • The online Youth Friendly Venue Inventory lists more than 350 venues throughout the province. Working with a research team of emerging artists and arts administrators, the BC Touring Council will continue to expand the inventory and add multimedia components, such as video interviews with site operators.
  • The On the Road Touring and Training Workshops are an opportunity for emerging artists to train and work alongside creative professionals. Following two workshops delivered in 2015-16, the BC Touring Council will host three events in 2016-17, starting with a one-day session to be held during the Vancouver Fringe Festival in September.

For more information about the Aspiring & Emerging Artists Touring & Training Initiative, visit:

Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development –

“The BC Touring Council is doing a stellar job of cultivating the next generation of B.C. artists by developing their skills, networks and experiences. These up-and-coming artists are helping grow British Columbia’s creative economy, improving our province’s prosperity and profile as a great place to live, work and play.”

Merla Beckerman, chair, BC Arts Council –

“Since the mid-1970s, the BC Arts Council and its predecessor have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the BC Touring Council and we are confident they will deliver this new program efficiently and effectively. By providing training opportunities and hands-on touring experience, we give our emerging artists the added boost they need to build their careers and reinforce the viability of touring for all artists.”

Joanna Maratta, executive director, BC Touring Council –

“It is most rewarding to work in partnership with the BC Arts Council to deliver the Aspiring & Emerging Artists program to engage young artists and build capacity in the performing arts. Creating opportunities to perform, train and network with presenters, artists, agents and others in our sector is our commitment to the next generation of touring artists.”

Michael Cade, artistic and managing director, Chilliwack Cultural Centre –

“The Warming Up the Act program was a fantastic success. The artists were delighted to be given the opportunity to play for such large numbers of people, and were thrilled that there was no expectation that they donate their services. We received many comments from audience members indicating how much they liked having local live music before the main show.”

Quick Facts:

  • Incorporated as a not-for-profit in 1976, the BC Touring Council exists for successful and sustainable touring and presenting of the performing arts in British Columbia. It provides professional development and online services to more than 300 members, including presenters, artists, artistic companies and agents/managers.
  • In partnership with the BC Arts Council, the BC Touring Council delivers the Community Presenters Assistance, Community Presenter Youth Engagement and Aspiring & Emerging Artists Touring & Training Initiative programs.
  • The B.C. government is spending more than $60 million on artists, arts and culture organizations in 2016-17, including about $17.5 million in community gaming grants.
  • In 2016-17 the Government of British Columbia is providing the BC Arts Council with $24 million to help artists and cultural organizations flourish in more than 200 communities throughout the province.
  • Launched in February 2016, the Government of British Columbia’s three-year Creative Economy Strategy is supporting and growing the creative sector. This strategy focuses on four key areas:
    • Leveraging talent and creative clusters.
    • Accessing new markets.
    • Maximizing investment.
    • Enriching communities.
  • The United Nations has identified the creative economy as one of the world’s fastest-growing sectors for income generation, job creation and export earnings.
  • With 24,800 artists, B.C. has more artists per capita than any other province.

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